Dodgers Now
All the news on the Boys in Blue
Sore hip of Dodgers' Dee Gordon is apparently good to go

Last postseason, he was a specialist. The “beep-beep” dude off the bench, the fast guy who would be used as a pinch runner and would maybe to steal a base.

Dee Gordon played in two games, never stole a base, never had any impact.

It’s a different world for Gordon this postseason. Now he enters the playoffs as the majors’ leading base stealer, the Dodgers’ regular second baseman and a player counted on to make an impact at the top of the lineup.

“I’m just excited,” Gordon said. “I was excited last year. I couldn’t sleep before the games last year, so I probably won’t be able to sleep this year.”

A Gordon with greater impact naturally requires a healthy Gordon. Something the Dodgers have been careful to check in on since he left Saturday’s game with a sore hip.

“I’m playing, for sure,” Gordon said.

Gordon participated in the Dodgers’ workout Tuesday at Dodger Stadium in anticipation of opening the division series here against the Cardinals on Friday. Gordon said he did everything he...

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Justin Turner takes hot bat back to Dodger bench

Infielder Justin Turner played in 109 games this season, the second-highest total in his career. He even batted cleanup for the Dodgers during the final series of the regular season.

But when the Dodgers begin postseason play against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, Turner will be back on the bench. Nevermind the fact that Turner, who played all four infield positions, leads the team with a .340 average, including a .422 mark in September

"It’s been that same role all year," he said after driving several balls into the left-field pavilion during batting practice Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. "You come to the field, you get ready to play.

"If I’m in the lineup, I’ll get ready to get four at-bats. And if not, I’ll get into my routine and get ready for that pinch-hit at-bat.”

Problem is, Turner is never sure when -- or if -- that at-bat will come. Maybe he'll just pinch-run or play in the field, if he plays at all. Uncertainty, like the possibility of splinters, is part of the job...

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Dodgers' Matt Kemp named National League player of the month

Matt Kemp doesn’t need confirmation from you, me or Major League Baseball to know he’s come a long way from the player who has returned from three surgeries.

Not that it’s a bad thing.

Kemp received a tad more confirmation about how he’s turned things around anyway on Tuesday when he was named the National League player of the month for September.

“Awards are always nice, but for me, it’s bigger than that,” Kemp said. “You don’t play these games for awards. Awards are nice.

“But the main award is health, and at the end the award that everybody wants is a World Series. Individual awards are nice but that World Series would mean a lot to me and a lot to everybody in this clubhouse.”

Kemp, 30, had been showing signs that he was healthy and approaching the player who came in second in voting for the NL most valuable player in 2011, but then he finished with a flourish in September. In the final month of the season Kemp hit .322 (29 for 90), led the majors with nine home runs, had seven...

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Dodgers pitcher Scott Elbert waits to learn playoff fate

The Dodgers aren't expected to publicly announce their postseason roster until Friday morning, which could make for some sleepless nights for those players competing for the final spots on the bench or in the bullpen.

Left-hander Scott Elbert is one of those. Elbert made seven appearances in September, pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing just an unearned run. He's battling left-hander Paco Rodriguez for one of the last openings in the bullpen as a lefty specialist, tasked with getting one tough left-handed hitter out.

Others on the playoff bubble include relievers Chris Perez, Pedro Baez and Carlos Frias. Infielder Darwin Barney is among those in line for a bench spot, but even that will depend on how the Dodgers align their bullpen. If they go with seven relievers, Barney probably makes the team. If they go with eight, Perez could take Barney's place.

Elbert's playoff tryout called for him to pitch in back-to-back games in the season-ending series with Colorado and he didn't allow a...

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Dodgers get a piece of KLAC-AM (570), renew radio broadcasting rights

Now that the Dodgers own a piece of KLAC-AM (570), does that mean over 70% of the Los Angeles market will no longer be able to listen to games?

Hey, there is that bad history.

On Tuesday the Dodgers announced they had taken an equity position in the radio station, at the same time saying that they had reached a new “multi-year” agreement to renew their broadcasting rights at 570.

This agreement is still subject to Major League approval.

Vin Scully has already announced that he will return for a 66th season, splitting his time broadcasting the first three innings as a simulcast and the last six on SportsNet LA (or so the 30% who receive Time Warner Cable tell us).

The Dodgers said Rick Monday and Charley Steiner will also return next season.

Meanwhile, Time Warner still has not reached an agreement with any of the other cable and satellite providers to broadcast Dodgers games for 2015. All postseason games will be televised by national broadcast stations and networks.

 

 

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Start times announced for Dodgers' opening two playoff games

Seems they’re going to announce the starting times for the playoffs incrementally, but at least the Dodgers now know the times for their first two games at home.

Both games are at Dodger Stadium, with Friday’s opener in the division series against the Cardinals scheduled to start at 3:37 p.m. -- that's right, Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright pitching in the shadows -- and Game 2 on Saturday at 6:37 p.m.

The opener will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Yep, that’s right, boys and girls, the Dodgers will be on TV the rest of the way. It’s kind of a rectangular-shaped thing. Saturday's Game 2 is scheduled to be carried by the MLB Network.

Of course, this means you’re going to have to finally figure out where Fox’s new all-sports cable channel actually is on your listings guide.

The Angels start a day earlier, though their times are an either/or proposition depending on whether Oakland or Kansas City wins the wild-card playoff game.

