Dodgers closer Guerra finds theme for his work
Javy Guerra knows he's onto something.
For the latest of his major league-leading four saves, the Dodgers' second-year closer entered the game Wednesday night with Mariachi Vargas' "La Negra" playing on the Dodger Stadium public-address system.
Hearing the Mexican mariachi song, what remained of the modestly sized crowd went crazy.
"I'm sure they had a good time with it," Guerra said of the fans, many of them presumably Latino.
The bilingual Guerra grew up in suburban Dallas. The 26-year-old listens to hip-hop and counts rapper Wiz Khalifa among his favorite musicians.
But Guerra, the son of Mexican immigrants, wanted his entrance song to recognize his, and many of his team's fans', heritage. So he enlisted the help of Spanish-language broadcaster Pepe Yniguez to select a song for him.
Because of the way the fans reacted to the song and the way he pitched that night, Guerra said the song will stay.
"Of course," he said.
Guerra wasn't ready Thursday to celebrate his place atop the saves leaderboard.
"The end of the year, that's what matters," said Guerra, who converted 21 of 23 save opportunities last season.
He figures to get plenty of chances.
Guerra has yet to spend an entire season in the majors — he was called up from double A in mid-May last year — but Manager Don Mattingly said he won't be overly conservative with his workload.
"He's not like a 21-year-old puppy out of high school or college," Mattingly said.
In his first four appearances of the season, Guerra gave up only one hit and struck out four in four innings.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully won't call the Dodgers' series opener against the San Diego Padres on Friday night, marking the fourth consecutive game he'll have missed because of a cold.
But the 84-year-old Scully's condition is improving and he could return to the booth as early as this weekend, according to a team spokesman.
In Scully's absence, Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons will continue to call the games on Prime Ticket. Rick Monday and Kevin Kennedy will work the radio broadcasts on AM 570.
Top pitching prospect Zach Lee is excelling with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. The Dodgers' No. 1 draft pick in 2010, Lee has a 1.80 earned-run average through two starts. He has nine strikeouts and two walks in 10 innings.… Dee Gordon and Tony Gwynn Jr. will be part of a group of Dodgers representatives who will visit John Muir High in Pasadena to take part in a round-table discussion about Jackie Robinson with about 100 students. Robinson graduated from Muir. He will be honored throughout the major leagues Sunday.