LOS ANGELES -- We've known about the baseball and soccer pedigrees of Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm for some time now. Until Friday, though, we had no idea they shared an ear for poetry. Listen to this: Grace and Ava Garciaparra. Prior to Friday's entry in the Freeway Series with the Los Angeles Angels, the Dodgers first baseman, who became the proud father of twins on Tuesday, regaled the media with details of their birth and an update on their first few days.
After saying he couldn't put the feeling into words, Garciaparra got on an eloquent roll. "The girls are doing well," he said. "All the doctors and nurses have been outstanding. [The twins] were about five weeks early, but twins are usually early, and they're good size." Asked to walk through the sequence between getting the news at the Dodgers' Florida Spring Training headquarters and arriving in Southern California, Garciaparra said, "You go out to dinner, and you get a call from your wife saying her water broke. You're in Vero Beach, and now you've got to get a flight. It's not as if there are planes available. ... Thank God everything [in California] was going well. "They were going to try to wait until I got here. Everyone who's had a child knows certain circumstances come up. Thank God I was able to have my wife on the phone. I had the doctor on the phone and got to talk to him, going through the whole procedure, and everything worked out well. It was only a matter of time before someone asked about the sporting futures of Grace and Ava. The first baseman laughed and said, "We'll let them be whatever they want to be. Right now, they're healthy, that's our first concern. All that other stuff comes later. There's still that rush, still that emotion, and I don't know if that ever settles in. Right now, you look forward to seeing them every day. It was hard for me to leave today. I look forward to seeing them again." The Grady Bunch: Manager Grady Little's session with the media began with a question about catcher Mike Lieberthal's condition after a hard collision at the plate with the Angels' Nick Gorneault in the eighth inning of Thursday night's 6-1 loss.
"He just got a little headache," Little said. "He's fine. We weren't going to use him in the game tonight anyway."Speaking with reporters late Thursday night, Lieberthal said the crash was "one of the four or five hardest I've had in my career." The question persisted about whether Gorneault's aggressiveness was appropriate in an exhibition game. Little expanded on the diplomatic answer he gave on Thursday night. "If I've got 25 people, I want them all to play hard," was Little's nod to the opposition. The jackpot question got him going: How did he like this year's Dodgers, and what would be the key to their success? "We like our team," he said, "but we understand a lot of people like their teams right now. To be successful, we've got to play well for 162 games. ... It's pretty much like last year: We'll go as far as our pitching will take us. "Our pitching, on paper, looks good -- we've got to do it." Naturally, that brought up the addition of right-hander Jason Schmidt, Little's starter on Friday night. "I liked him before we got him," Little said. "Everyone knows what he's capable of doing. I'm sure he's had better springs. ... Once he's got the ball in his hand, he keeps it for a long time. We feel we have a number of guys like that." The voice of spring: Timing is Vin Scully's forte, so it figured he'd be strolling through the Dodgers dugout just as Little wrapped up his session with the media. Scully revealed he'll be at the mic when the Dodgers open the season in Milwaukee on Monday. That's news, because he seldom joins the club east of the Rocky Mountains. What's not news, though, is his eagerness to put Spring Training in the rearview mirror. "To me, Spring Training has always been an endless rehearsal," said the announcer, who joined the Dodgers in 1950 as part of a team that included the legendary Red Barber. "I'm going to quote [longtime Washington Post baseball columnist] Thomas Boswell, who wrote a book called 'Why Time Begins on Opening Day,'" Scully said. "I know I'll get goose bumps when the crowd roars. I'll get goose bumps, and I'll know it's begun." Up next: The Freeway Series heads down I-5 on Saturday for Game 3 at Angel Stadium. Dodgers right-hander Brad Penny and Angels left-hander Joe Saunders will write the coda to Spring Training, beginning at 6:05 p.m. PT.
Ted Brock is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.