A bouquet of roses awaited their arrival, and when the umpires walked onto the field for the first time in nine months, Ed Montague walked slowly up the first-base line, carrying a sign:
"Thanks Fan's for Your Support."
OK, so maybe the umps still need to work on their grammar, but never have they been so happy to see a ballpark.
"I can't tell you how good it is to be back," crew chief John McSherry said. "You don't realize how much you miss it."
Said Dodger second baseman Delino DeShields: "There's an appreciation for these guys that maybe wasn't there before. I think we learned pretty quick how important these guys are to our game."
Dodger pitcher Hideo Nomo, who camouflaged his feelings after his debut, revealed Wednesday that the game was the greatest thrill of his career.
"I've been pitching since I was 16," Nomo said, "but I never felt a feeling like I did (Tuesday). It was a very special feeling. It's one I never will forget. I've gone through a lot, but believe me, this was worth the wait."
Dodger rookie outfielder Todd Hollandsworth, who was looking forward to starting his first game in front of his family, instead experienced a sharp pain in his right hand during batting practice. He was scratched from the game and X-rays revealed a small broken bone in his wrist. He will be examined in Los Angeles today. . . . Scouts who watched Todd Worrell pitch two hitless innings Tuesday said it was the best he has looked in two years. "I've never seen him throw a curveball as well as he did," one scout said. "It looks like he's abandoned his slider, and now his curve is like a slurve. He looked like a completely different pitcher to me." . . . Dodger President Peter O'Malley, who attended Nomo's debut at Candlestick Park, was on his way to Tucson on Wednesday to watch Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park pitch for triple-A Albuquerque. . . . Ismael Valdes will remain in the Dodger bullpen until his next scheduled start Tuesday night against San Diego. . . . If the Padre rotation does not change, Fernando Valenzuela is scheduled to face the Dodgers on Wednesday. . . . Dodger reliever Rudy Seanez's fastball was clocked at 97 m.p.h. during Tuesday's game.