Posted on: December 7, 2010 4:40 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 4:46 pm
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- According to a ruling Tuesday by a California judge, the Dodgers may no longer belong to Frank McCourt alone. It seems his ex-wife Jamie may have claim to them as well, further muddling the ownership situation.
Good thing the Dodgers have already finished most of their offseason shopping.
Or maybe that was the idea.
According to sources who have spoken to the team, some part of the motivation for shopping early was to avoid the possibility that a legal ruling could cause the money to dry up. General manager Ned Colletti was told at the end of the season that the payroll could rise from where it was on opening day 2010 (about $102 million).
Colletti quickly re-signed left-handed starter Ted Lilly, then also signed right-handers Jon Garland and Hiroki Kuroda, shortstop Juan Uribe and catcher Rod Barajas. This week, he was finalizing a deal with pitcher Vicente Padilla, and was still looking to add an outfielder. They'd like to re-sign Scott Podsednik, but think he has been asking for too much money.
According to the Los Angeles Times , Tuesday's ruling by Judge Scott Gordon could keep the team in legal limbo for several more years. Gordon ruled that a 2004 marital agreement signed by the McCourts was invalid, but the Times suggested that Frank McCourt could either appeal the ruling or use a different legal strategy to prove his sole ownership of the team.
Many people in baseball have hoped that an impasse in the case would force the McCourts to sell the team.
Posted on: August 1, 2010 9:23 pm
Cliff Lee lost his first start for the Rangers. Dan Haren not only lost his Angels debut, but he was knocked out of the box by a line drive.
Roy Oswalt lost his first Phillies start.
Yeah, it's great to trade for a starting pitcher, isn't it?
You make the deal with hopes that it will go the way it did for Lee last year, when he won his first five starts for the Phillies, then took them all the way to the World Series. You remember that CC Sabathia went 11-2 down the stretch with the 2008 Brewers, and changed the story of a franchise by taking them to the playoffs.
You remember Doyle Alexander (9-0) with the 1987 Tigers. You don't remember Jarrod Washburn (1-3) with the 2009 Tigers.
A starting pitcher traded at midseason doesn't get that many chances to affect the pennant race. Lee made just 12 regular-season starts for the Phillies last year; even Sabathia, who was dealt before the All-Star break and famously pitched on three days' rest down the stretch in September, started only 17 regular-season games for the Brewers.
The best deals make a difference, but with so few starts, each one is precious.
Oswalt makes his second Phils start this Wednesday in Florida. Haren makes his third Angels start Wednesday in Baltimore. Lee, who lost to the Angels in Anaheim on Sunday, will face the A's this weekend in Oakland.
Meanwhile, three other teams show off new starters this week, as you'll see in 3 to watch:
1. The Cardinals no doubt would have rather had Oswalt, but the guy they got was Jake Westbrook, who has come back well from Tommy John surgery. Westbrook's first start will come in Astros at Cardinals, Monday night (8:15 ET) at Busch Stadium . Westbrook is a career American Leaguer. He was 6-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 27 interleague games against National League teams. His opponent Monday is Brett Myers, the guy a lot of teams would have liked to have traded for; the Astros instead signed him to a contract extension.
2. The Dodgers were seven games out of first place at the deadline, and 4 1/2 games behind in the wild-card race. But the Dodgers obviously still believe they can win, as they picked up four players in the last week, including starter Ted Lilly, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Lilly gets a tough assignment in his debut with his new team, facing Mat Latos in Padres at Dodgers, Tuesday night (10:10 ET) at Dodger Stadium .
3. Edwin Jackson keeps moving from team to team, impressing everyone with his stuff and his makeup, but never making enough of an impact that anyone decides he's indispensible. Will that change with the White Sox, his fifth team in an eight-year career? We'll find out, beginning with White Sox at Tigers, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Comerica Park . One interesting note: Jackson lost his final two starts for the Tigers, both against the White Sox last September. One reason he did, according to a source, is that he was tipping his pitches then and the White Sox had picked it up. Jackson is an interesting deadline pickup, anyway, because his career ERA after the All-Star break is 5.09, more than half a run worse than his pre-break ERA of 4.47.
Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:05 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 2:32 pm
The Dodgers have acquired pitcher Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot from the Cubs.
