Reporting from Phoenix — Adam Kennedy turned 36 in January. He reached the pinnacle of his profession long ago, winning a World Series with the Angels in 2002 and securing his place in baseball folklore as a postseason hero. He is with his sixth team, heading into his 14th major league season.
"There's a point in time, after traveling cross-country for so long, where it is a little more of a job than a pleasure," Kennedy said.
But Kennedy said his inner child was awakened this winter when he signed with the Dodgers. "This definitely makes all the tough years and the travel worth it," he said.
Kennedy grew up in Riverside. He attended J.W. North High and Cal State Northridge.
Playing for the Dodgers was a lifelong dream.
"I wasn't a die-hard Dodger fan, but, definitely, that was the team that every kid wanted [to play] for in Southern California when I was growing up," Kennedy said. "The Angels weren't quite as popular then [as] they are now. It was definitely a dream to be a Dodger."
Kennedy signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Dodgers in November. "For me, once they called, there was really no other option," he said.
Kennedy said he agreed with Manager Don Mattingly that the Dodgers, not the Angels, were Los Angeles' baseball team.
"For the people who have been in Southern California for 20-plus years, it's the Dodgers," Kennedy said. "There is an Angel fan base. But because of the history, the tradition, true baseball fans are probably going to be Dodger fans. That will probably be passed down the generations through the family. I have a hard time believing the Dodger name will be overtaken in L.A."
Kennedy signed with the Dodgers with the understanding that he will be a bench player, something he said he is "looking forward to." He started 96 games for the Seattle Mariners last season.
"I had to play every day last year for a while and I got a little banged up," he said. "I don't know how long I can do that for and produce."
Asked how much longer he intended to play, he said, "It would be hard to go back on the road after being able to play for the Dodgers and stay at home. So we'll see."
Field of dreams
A record 125 players attended the Dodgers' open tryout.
Among them was former Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Doug Davis, who has won 11 or more games five times in a 13-year career.
Other participants of note: former Texas Rangers reliever Wes Littleton, former Japanese league reliever Hiroki Sanada and current Minnesota Vikings safety Jarrad Page.
Page played both football and baseball at UCLA. He was drafted three times in baseball, most recently by the Angels in the seventh round in 2006.
Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch two innings in an intrasquad game Monday, Mattingly said. Chris Capuano could also pitch in the game. … Single-game tickets for the regular season will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday online at dodgers.com and by phone at 866-DODGERS… registered users of dodgers.com are eligible for a presale Friday. … Steve Brener and Toby Zwikel, who worked for the Dodgers when the O'Malley family owned the team, were hired as public relations consultants.