Wearing a Dodgers' jersey over his dress shirt and tie, Hiroki Kuroda took the Dodger Stadium mound for the first time on a sunny Sunday in Los Angeles. The conditions were appropriate considering the free-agent Japanese right-hander said moments earlier at an introductory news conference that weather was a factor in his decision to sign with the Dodgers. While it was nothing more than a photo opportunity, Kuroda seemed to enjoy the feeling of his new ballpark. "You can tell it's going to be a great setting to play," he said through a translator, mentioning the tradition as well. For the Dodgers, it was a vision they've awaited for a long time. "We've been thinking about this for well over a year," GM Ned Colletti said a day after Kuroda agreed to a three-year, $35.3 million contract. "Our expectation is he's going to be a real solid pitcher for us, make a lot of starts, pitches a lot of innings."