"I'd love to go there on vacation," Kershaw said. "I don't really want to go pitch there. But that's what we're signed up to do, so we're going to have to be ready to do it."
Spreading the gospel of baseball overseas will require sacrifices, especially on the part of Kershaw, who is expected to pitch in Sydney in the first game of the two-game, season-opening series against the
The early start explains why pitchers and catchers were asked to report to the Dodgers spring-training complex Saturday. Their counterparts on the Diamondbacks reported to their facility Thursday. No other team will be in camp until Wednesday.
Because the Dodgers reached the playoffs and played into October last year,
"I ended up doing the same as always," Greinke said.
"We'll be getting pretty much everybody ready for that," Mattingly said.
The possible exception might be
Kershaw and Greinke didn't think they would have to make significant changes to their routines.
"That's usually when you start to feel pretty good, one, two starts before spring's out, so that will be about right on time," Greinke said.
But Greinke warned his arm strength might not be sufficiently built up to pitch a complete game.
"I assume I won't be throwing eight innings over in Australia," he said. "I guess it's possible, but I'm guessing it will probably be more of a 90-pitch-type thing."
The Dodgers are more concerned about the effects of jet lag than they are of when opening day falls.
Kershaw said he spent time over the off-season with Diamondbacks pitcher
McCarthy pitched for the
"He said when you come back, that's the hardest part," Kershaw said.
"Going over there was great, there was no issue," Ellis said. "Coming back home was pretty tough. We had a 24- to 36-hour lag."
The Dodgers' domestic opener won't be until March 30, in San Diego. That's what Mattingly is most concerned about.
Between the games in Australia and San Diego, the Dodgers will play three exhibition games against the Angels.
Mattingly was a coach on the
"When we came back from there, we had to play like another four games in