You just knew the Dodgers would make a move before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline and here it is:
They’ve picked up second baseman Darwin Barney.
OK, so maybe that’s not the deal that clinches the pennant, but I suppose it can’t hurt. He had been designated for assignment last Tuesday by the Cubs and the Dodgers reached an agreement Monday with Chicago for a player to be named later. The Dodgers also received cash in the deal.
It’s a slightly curious move in that Barney is one of those slick fielding infielders who can’t hit, and they already have one of those in Miguel Rojas. And Rojas can play short, which Barney hasn’t seen since 2012, and then for only three games.
There’s no doubt he’s a great glove. Barney, 28, won a Gold Glove two years ago and is still considered perhaps the best-fielding second baseman in the National League.
Of course, he’s also hitting .230, which followed his .208 average last season. Since he hit .276 in his first full season in 2011, the...Read more
Is this it?
Well, of course, it might be.
Are the Dodgers ready to play as advertised, to seize the division, to string together more than three consecutive wins, to play like a team with a record payroll?
Hey, it just could be happening.
The Dodgers completed their most impressive series of the season Sunday, edging the Giants, 4-3, to sweep the three-game series at AT&T Park.
They came to San Francisco trailing the Giants by 1½ games and left with a 1½-game lead in the National League West.
It wasn’t just the winning, however, but the way they did it. They won the first two games with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw throwing only scoreless innings in easy victories.
They won the only tight game of the series Sunday with Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching well enough and the Giants helping the L.A. cause, mostly via their two new players, second baseman Dan Uggla and starting pitcher Jake Peavy.
The Dodgers have flirted at other times this season with being that much-ballyhooed team, only to...Read more
On Sunday morning the Dodgers will wake to find life is good, very good. The next morning, who knows? But for now, very good indeed.
They sent out Clayton Kershaw to start Saturday against the Giants, which is getting to be almost unfair, and he delivered as usual, pitching a two-hitter in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory at AT&T Park.
The victory pushed the Dodgers back into first place in the National League West, half a game ahead of the Giants.
After having also stunned the Giants, 8-1, on Friday, the victory also assured the Dodgers will take the three-game series. And since the Giants had won five consecutive series against the Dodgers, that had to feel pretty good too.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Sunday, but he will be hard pressed to improve upon the performance of Kershaw on Saturday night.
Kershaw gave up a first-inning single to Gregor Blanco and then retired the next 12 Giants before issuing a one-out walk in the fifth. He did not give up another hit until...Read more
Seems that old chewing gum commercial had it wrong. Why double your pleasure when you can triple your fun?
For those longing for something encouraging from those frustrating Boys in Blue, the Dodgers offered it Friday in an 8-1 victory over the Giants at ATRead more
The July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline is drawing near. Are you ready for the noise? It can be deafening.
It’s already well underway, and inevitably trades will be made and the Dodgers will be involved in some fashion, but it probably would be wise to stay clear of all that Matt Kemp noise.
The volume was turned up last week when his agent, Dave Stewart, told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that Kemp would not be opposed to a trade. It got a little louder a day later when Kemp told The Times’ Dylan Hernandez, “I want to play every day, if it's with the Dodgers, if it's with somebody else.” And it grew louder still when Stewart told CBS Sports' Jon Heyman on Friday, “Sometimes change is good. This might be time to change.”
Any more noise and Joshua’s army would be bringing down the walls of Jericho. I guess it makes good copy or fine pontificating for an agent, but reality seems a step very much removed.
True, Kemp is the player most openly disgruntled about the Dodgers’ five-man outfield. He...Read more
Yasiel Puig will start in center field for the first time this season and Hanley Ramirez will return to the lineup when the Dodgers open a three-game series Friday at AT&T Park against the San Francisco Giants.
Puig played center field as a late-inning substitute in the Dodgers’ last game. He started 10 games in center field last season.
Puig said center field was the position he played for most of his life. He laughed about how his first game of the season there would be in the spacious outfield at AT&T Park.
Puig didn’t start any of the Dodgers’ last four games. Like Ramirez, he was struck on the left hand in his last start. Matt Kemp pinch-hit for him in that game, which Puig acknowledged led to an argument between him and Manager Don Mattingly.
Ramirez was struck on his left hand a day later.
