The Pitbull

When Orel Hershiser reported to me in Vero Beach many years ago, the scouts said he had the arm, but not the heart to compete.  I told Hershiser that when Dale Murphy hears the PA announcer say, "And now pitching for the Dodgers, number 55, Orel Hershiser," he can’t wait to get his at-bat.  So I told Hershiser that from then on I was going to rename him the Bulldog.  And I told him that from that moment on I wanted him to think like a bulldog, act like a bulldog and pitch like a bulldog.

Well, you saw how his career turned out.

Pitbull Now I have renamed Chad Billingsley the Pitbull.  He has as good stuff as you’d want to see in a young pitcher.  I wouldn’t even trade him for a power hitter because he can win games for many years to come. 

Today, Pitbull climbed the hill of thrills for me in my second game back at the helm of the Dodgers.  Although we lost, Pitbull didn’t give up any runs in the four innings he pitched.

The starter for the Nationals had good location and got our batters with his breaking ball.  We didn’t score until my boy, Andre Ethier, hit a solo home run into right-center field.  I love his sweet, left-handed swing.

We have a good, young team that is going to be competitive for the next eight to ten years.  Russell Martin, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley…  They are all young and very talented.  But as I have told many players over the years; talent which is used develops.  Talent which isn’t used wastes away.  It is up to them.  They have to make up their minds right now and ask themselves how much of a price are they willing to pay to succeed.  And only they can answer that question.

6 Comments

Tommy

Thank you for being so accessible and generous with your time down at Spring Training. You signed many autographs and posed for countless pictures at Disney and Dodgertown while I was down there. While I wasn’t able to get in front of you at Disney, your assistant said if I came to Dodgertown (on Comcast’s Meet the Dodgers Day) and showed him my “old Course St Andrew’s hat”, he would give you my baseball…which he did. Although it did feel pretty weird running across the baseball field screaming “Old Course!!!” You also said while you were signing “what was he doing at the other field!!”…..bleeding dodger blue with no substitute.

Thanks again.

I knew there was something wrong with this blog, why you didn’t have many posters like Alyss Milano. Do you notice since you’re back in the dugout all your friends are back? Doesn’t that tell you something? Their back on the blog, that is, they were with you everywhere else. It’s been 20 years since we won it all. Emmet Kelly was a great symbol for this team, but he hardly ever talked. You can can do him one better. Talk to this team, work the magic, bring it back to the way it use to be. Remember when you brought the Dodgers back to New York for the fall classic and Bill Gallo called the team the Safisticated Bums. Give them back that PERSEVERANCE.

Hey, Tommy –

I am so glad you said what you did about the kids. There are so many unpaid managers and GMs who are free with their advice. It seems that as soon as we sign some longtime superstar, he goes on the DL before the ink is dry on the contract.

I’m also pleased to see the organization return to developing young players that brought us fourteen rookies of the year, including the two runs of five consecutive ROY. I used to sit in the first-base side of the field level, near the foul pole. When I saw Raul Mondesi in one of his first games, I knew he had ROY written all over him.

I have a “wait” problem – I can’t wait until Opening Day!

Yesterday they couldn’t hit, Today they couldn’t field better luck tomorrow Tommy, in Holman against the Cards.

Tommy,
Thank you for turning me around. I was the kid who tried to swap stuff with a guy. You gave me a hard time for that, and I’m very glad you did. I learned a very valuable life lesson. I also would like to take the time to thank you for being so great to us kids. I was very impressed at how you had the kid’s line and the adult’s line at your table. You are the most generous baseball man that I have had the pleasure to be around when it comes to autographs. I loved your book and I hope you win your games!

Somewhere in Orange Co. Greg Hansell is crying……
Tommy, you dubbed Hansell your pitbull when he played for you in the ’90’s. Oh well, his career didn’t quite turn out as we had all hoped it would. While there will never be another Bulldog/Hershiser, here’s hoping Billingsly lives up to the name!

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