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Mientkiewicz on the Mend

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One of the moves the Dodgers made at the beginning of the month was to reinstate utility infielder Doug Mientkiewicz from the 60-day disabled list. Mientkiewicz was first place on the disabled list on April 17 after dislocating his right shoulder when sliding to second base head first on a double.

During his stint on the disabled list Mientkiewicz took to Twitter as @dougiebaseball tweeting his favorite Metallica lyrics, describing his drive to and from rehab assignments and other various mundane inanities.

Mientkiewicz even received an autographed picture of right fielder Andre Ethier sliding into second base which he hung above his locker.

"To Doug," Ethier's message begins, "Feet first hands up when you slide. Andre Ethier."

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A box of Kleenex with his number 26 written on it now hangs next to the picture. I'm still puzzled as to what it's for.

Despite the unbearable lightness in the Dodger clubhouse, Mientkiewicz busted his chops to get back on the field.

"The bottom line is I'm going to whatever I can to get out there," Mientkiewicz told us media scum with a Red Bull in hand.

Despite that he knows the limitations his body gives him.

"I want to be able to throw real bad," Mientkiewicz continues. "I'm not going to play hero. I'll be honest with Joe [Torre]. He deserves that, he's been great to me."

On September 2 pinch hitting in the sixth inning, Mientkiewicz hit a single with one out. He was then forced out at second on a grounder by shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Sunday Night Baseball

While in the dugout caught up in a conversation about college football, ESPN baseball broadcaster Joe Morgan (don't laugh) taped an interview with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. I'm not going to spoil the interview or anything, but Ethier credited former Dodger insouciant Jeff Kent with something. I really wasn't paying attention until I heard the key words Jeff Kent when my ears perked up. But this acknowledgement by Ethier means that Kent actually had a conversation with him! Maybe that should be breaking news on ESPN. Or are they still reporting on Brett Favre's bowel movements?

Odds and Ends

Casey Blake's leg is about the same today as it was yesterday. Ronnie Belliard will be starting in his place... Hiroki Kuroda is making his first Major League start since headbutting a line drive last month... Kemp will be given the day off.

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Here are the lineups.

San Diego Padres

  1. Everth Cabrera, SS
  2. David Eckstein, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
  5. Will Venable, RF
  6. Chase Headley, LF
  7. Henry Blanco, C
  8. Tony Gwynn, CF
  9. Tim Stauffer, P

LA Dodgers

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Juan Pierre, CF
  3. Andre Ethier, RF
  4. Manny Ramirez, LF
  5. James Loney, 1B
  6. Ronnie Belliard, 3B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  9. Hiroki Kuroda, P