Unlike Puig, Ramirez wasn’t available to pinch-hit in the Dodgers’ recently-concluded series in Pittsburgh.
In other news, Mattingly announced the Dodgers would use their day off on Monday to reset...Read more
You don’t expect much, just greatness. Just a team for the ages. A team to inspire lofty books, a couple of songs and maybe one good movie.
Bring together what is supposed to be a loaded lineup with a record $240-million payroll, and expectations tend to rise a tad.
And by those standards, the Dodgers have been an underachieving and disappointing lot. They open their three-game series in San Francisco on Friday with the fourth-best record (56-47) in the National League.
Yet they’re only 1½ games behind the Giants in the N.L. West and at least still hovering in position to live up to haughty expectations.
But here’s the question: Can the Dodgers actually win it all without a single position player having a career year?
Or, perhaps of more concern, without a single one having even an average year?
That’s what these Dodgers currently offer. A lineup filled with guys all struggling to have what for them would be even an average season. Nobody is exactly tanking, just having subpar seasons....Read more
It has been a reasonably civil dispute, taking any fun you might be able to scavenge out of this ongoing battle between Time Warner Cable and the other satellite and cable providers not broadcasting the Dodgers.
There has been a reasonable share of biting comments and finger-pointing from various company honchos and flacks, but four months into the dispute, no one had really taken the battle to the streets and tried to rile up the masses.
Until now, anyway.
Time Warner has taken the public offensive in the disagreement, particularly calling out DirecTV and scolding the company for failing to come to an agreement. If DirecTV falls in line, it’s assumed all the rest will follow suit.
Time Warner took out a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times this month to specifically rip into DirecTV. And Time Warner is now regularly running a spot on the Dodgers’ radio network in which it says almost the identical things in the newspaper ad.
It lists four “facts,” all of which...Read more
Once he looked like a great one-year pickup. Once VHS was the rage.
Dan Haren started off 5-1 with a 2.84 earned-run average in his first eight starts for the Dodgers. Such a signing. Then came his next 13 starts, and a 3-7 record and 5.65 ERA.
Now the Dodgers have a real problem, and it was apparent once again in a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at PNC Park.
Haren gave up four runs in the first inning and the Dodgers never could recover, falling to 2-4 on their trip. They’re off Thursday before starting a three-game showdown series this weekend in San Francisco.
The Dodgers played a lazy game mentally and apparently are the only team in baseball that currently cannot hit Francisco Liriano.
Liriano has two wins in his 17 starts this season, and both have come against the Dodgers.
Haren, meanwhile, continues to look lost in trying to regain his form. And with the July 31 trade deadline approaching, the Dodgers’ patience might be coming to an end. With Josh Beckett...Read more
Hanley Ramirez is losing millions with each passing day.
A free agent after this season, it’s going to be difficult to join baseball’s super rich when he can’t stay on the field.
The Dodgers saw what a healthy Ramirez could do last season, when he caused harm to baseballs all year and looked a lot like baseball’s best hitter. He wanted to return and the Dodgers wanted him back, though initial talks apparently indicated the Dodgers first wanted him to prove he could stay healthy.
And that’s been a losing battle for Ramirez pretty much the whole season.
He’s out of the lineup again Wednesday in Pittsburgh, this time with a bruised hand, meaning he’ll have started only 80 of the Dodgers’ first 103 games -- all without going on the disabled list.
He’s 30 years old, not 40, yet it seems increasingly clear the Dodgers would be foolish to seriously...Read more
As returns go, the legend of MacArthur remains unthreatened. They’ll write no songs to celebrate Josh Beckett coming off the disabled list Tuesday, which is not to say he did not make it memorable in his way.
Beckett made his first start since July 6 when his left hip flared up and he headed to the disabled list, and it did not go well. Beckett has been a pleasant surprise this season, but Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates he lasted only 3 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on six hits – three that were solo homers.
The Dodgers managed to tie it up, but then relievers Paul Maholm, Jamey Wright, Chris Perez and Brandon League all struggled and the Dodgers' would-be rally came up short in a 12-7 loss at PNC Park.
It certainly wasn’t the prettiest game of the season, the Pirates committing two errors and hitting a batter, which was two less batters than the Dodgers managed to hit.
Pittsburgh pitcher Justin Wilson was ejected for hitting Justin Turner in the seventh and Manager Clint...Read more