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Dodgers players feel at home in new clubhouse

State-of-the-art quarters are part of the $100-million-plus renovations at Dodger Stadium, and Adrian Gonzalez calls it 'probably the best clubhouse in baseball.'

April 03, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez

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What could be the most impressive feature of the $100-million-plus renovations at Dodger Stadium can't be seen by the public: the home clubhouse.

"It's probably the best clubhouse in baseball," Adrian Gonzalez said. "Something comes up, we feel bad to even bring it up now."

Although modernized, the players' dressing quarters aren't much larger than they used to be. But the room is only one in a subterranean maze that was created by Janet Marie Smith, who oversaw the renovation project. The area of the entire clubhouse has doubled.

BOX SCORE: Giants 5, Dodgers 3

Under the field-level seats is a new batting cage, as well as a spacious weight room befitting a college football team. The trainer's room has also been expanded.

"When you have all these amenities there, everything that your body needs, it makes you excited to show up to the ballpark and get everything done," Gonzalez said. "You have a great cage. Sometimes when you don't have a great cage, you can't really do your work in that cage."

Meals, which were catered, are now prepared by a chef in a kitchen. Players can also retreat to a quiet room.

There's a new manager's office, as well as a coaches' locker room.

"I like that our clubhouse is still kind of small," Clayton Kershaw said, referring to where the players dress. "It's brand-new and state of the art, but it's kind of our clubhouse. There are no coaches lockers in there. You have to be player to get in there, really. I think that kind of keeps us together a little bit.

"The downside is that if I need to find somebody and they're not in the clubhouse, it might take me 15 minutes."

The Dodgers also built a batting cage and weight room next to the visiting clubhouse, meaning they will no longer have to share theirs with their opponents. But the visiting locker room remains as small as it used to be, making it one of the most cramped in baseball.

"That's how you want it," Gonzalez said, smiling.

Justin Sellers sits

A day after insisting that Justin Sellers was still his primary shortstop, Manager Don Mattingly started Luis Cruz in his place. Taking Cruz's regular spot at third base was Juan Uribe.

Mattingly said the change was the result of a planned day off for Sellers and had nothing to do with the two throwing errors he made Tuesday night.

"He'll be back out there," Mattingly said.

For Uribe, who batted .199 in his two previous seasons with the Dodgers, the start was his first since Aug. 14.

Learning a lesson

Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was taught a lesson in his major league debut Tuesday, but not by his teammates or Mattingly.

The crowd at Dodger Stadium let him know that making no effort to run out a grounder was unacceptable.

Hitting a grounder to third base in the sixth inning, Ryu jogged at a snail's pace out of the batter's box, eliciting boos from the same fans who cheered him loudly in pregame introductions.

Mattingly said he would talk to Ryu, but that appeared to be unnecessary, as the South Korean left-hander immediately showed remorse after the game.

"It was embarrassing," Ryu said through his interpreter. "I should apologize for it."

Short hops

Kevin Gregg, who was in spring-training camp on a minor league contract, was released. Gregg posted an 0.82 earned-run average but didn't make the opening-day roster. … Ted Lilly is expected to pitch for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday as part of a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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