At last, our national pastime's suit-and-tie season — from new-player press conferences to congressional hearings — gives way to actual Major League Baseball as ESPN's 10-game spring-training schedule opens with the Dodgers and Braves on Friday (1 pm/ET). Fifty years after leaving Brooklyn for L.A., the Dodgers are marked by more westward movement with the arrival of manager Joe Torre from the Yankees, outfielder Andruw Jones from the Braves and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda from Japan. In mid-March, the team leaves Vero Beach, Florida, for Arizona after 61 years in "Dodgertown." ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser, star of L.A.'s last World Series winner in 1988, gets us loosened up for spring.
TV Guide: What kind of impact will Joe Torre have in L.A.? Orel Hershiser: It'll take Joe a little bit of time to get his arms around the players out there, but from everything I know from playing against him and covering him, he is a genuine human being who really unde
As the national pastime approaches mid-season, Baseball Tonight (10 pm/ET, on ESPN) analyst John Kruk weighs in on Bonds, A-Rod and the game's other hot topics.
TV Guide: You never had a chance to play for a Wild Card playoff spot. How do you think that has changed players’ and teams’ mind-sets entering July and August? John Kruk: Well, it gives everyone a chance, but it’s more confusing to me. You look at the divisions and say, "This team’s out, that team’s out.... Oh, wait a second." The Phillies have been in back of the Mets all season but always have that Wild Card [chance]. It’s good for players because you stay motivated and have more meaningful games. The bad thing is that too many teams can’t realize what they have as a team, so they keep guys and t