LOS ANGELES -- Hockey fever swept across Southern California over the last month as the Kings went from an eight seed on the cusp of missing the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champions. Hockey fever was contagious and it extended to Dodger Stadium and many of the players on the team."I understand how hard it is to win in any sport and obviously the Stanley Cup is a huge deal and I'm very happy for the city and the Kings," said utility man Jerry Hairston, who scrolled through pictures on his cell phone to show a photo of him and the Stanley Cup after his hometown Blackhawks won the trophy in 2010. "I know it's been a long time coming. It was an unbelievable run for them." L.A. hockey fans will get a chance to catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup on Wednesday, when members of the Kings will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Kings will pose for a special team photo with both the Dodgers and Angels before Wednesday's game. Over the past couple weeks, many fans came out to Dodger Stadium wearing Kings jerseys, and the stadium erupted when the final score of Monday's series-clinching victory was announced. "You always want to be around winners and be around champions," said Hairston, who is arguably the biggest hockey fan on the team. "There's always that buzz in the air." Hairston and his teammates are hoping that success is just as contagious as the hockey fever was. He noted how winning rubbed off in Boston a few years ago with the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins as a perfect example of that happening. "Maybe it's L.A.'s turn. I'm hoping," he said. "We've got to take care of business. The Kings took care of business and I'm proud of them, but now it's hopefully the Dodgers' turn." Stanley Cup champion T-shirts hung in all the players' lockers Monday night and there is a purple and black Stanley Cup trophy drawn on the team's white erase board in the clubhouse that tracked how the Kings were doing through the playoffs. A.J. Ellis said there is a special bond between athletes in the same city and added that he jumped on the bandwagon after attending Game 3 against the Canucks in the first round at the Staples Center. "It's rare to find a baseball clubhouse with anything on other than baseball," Ellis said. "But anytime the Kings were on TV, we were watching. We're proud of those guys and we are hoping it's a good omen for the city."
Uribe returns to starting lineup for Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- In Juan Uribe's first game since being activated from the disabled list on Monday, his appearance was short-lived with the Dodgers infielder being hit by a pitch as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.On Tuesday, he made his first start since May 12, playing third base and hitting seventh against the Angels. The possibility of more stability in the lineup and on the field after so many injury-related changes this year has manager Don Mattingly hopeful. "I know a lot of people talk about last year and he really struggled, but his at-bats have been good this year and we feel like he's been swinging the bat better," Mattingly said. "We're just hoping to get him in there and keep him in there and get some consistency going." Uribe was hitting .250 with 10 RBIs and eight runs in 25 games before hitting the DL with an injured left wrist on May 14. The infielder hit .204 in 77 games in 2011. Mattingly added that Uribe is the team's best defender at third base and he's had an ability to drive the ball into right-center and dead center this year.
Mattingly stands by decision to pitch to Pujols
LOS ANGELES -- With two outs and a runner on second in the ninth inning on Monday night, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided to attack three-time MVP Albert Pujols instead of rookie Mark Trumbo, who was waiting on deck.One day later, Mattingly stuck by his decision thanks to a high level of confidence in his closer Kenley Jansen. "Kenley is throwing the ball good and we take on everybody for the most part," he said. "So we go after Pujols." Badgered with questions about his choice, Mattingly was firm in his stance. "I think [Jansen] can get anybody out and right there we are going to go after Pujols," Mattingly said. He added that he gives his closer some say in the decision regarding which player he wants to attack. In this case, Jansen, who was 4-0 with nine saves and a 2.20 ERA heading into Monday night's game, didn't want to pitch around or walk Pujols. Trumbo was 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Jansen, while Pujols was 1-for-2 with a home run. He improved that mark after he singled in Mike Trout to give the Angels the lead and the 3-2 victory. When asked if he regrets his decision, Mattingly said it's one of the moves he thinks about. "You make decisions for a reason," he said. "Some of them work out. Some of them don't."
Dodgers honor Scioscia with bobblehead
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers continued their season-long celebration of Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary Tuesday honoring former catcher Mike Scioscia with a bobblehead giveaway, the fourth released in the Dodger Stadium Greats series.Scioscia is the franchise leader in games caught with 1,395, and he was part of two World Series teams in his 13 seasons with the Dodgers. It just so happens that Scioscia was managing from the opposing dugout Tuesday night as his Angels took on the Dodgers in the second game of the Freeway Series. Across the field, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly expressed his respect and admiration for Scioscia.
"I've talked a lot about how I want to become a better manager all the time and you look at different guys and Scioscia is one of those guys with the way his teams played," Mattingly said. "He's always someone you want [to develop] a little bit of a pattern after."Mattingly noted how successful Scioscia's teams are at playing small ball and moving players from first to third with their speed. He said it is one of the first things the team talks about in meetings before playing the Angels, and Scioscia's ability to pressure teams with speed, bunts and steals is something he hopes to be able to utilize. "His teams put a lot of pressure on you with speed and they play the game fast, and I like that style to be honest," Mattingly said. "It's nice to be able to beat teams in a lot of different ways. He does a great job over there." Scioscia played for the Dodgers from 1980 to 1992 and he was a coach in the organization for many years after. He started managing the Angels in 2000 and he entered Tuesday with 1,099 wins and a World Series title in that span.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.