Jackie Robinson Day, and the days after
To Rachel Robinson, the sight of her husband's number on any uniform evokes pride and respect.
Torii Hunter and C.C. Sabathia expressed dismay that so many players -- and several entire teams -- will wear No. 42 today in honor of Jackie Robinson. "It kind of waters it down," Sabathia told USA Today.
Said Rachel Robinson: "I think it's a personal decision on the part of each player. I don't think so many will cheapen it. It will be a strong expression that they continue to be inspired by Jack's legacy."
In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's breaking baseball's color barrier, 17% of major leaguers were black. So were 6% of the undergraduates at UCLA, Robinson's alma mater.
Today, as baseball celebrates the 60th anniversary, 8% of major leaguers and 3% of UCLA undergraduates are black.
"Just a celebration is not enough," she said. "We really have to think about where we're going from this point."
The statement McCourt did not release
\o7I want to apologize to our fans for the parking problems that might have affected them on opening day. We understand your frustration at any delays associated with the first crack of the bat in Los Angeles. It is our sincere intention to make parking at Dodger Stadium a more accessible, rapid experience, getting you into and out of the stadium at a quicker pace than in previous seasons. Unfortunately, we failed on one of the most important days of the season.
Again, I apologize to all the Dodgers fans in attendance that day for the inconvenience, and I would like to offer a $15 Dodgers voucher -- the cost of parking -- as a token of our gratitude to the best fans in baseball.
We hope you'll accept our apology and understand that our commitment is to making your Dodgers experience the best it can be.
\f7The Dodgers deserve credit for trying to unclog their parking lot. They point out that a home opener -- as a weekday afternoon sellout -- can be notoriously congested. They ask for your patience as they fix what ails their new parking system.
But none of that soothes you if you paid 50% more for parking and missed the pregame ceremonies because you were stuck in traffic on the way in -- or missed dinner because you were stuck on the way out.
When JetBlue stranded thousands of passengers over the winter, its chief executive begged forgiveness on every television show that would have him, instituted a customer bill of rights and issued vouchers without anyone having to ask.
Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' owner, has not said a word. Camille Johnston, the Dodgers' spokeswoman, says the issue is not whether McCourt speaks up but whether the system works better in the days beyond the opener.
"It's a timing issue," she said. "It's not a matter of accepting responsibility."
Something fishy in Marlins' plan
In the waning days of spring training, the Marlins acquired veteran closer Jorge Julio. He blew two saves, and he's not closing anymore. They're paying him $2.6 million this season, more than any player besides Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.... Tickets sold on 24 hours' notice in Milwaukee, baseball's smallest market, for last Tuesday's Angels-Indians game: 19,031. Fewer tickets were sold that night in Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami and Pittsburgh.... For so many years as the Angels' pitching coach, Bud Black didn't have a left-hander in his bullpen. Now, as the first-year manager of the Padres, Black still doesn't have a left-hander in the bullpen. No worries: The Padres' relievers started the season with 28 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.... Seattle's Felix Hernandez took a no-hitter into the eighth inning on Wednesday, then threw a 97 mph fastball. He has faced 58 batters this season, with 29 groundouts and 18 strikeouts.