If Kansas City wins, the Angels will host Game 1 Thursday...

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Dodgers believe they have unfinished business

It’s the standard observation about devastating loss: You let it crush and define you, or inspire you to greater heights.

The Dodgers are a team built to win it all. Of course they were last year, too, and fell in six games to the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.

Now here they are again, ready to start this year’s postseason Friday in the division series against the Cardinals, still built to win but stinging from last year’s disappointment.

A division winner with much greater ambition.

“You come [to] spring training with this ball club and who you are, you feel like this is the first step of what you want to accomplish,” said catcher A. J. Ellis. “There is that feeling of unfinished business.”

The core of this team was here last season. There may be only a handful of players on the postseason roster who are different from 2014, leaving a majority who remember well how that ended.

“Most of this team was here a year ago,” said...

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Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez leads majors in RBIs

Seven times, Adrian Gonzalez has driven in 100 or more runs.

But the season just completed is the first in which the four-time all-star has led the league in runs batted in.

Gonzalez blasted a three-run home run in the Dodgers’ regular-season finale Sunday, raising his season RBI total to 116.

That not only topped the National League, but the majors.

“It’s cool,” Gonzalez said. “It’s what I’m here for. Being able to get that title is a cool accomplishment.”

Gonzalez finished five RBIs ahead of Mike Trout of the Angels and 11 ahead of NL runner-up Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.

“When you’re a kid, you dream of being the home-run hitter, the RBI hitter, the batting-title champ and all that stuff, so it’s cool,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez batted .276 with a team-leading 27 home runs and 41 doubles.

Told he could one day tell his children he beat Trout at something, Gonzalez smiled and replied, “I can tell my kids I beat Miguel Cabrera at something.”

Cabrera finished with 109 RBIs.

“He took...

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Magic Johnson thinks Dodgers will be on TV next year

Dodgers minority owner Magic Johnson said he is confident a majority of local households will be able to watch his team’s games on television next season.

“I think we’re going to be on TV next season,” Johnson said Sunday. “I really do.”

The Dodgers’ network, SportsNet LA, was unavailable in 70% of local households as Time Warner Cable was unable to reach a distribution agreement with DirecTV and other providers.

Comcast is in the process of taking over Time Warner; AT&T is doing the same with DirecTV. Johnson thinks a deal can be struck once the mergers have been completed.

Johnson pointed to how fans responded when the Dodgers’ final six games were aired on KDOC.

“They saw the response of the fans when they were on TV and how everybody tuned in to see the Dodgers,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that at one point, he reached out to DirecTV.

“I asked them, ‘Can we do anything to make this deal happen because our fans are suffering?’” Johnson said. “They felt they had a good proposal on the table...

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Dodgers to face St. Louis Cardinals in NLDS, with first game Friday

The Dodgers will open the postseason against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Dodgers and Cardinals faced each other in the National League Championship Series last year, with the Cardinals advancing to the World Series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 4-1 to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, which made the Cardinals the National League Central champions.

The Pirates, who finished second in the Central, will face the San Francisco Giants in the wild-card game. The wild-card winner will play the NL East champion Washington Nationals.

By virtue of their superior regular-season record, the Dodgers will have home-field advantage in their NL division series against the Cardinals.

The series will open Friday at Dodger Stadium, with Clayton Kershaw expected to take the mound for the Dodgers.

Kershaw pitched the elimination game against the Cardinals last year and was pounded for seven runs in four-plus innings.

“I think last year helped out a lot,” Kershaw said. “I had some success, obviously. Obviously...

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Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dee Gordon recovering well from injuries

The Dodgers received positive news on the medical front, as Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a pain-free bullpen session and Dee Gordon reported improvement on his irritated right hip.

Ryu, who has been sidelined with an irritated shoulder, threw around 40 pitches.

“It went very well,” Ryu said. “I didn’t feel any discomfort in my shoulder.”

The next step for Ryu will be to face batters in a simulated game Wednesday.

As for Gordon, he underwent a MRI exam after his early departure from the Dodgers’ victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night. Gordon said the tests didn’t reveal anything alarming.

Gordon said what he felt in his hip was similar to what he felt in June, when a similar condition forced him to miss one game.

Gordon said he thought he could have played Sunday in the Dodgers’ regular-season finale.

The Dodgers will be managed Sunday by Juan Uribe, with Clayton Kershaw serving as his pitching coach.

The game could be a valuable one for right-hander Chris Perez.

Perez has pitched...

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Hyun-Jin Ryu continues making progress toward playoff return

Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu took a break from his pregame dominoes game Saturday afternoon to play catch in the outfield, giving Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly hope the 14-game winner will be able to start Game 3 of the National League division series Monday, Oct. 6.

"Every time he crosses a hurdle you get more confident," Mattingly said of Ryu, who hasn't pitched in a game in more two weeks because of shoulder inflammation. "He was able to throw yesterday with a little pop on the ball. Didn’t have any problem today.

"So every time that happens, we cross a hurdle, you feel better."

Ryu, who threw 20 pitches in a truncated bullpen session Friday, is expected to have a full bullpen session Sunday morning. Also scheduled to throw Sunday is 21-game winner Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch a short simulated game. Mattingly said he thought Kershaw would throw two innings.

"A little more than probably a bullpen and a little less than a game,” he said

As for Ryu, he made two trips to the disabled...

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