Ronald Belisario undergoing substance-abuse treatment, source says
Reliever Ronald Belisario left the team earlier this week to receive treatment in a substance abuse program, according to a source familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The source, who was not authorized to speak on the matter, would not specify if Belisario is receiving residential or outpatient treatment. The source also would not identify the substance abused by the right-hander.
Belisario was arrested in Pasadena in June 2009 on suspicion of driving under the influence. Because of the charges he faced, he had trouble obtaining a work visa and remained in his native Venezuela during the first five weeks of spring training. He was on the restricted list until he was reinstated on April 21.
Belisario pleaded guilty to a lesser non-alcohol reckless driving charge in March. He must complete a drug and alcohol education program and pay a $1,000 fine by Sept. 8.
General Manager Ned Colletti declined to comment on Belisario’s situation and Manager Joe Torre said he knew nothing about it.
Informed that The Times would report that Belisario was receiving treatment for substance abuse, Belisario’s agent replied in a text message: “Why would you write that?”
The agent, Paul Kinzer, did not respond to any subsequent voice or text messages.
Belisario has been placed on the restricted list and removed from the Dodgers’ 40-man roster. He will not be paid during the time he spends on the restricted list.
Dodgers miss out on Lee
The Dodgers were among the teams engaged in talks with the Seattle Mariners about Cliff Lee, who was sent to the Texas Rangers on Friday as the centerpiece of a six-player deal.
The Mariners initially asked the Dodgers for a package including first baseman James Loney or pitcher Chad Billingsley, according to a source familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter. Loney and Billingsley are under club control through 2012; Lee will be a free agent in the winter.
The Dodgers declined the proposals and countered by offering the Mariners a package of minor leaguers. The Dodgers were willing to include any player in their system except for one.
The $4.5 million owed to Lee for the remainder of the season was not a concern for the Dodgers, the source said.
Dodgers executive Howard Sunkin was paid more than $400,000 by the team’s charity in 2007, which amounted to about a quarter of the foundation’s budget that year, federal tax records show. Sunkin’s pay was in line with that of an executive overseeing a $100-million charity, according to the New York Times, which first reported the story.
The Dodgers’ senior vice president for public affairs, Sunkin also drew a salary for his work outside of the foundation.
Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said that the salary Sunkin drew from the Dodgers Dream Foundation was a reflection of his three-year effort to expand the charity’s mission and community reach. Sunkin has had an unpaid role with the foundation since 2007, according to Rawitch.
Clayton Kershaw will pitch the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break. He will be followed by Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla and John Ely, in that order.…Outfielder Reed Johnson was unavailable due to back problems. “We don’t think it’s anything more than a few days,” Torre said.