ST. LOUIS -- There's an excessive heat warning here from the National Weather Service, and the Dodgers called their own heat emergency before Monday night's opener of a four-game series against the Cardinals.
Manager Don Mattingly, saying he's taking a page out of the Texas Rangers' playbook, split his squad in half for batting practice. So while one half was on the field in 103-degree heat, the other half was still in the clubhouse instead of shagging balls in the outfield or taking infield grounders.
"I saw Texas do this, using a rotation, and it makes sense," Mattingly said. "We're looking at heat the next four days and it's something we're not really used to. It'll wear you out, you worry about cramping and stuff. We want them out here long enough to get used to the park and the sightlines, but with less standing around."
Mattingly said another Texas tactic the Dodgers planned to try was administering pregame IVs on request to prevent dehydration.
"I think eight to 10 of their guys do it, and we'll probably do a little bit of it," he said. "You make adjustments."
Several years ago on a day just like this, the Dodgers not only held their normal batting practice but participated in a mandatory early batting practice at 2 p.m. Cardinals players were stunned to see their opponents spending extra time in the sapping heat.