The Dodgers' clubhouse, long known as one of baseball's most cramped and outdated, got nipped, tucked and made over while the team was away for spring training, as per the request of the Dodgers' front office.
Among the changes: wider lockers with higher shelves and cubbyholes for players to store bats and fan mail, four new flat-screen televisions, placards commemorating the franchise's six World Series titles, new carpeting, new lighting, a new coat of gray paint and quotes from former Dodgers greats written above each locker.
"It looks good to me. The quotes are pretty cool," closer Jonathan Broxton said, pointing to the one above his locker from shortstop Pee Wee Reese: "If you rush in and out of the clubhouse, you rush in and out of baseball."
Manager Joe Torre said the quotes were important and give the players a historical perspective.
"You want to try to keep the connection and let young players know the game didn't just start with their birth," he said.
Adjoining rooms have been tweaked as well, including the removal of bat racks from the players' dining area. More changes, such as nameplates above the lockers that should arrive in the coming week, are on the way, according to clubhouse manager Mitch Poole.
"It's still an ongoing thing," Poole said. "It's not finished yet."
Looming like a hangover over the Dodgers is owner Frank McCourt's nastier-by-the-day divorce case. Torre said Saturday that in a meeting during spring training, he told his players they'd be asked constantly about it, but reminded them of one thing: "You're here to play baseball."
He thought he needed to address it but didn't tell players not to comment, saying, "I never liked doing that." Then he added that he used to tell his players not to comment when he was "with the Yankees all the time, but of course the Yankees were geared toward distraction all the time, from one area to another."
Torre announced before the game that right-handed reliever Carlos Monasterios made the opening-day roster, but he wouldn't say until Sunday whether that roster would include 11 pitchers or 12. If it is 12, the team probably would go with Russ Ortiz for the final spot. If it is 11, Nick Green probably would be signed as a backup shortstop. But it seemed that Ortiz was the choice, since he said he was joining the team in Pittsburgh while Green said he would not be. ... Shortstop Chin-lung Hu, outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher A.J. Ellis were reassigned to the minor leagues after the game.