Familiar faces in L.A.

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Good afternoon from Dodger Stadium, where it’s 85 degrees and sunny, very little pollution for a change. I guess you could say this is a stark contrast from New York, where Ben is going to be subjected to the cold and rain tonight for Game 1 of the ALCS. Sorry, pal, them’s the breaks.

I’m out here covering the NLCS between the Phillies and Dodgers, and Game 2 will be underway within the hour (first pitch at 4:07 p.m. Eastern). But before getting to that, I had to share a couple of encounters I’ve had the last two days, featuring two men who are very familiar to those of you back in D.C.: Jim Bowden and Frank Robinson.

Yes, both the Nats’ former GM and former manager are here, in different capacities. Bowden is here doing XM Radio and has been on the field all morning during BP. We shook hands and said hello, but he was about to go back on the air, so there wasn’t really any time for chit-chatting. He appears to be in a good mood, though. He’s certainly in his element, right in the middle of both the baseball and the Hollywood spotlight.

Robinson, meanwhile, is here in official capacity as a member of MLB’s Commissioner’s Office. Those of you who watched the NLDS games in Denver earlier in the week may have spotted him sitting behind the dugout, all bundled up in the cold. Spent a good 15 minutes talking to Frank before last night’s game, and I can tell you this: He still follows the Nats seriously. Watches most games on TV and has some strong opinions on plenty of the players. I won’t reveal his precise thoughts on individuals, because I don’t think he intended for those to be made public. But I will say he believes the Nats would be wise to bring Stephen Strasburg along slowly and not rush the phenom to the majors. Frank does believe the Nats have made some significant progress, but he thinks they’ve still got a ways to go.

So we had a Jim Bowden sighting. A Frank Robinson sighting. All we need now is for Tony Tavares to show up, and it’ll be 2005 all over again.

Anyways, here are today’s lineups for Game 2…

PHILLIES

SS Jimmy Rollins

CF Shane Victorino

2B Chase Utley

1B Ryan Howard

RF Jayson Werth

LF Raul Ibanez

3B Pedro Feliz

C Carlos Ruiz

P Pedro Martinez

DODGERS

SS Rafael Furcal

CF Matt Kemp

RF Andre Ethier

LF Manny Ramirez

1B James Loney

3B Casey Blake

2B Ronnie Belliard

C Russell Martin

P Vicente Padilla

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Mark Zuckerman

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