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Tracy: Too Many Links Missing

Times Staff Writer

In what may or may not have been his final home game as Dodger manager, Jim Tracy came as close to criticizing the off-season roster moves of General Manager Paul DePodesta as he has throughout a phenomenally underwhelming season.

With Thursday night’s lackluster 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the home finale at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers (70-89) are one defeat from their second 90-loss season since moving to Los Angeles in 1958 (the 1992 team was 63-99) and the franchise’s fourth 90-loss season since 1913.

“If there was any disappointment from my end, it’s that several of those components from a year ago were not in the clubhouse at spring training in Vero Beach,” Tracy said, obviously referring to the likes of Adrian Beltre, Shawn Green, Alex Cora and Steve Finley, not to mention catcher Paul LoDuca, outfielder Juan Encarnacion and setup man Guillermo Mota, all jettisoned in trade-deadline deals last summer.

“Familiarity goes hand in hand with success, in my mind. ... Some of the elements we had last year that made us successful were [not here].”

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Season-ending injuries to closer Eric Gagne, outfielders Milton Bradley and J.D. Drew, shortstop Cesar Izturis, lefty reliever Kelly Wunsch and reserve catcher Paul Bako as well as significant missed time by pitcher Odalis Perez, utility player Jose Valentin and outfielder Jayson Werth helped derail the Dodgers’ season.

Still, Tracy was not sure the Dodgers could have replicated last season’s 93-69 National League West Division championship team had everyone remained healthy.

“Would it have made us a 90- to 95-win club? No,” Tracy said.

Tracy, who has an escape clause in his contract he must utilize within seven days beginning Monday, requested an extension from the Dodgers on Sept. 8.

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DePodesta said he did not take Tracy’s swipes to heart.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is we were unwilling on our part to keep the [team intact],” DePodesta said. “We had a dozen free agents. A lot of people have a say in free agents.""

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Perez was limited to four innings or 60 pitches, whichever came first, against Arizona.

The left-hander, starting for the second time since Aug. 17 because of a strained rib cage, went four shutout innings and threw 53 pitches, striking out two and walking one while giving up one hit.

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Brad Penny has been scratched from his start at San Diego on Saturday and will be replaced by Edwin Jackson, though Jackson may instead pitch Sunday.

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The Dodgers’ announced season attendance of 3,603,646 is second in club history to the 3,608,881 the team drew in 1982.


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