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Dodgers-Marlins Preview: Hall of Fame Edition

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As I sit here and write these words on this glorious day, in Cooperstown, NY, Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice are being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Henderson's career spanned from 1979 to 2003 playing mostly left field for the Oakland A's, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, LA Dodgers (in 2004), Anaheim Angels (in 1997), Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. In 1982 he broke Lou Brock's stolen base record by stealing 130 bases. By the All Star break that season he had already stolen 84 bases.

While Henderson will be remembered mostly for his stolen bases, he also revolutionized power hitting for leadoff hitters. He has hit as many as 28 home runs in a season in 1986 with the Yankees and his MVP year of 1990 with the A's.

Jim Rice played left field for the Boston Red Sox for all 16 seasons of his career. A lifetime .298 hitter with 373 home runs, he won the AL MVP honors in 1978 batting .315 with 46 home runs and 139 RBI. In fact he batted .300 seven times and collected 100 RBI eight times.

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"I don't think anybody did it better than Rickey Henderson," Torre reflected. "He hit a lot of lead off home runs and scared the heck out of you even at 40 years old on the basepath."

On Jim Rice, Torre reflected on his affinity.

"I have a special love for Jim Rice knowing the city he played in," Torre said. "I gained more respect for that over the 12 years I was with New York to know what he had to deal with over there. He became a player - a player you could count on, a player that didn't really care what other people thought as long as his teammates respected him."

As for today's game Jason Schmidt will be taking the mound for the Dodgers against Chris Volstad from the Marlins. Schmidt is coming off his first start in over two years, a win on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds. Despite a shaky first inning when he gave up three runs he steadied the ship pitching four shutout innings.

"I sense today he'll be a little more polished," Torre said of his expectation of Schmidt today.

Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez will be sitting out today's game.

Here are the lineups:

Florida Marlins

  1. Chris Coghlan, LF
  2. Emilio Bonifacio, 3B
  3. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  4. Jorge Cantu, 1B
  5. Jeremy Hermida, RF
  6. Dan Uggla, 2B
  7. Cody Ross, CF
  8. John Baker, C
  9. Chris Volstad, P

LA Dodgers

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  3. Andre Ethier, RF
  4. James Loney, 1B
  5. Matt Kemp, CF
  6. Russell Martin, C
  7. Mark Loretta, 3B
  8. Jason Schmidt, P
  9. Juan Pierre, LF