Friday, Aug. 20, 2004 | 9:29 a.m.
An announcement could come as soon as today on a two-year extension of the Las Vegas 51s' player development contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Las Vegas general manager Don Logan said he was expecting to hear from Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng today regarding the contract. Ng was reviewing it Thursday with Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta.
"I think an announcement is imminent," Logan said Thursday. The deal would likely be for two years.
Logan outlined various Band-Aid improvements to 21-year-old Cashman Field the organization is making to help entice the Dodgers. Those include a new weight room that was recently installed as well as an indoor batting cage that will be in place next year.
"That hopefully is going to be enough to tell them we are very desirous of having the Dodgers," Logan said. "We're going to work very hard to get a new stadium between now and the time the (contract) would expire."
The 51s were believed to be close to announcing a new Triple-A stadium in Henderson last season, before a group began an effort to lure the National League's Montreal Expos to Las Vegas. That put talks for a new minor league stadium on hold. Those talks could resume shortly after baseball announces the Expos' new home, should it be a location other than Las Vegas.
Las Vegas first became home to the Dodgers' Triple-A team in 2001 after 18 years as the top farm club for the San Diego Padres. After nearly four seasons with the Dodgers, the 51s are 286-271, a .513 winning percentage that includes an 85-59 season in 2002, the best in franchise history.
Edwin Jackson, who started the season with Las Vegas but was injured in a major league start in July, will pitch tonight at Tucson. Jackson was scheduled to start Wednesday, but a rainstorm caused a nearly two-hour delay with one out in the top of the first inning, and Jackson's start was called off.
Hideo Nomo, who started the year as the Dodgers' ace but struggled before sustaining a rotator cuff injury, will make his second rehab start in a week and third this season Saturday night at Salt Lake. Nomo allowed four hits and one earned run in three innings Monday at Sacramento. He struck out five River Cats, but took the loss in a 6-0 shutout. Saturday's game will be televised on Cox Cable channel 96.
Shoemaker managed the 51s to a 76-66 record in 2003. This year, he has been a roving instructor for the Dodgers.
"I've been traveling the last three weeks and was most recently in Ogden (Utah), and (the organization) asked me to come back here and help out," Shoemaker said. "I had only seen them play in six games this year. There are some new faces on the ballclub, so this is a good chance to come back and see improvement."