Torre attends Wooden memorial

Updated: June 26, 2010, 7:19 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre attended a memorial service for UCLA basketball coaching legend John Wooden before going to Dodger Stadium for Saturday's game with the New York Yankees. Torre said Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully was among the speakers at the service.

"It was nice," Torre said. "I didn't get there until about 10 minutes to 10, and it started at 11. They had a video of all of his UCLA teams from 9-10, and then played all the music he liked from 10-11. Then his next-door neighbor played an Irish number [on the guitar and sang]. And then Al Michaels made a little speech before the invocation.

"There were a number of taped and live speeches. Vin Scully spoke, but that was after I left. It was good."

Torre on rivalry

Torre was asked before the game whether the Dodgers-Yankees rivalry, which hasn't been contested in the World Series in 29 years, is being overblown as part of the hype surrounding this weekend's three-game interleague series and whether younger generations even recognize it as a rivalry at all.

"I felt it worked to our advantage when we played the Cubs in the playoffs in 2008," Torre said. "Those poor players over there had to carry the burden of never winning that really should have been blamed on people they had never heard of. But that [so-called rivalry with the Yankees] kind of comes along with it when you put this Dodgers uniform on."

Lambo returns from suspension

Dodgers outfield prospect Andrew Lambo returned from his 50-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana use, rejoining Double-A Chattanooga and going 1 for 4 in a 3-2 loss to Birmingham on Friday night.

Also at Chattanooga, first baseman Jerry Sands, one of a handful of Dodgers prospects who were promoted within the team's minor league system this week, went 4 for 4 and homered for the second game in a row since moving up all the way up from low Single-A Great Lakes, skipping right over high Single-A.

Sands, a 25th-round draft pick out of Catawba College in North Carolina, is hitting .625 (5 for 8) with two homers in his two games with the Lookouts. Before his promotion, Sands, 22, hit .333 with 18 homers, 46 RBI and a .432 on-base percentage in 69 games at Great Lakes.

Left-hander Aaron Miller, the club's first pick in last year's draft (36th overall), also was promoted to Chattanooga from Inland Empire. He took the loss in his Double-A debut Friday night, but gave up just two runs on three hits over six innings, striking out six.

Miller was just 2-4 at Inland Empire despite posting a 2.77 ERA and giving up just 53 hits in 74 2/3 innings.

"He was pitching well," said DeJon Watson, the Dodgers' assistant general manager for player development. "If you look at his numbers in the Cal League, he wasn't getting much run support. But his overall skill set is good. He manages the running game well, throws quality strikes and is very competitive, with a three-pitch mix of fastball, change and slider."

McDonald update

On another minor league note, right-hander James McDonald was scheduled to make one final rehabilitation start -- he has a right-hamstring injury -- for the Dodgers' Arizona Rookie League affiliate on Saturday, after which he was tentatively scheduled to return to the starting rotation for Triple-A Albuquerque.

McDonald, who has logged major league time each of the past two seasons and was on last fall's playoff roster, stands a good chance of returning to the majors later this season if he can stay healthy and regain his effectiveness.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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