03/30/08 3:01 AM ET
Andruw gets creative for LA
Center fielder slides into infield in cozy Coliseum
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
That's what the Dodgers and Andruw Jones concluded Saturday night after one look at the miniature configuration of the Coliseum for the ThinkCure charity exhibition game with the Red Sox.
With bench coach Bob Schaefer lobbying, the 10-time Gold Glove center fielder became a fifth infielder, playing behind second base while the Dodgers played with no left fielder in a 7-4 loss to Boston.
"Andruw got very creative," said manager Joe Torre, who had Andre Ethier in center field, Matt Kemp in right and shortstop Rafael Furcal playing balls off the 60-foot-high screen in left field.
Jones even took the throw from catcher Russell Martin and tagged out Jacoby Ellsbury trying to steal second base in the fourth inning. The putout went 2-8, and how often do you see that?
About as often as you see a baseball game played in front of 115,300, an MLB record. Yet, Jones said this was nothing. Four years ago, in a spring game for the Braves at Winter Haven, Jones played shortstop.
"I didn't get any ground balls tonight, that's what I wanted," said Jones. "I got three of them against the Indians."
"Yeah," said teammate Rafael Furcal. "One of them, they hit it hard and he made the play. He can play short."
Torre said he was surprised by the relatively low total score, particularly after watching balls fly all over the place during batting practice. There were four home runs hit, two by each club, James Loney and Blake DeWitt homering for the Dodgers. The dimensions were 201 feet down the left-field line, 374 feet to dead center, 300 feet down the right-field line.
"I thought it was a heck of a show," said Torre. "It wasn't 21-20, like we all anticipated. I didn't see an empty seat, that's pretty impressive. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. It could have gotten out of hand if they scored a ton of runs. It ended up a legitimate baseball game.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.