Once upon a time, the Dodgers and Angels faced off before the season started in a three game series. Fans from all over Southern California got together with the excitement of a new season close at hand.
This year, the Dodgers have two games against the Milwaukee Brewers (Friday and Saturday night), then fly up to San Francisco for one game Sunday.
Why would the Dodgers want to rest up at home all weekend and draw fans from throughout Southern California when they have the chance to bring the mighty Brewers to town? Then travel north on a plane for one game so they can hop on another plane after and get to San Diego for the opener on Monday?
The Dodgers/Angels one night stand is tonight. First pitch is at 7:10 pm at Dodger Stadium.
Of course, one big thing has changed from the olden days of the three-game exhibition series — the teams play each other during the regular season. It used to be a rare treat that the Dodgers and Angels played each other, now it’s an annual occurrence.
Still, it’s a lot of fun when sluggers like Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero get together and swing the bat.
Fans who make it out to Dodger Stadium tonight will notice some things have not changed — for the first time in a few years there has been no new construction at the stadium. The prices also remain the same, for seats and parking.
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Even on the field things will look familiar. Manny Ramirez will be in right field, and the youth that played so well late last season — Matt Kemp, Andre Either, James Loney — will be back at their positions. The only big change is Orlando Hudson at second base.
Joe Torre has said the Dodgers regular starters will play at least seven innings tonight, in an effort to get them used to playing in their home park again.