Gonzalez would like to be an everyday player

Times Staff Writers

For the second consecutive game, Luis Gonzalez wasn’t in the Dodgers’ lineup on Monday.

Watching the game from the dugout has becoming increasingly common for Gonzalez, as Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are receiving a greater share of the playing time in the corner outfield positions.

The 39-year-old Gonzalez hasn’t started in five of the Dodgers’ last eight games, but he isn’t becoming accustomed to sitting. And he has no intention of doing so, meaning his time with the Dodgers could be up when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Asked whether he saw himself coming back to play under similar circumstances, Gonzalez replied, “No, no, not here. . . . Anything can happen in the last month, but they’ve got a good nucleus of young kids here and that’s their future. I don’t know where I’ll end up next year. I’ll go with an open mind into the off-season and see what happens.”


So it’s unlikely that he’ll be back?

“I don’t want to go on a limb and say that,” he said.

He paused, then continued, “I mean, look around. I’m not naïve to the game. I’ve been around. We’ve got good young players and they’re getting the bulk of the load here, especially late in the season.”

Gonzalez, who is batting .241 this month and .279 on the season, made it clear that he still sees himself as an everyday player. The day he doesn’t see himself that way, Gonzalez said, “I’ll leave the game. I don’t need to do anything else in this game.”

Gonzalez said that he is looking forward to collecting his 2,500th hit, a milestone of which he is 14 shy. Once there, he intends to aim for 3,000.

Gonzalez said he understands Manager Grady Little’s decision to give more playing time to Ethier and Kemp.

“We’ve got good young players here and they’re playing well right now,” he said. “It’s the direction they want to go right now.”

More choices for food, less time in line: That’s the Dodgers’ pitch to fans sitting in the field level next season.


Owner Frank McCourt will announce today plans to renovate and expand concourse areas at Dodger Stadium, beginning with the field level this winter. The announcement formalizes McCourt’s promises to ease the congestion along the walkways in the 45-year-old stadium and enable fans to get food without getting stuck in line and missing an inning or two of the game.

The Dodgers last winter completed a two-year program to repair the Dodger Stadium foundation, a prelude to expanding any concourses in a stadium built into a hillside.

Nomar Garciaparra, who is on the disabled list because of a calf strain, said that he is hitting and fielding ground balls, but not yet running. “I’ll probably build up to that sometime this week,” he said. . . . Former Dodger great Don Sutton threw out the ceremonial first pitch.