Kasten outlines Dodgers clubhouse renovations

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After briefing the team on the ongoing renovations of the Dodger Stadium clubhouse, club president Stan Kasten on Monday provided the media with an update too.

"We knew it was the world's worst clubhouse," said Kasten. "I said to Sandy [Koufax], 'It was substandard in your day,' and it hadn't been fixed since."

Well, it's being fixed now. Displaying overlay blueprints, Kasten explained that the home clubhouse will be "almost twice the square footage" of the previous locker room area, accomplished by excavating a second level. That was necessary because the original design of the stadium was set in a natural bowl against the hillside, making access from outside the stadium impossible.

The new facility will have a bigger trainer's room, weight room, aqua area, interview room and conference room. There will be a kitchen with a chef and nutritionist, rather than having meals catered from outside vendors. There will be a "quiet room," although nobody's really sure what that's about.

Two batting cages will be under the new clubhouse and, for the first time in stadium history, the visiting team will have a separate batting cage. Previously, visiting players had to walk through the home clubhouse area to access the batting cage and weight room.

"That's what I'm most excited about," said manager Don Mattingly. "The other team doesn't walk through our clubhouse. That was really weird. We came in with New York in '04 and went to the cage and, where are we? In their locker room? That's not a good situation."

Kasten said the first stab at renovation plans were expanded at the direction of chairman Mark Walter.

"He said to make it bigger," said Kasten. "He wanted it more like your favorite health club, a place where they like to work out. We want to provide a facility with the best chance to extend their careers. Mark was the real motivator.

"The architects tell me it's the largest in the Major Leagues. The latest, the newest, the most modern equipment."

Kasten said the concrete has been poured to put the field level back together, and he insists "all the important stuff" will be done by Opening Day.