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DODGERS FYI

You can't say these Dodgers don't have talent

In a break from the spring training routine, young players entertain their teammates with a talent show.

March 03, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers pitcher Rubby De La Rosa delivers a pitch against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium last week.
Dodgers pitcher Rubby De La Rosa delivers a pitch against the Angels at Tempe… (Jake Roth / US Presswire )

Reporting from Phoenix — With countless hours spent on the practice fields and training room this spring, the Dodgers took a break from the monotony of camp on Thursday and shared some laughs.

Their source of amusement was an "American Idol"-like talent contest.

Taking place behind the closed doors of their clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, the event was the first of its kind since the Dodgers moved their spring training home from Florida to Arizona.

"We're just having fun," Matt Kemp said. "It's a team thing. Loosen everyone up, have a little laugh, go with the flow."

Kemp was one of the judges, the others being Andre Ethier and physical therapist Nancy Patterson. Jamey Carroll was the emcee.

The last time this event was held was in 2008, when Kemp and Ethier were young players in Vero Beach trying to win everyday jobs. The judges were Jeff Kent and Nomar Garciaparra.

As was the case back then, the pool of contestants was made up of players in major league camp for the first time. Among the participants were John Ely, Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands and Justin Sellers.

Pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Luis Vasquez won the top awards.

De La Rosa, the Dodgers' 2010 minor league pitcher of the year, sang Mexican pop group Sin Bandera's "A Puro Dolor" — a love song.

Vasquez followed up by performing a series of card tricks he said he learned in the minor leagues. He said he was introduced to magic by a Mexican teammate at the Dodgers' training facility in the Dominican Republic.

"It was something I was able to do right away," he said.

Clayton Kershaw laughed and shook his head.

"Best card tricks I've ever seen," he said.

Kershaw continued, "It's a good way to laugh with everybody. It's good for team bonding."

Lilly debuts

Ted Lilly shook his head.

"I have to strengthen my immune system," he said.

Lilly, 35, said this is the third consecutive spring training in which he has been sick.

His latest illness forced the team to scratch his scheduled spring debut on Wednesday, which explained why he was at Camelback Ranch early in the next morning even though the Dodgers were playing at night.

In front a crowd made up mostly of players and team executives, Lilly pitched two perfect innings in a B game against Chicago White Sox minor leaguers.

"I was definitely excited to pitch in a game again," he said. "I think I had some adrenaline that kind of took over any lingering effects."

Lilly was held to two innings so that he could pitch again Monday on three days' rest and remain on his pitching schedule.

The left-hander is in the first year of a three-year, $33-million contract.

Short hops

The Dodgers signed one player from their open tryout, left-hander Randy Keisler. The 35-year-old pitched in 55 major league games for five teams from 2000 to 2007, posting a 6.63 earned-run average. … Dodger Dogs will be sold for $1 at Dodger Stadium for the Dodgers' game on May 30 against the Colorado Rockies. … Someone has placed an empty shoe box in the top shelf of the locker that belongs to Ronald Belisario, who hasn't reported to camp. "We miss you," the box reads.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

twitter.com/dylanohernandez

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