Infielder Blake DeWitt and two minor leaguers will go to the Cubs, and sources familiar with the deal told CBSSports.com that Chicago will pay $2.5 million to help offset Lilly's salary. Lilly is making $12 million this year, and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Before settling on Lilly, the Dodgers had asked the Cubs about Ryan Dempster. They also talked to Pittsburgh about Paul Maholm, and to the Astros about Roy Oswalt.
Lilly isn't a big impact starter, but the Dodgers needed to add to their rotation, and he could provide some help.
"The stuff isn't there anymore, but he still competes," said one scout who has watched him recently.
Posted on: July 18, 2010 8:28 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 8:45 pm
Yankee fans cared very much about George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard. Baseball fans everywhere have cared very much about Stephen Strasburg.
Now Alex Rodriguez is approaching 600 home runs.
Do you care?
There's been amazingly little A-Rod buzz, and from what I was told, there wasn't much reaction from the Yankee Stadium fans when Rodriguez hit his 598th home run Sunday against the Rays.
You'd think it would be a meaningful milestone. Only six players have hit 600 home runs, and A-Rod (who turns 35 on July 27) will be the youngest ever to get there -- unless it takes him more than a year to hit two more home runs.
So why is there no buzz?
Is it that Rodriguez admitted using steroids earlier in his career? Is it that the steroid era has made 600 home runs seem that much less significant? Are we waiting for him to approach Willie Mays (660 home runs), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), the numbers that earn A-Rod $6 million bonuses in his most recent contract? Do we just not like A-Rod?
Or maybe the buzz is suddenly going to appear Tuesday night, when A-Rod gets his first legitimate chance at reaching 600. He needs two more home runs, and he has hit two or more in a game 55 times in his career.
Not only that, but he has hit 67 career home runs against the Angels, by far the most he has hit against any opponent.
For the record, none of the six guys with 600 home runs hit Nos. 599 and 600 in the same game. Ruth came closest, hitting them on back-to-back days in St. Louis, in 1931.
A-Rod took nearly two weeks between 498 and 500, and also between 398 and 400.
So this countdown could take a while. But unless the buzz builds, this may be the only time it appears in 3 to watch:
1. Two years ago, when Ken Griffey Jr. reached 600 before a sparse crowd in Miami -- maybe there wasn't that much buzz then, either -- Rodriguez told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that it's always better to reach big milestones at home. Rodriguez has six chances to get to 600 on this homestand, starting with Angels at Yankees, Tuesday night (7:05 EDT) at Yankee Stadium . At least Rodriguez won't be facing Scott Kazmir, who has held him to four hits -- and no home runs -- in 29 career at-bats. Kazmir went on the disabled list Sunday, and the Angels told reporters that they plan to call up a starter from the minor leagues to pitch Tuesday. A-Rod is also homerless in 35 plate appearances against Wednesday starter Joel Pineiro. He has four homers in 19 at-bats against Jered Weaver, who won't pitch in this series.
2. The fans want to see Strasburg. The scouts, most likely, will instead head for Chicago, to watch potential trade targets Brett Myers and Ted Lilly face off, in Astros at Cubs, Wednesday afternoon (2:20 EDT) at Wrigley Field . In a pitching market that no longer includes Cliff Lee, Myers and Lilly could be two of the more attractive properties.
3. Nothing against Bronson Arroyo, who will be Strasburg's opponent in Nationals at Reds, Wednesday night (7:10 EDT) at Great American Ball Park , but wouldn't it have been more compelling if Strasburg was starting a day earlier, against fellow rookie Mike Leake, or a day later, against Edinson Volquez? Apparently ESPN didn't care, as yet another Strasburg start has been scheduled for national television. Can't say I blame them.
Posted on: September 4, 2008 11:10 am
The Cubs are nine games up on a playoff spot with 22 games to play. Even with their tough schedule (6 vs. Milwaukee, 4 vs. Mets, 3 at Houston), they should get to October even if their rotation is headed by Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly, rather than Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden.
But that's not really the point, is it?
If this 100-year drought is going to end, the Cubs don't just have to get to October. They've been to the playoffs before, as recently as last year.
No, the scary part for the Cubs is that they don't seem to know for sure whether Zambrano will pitch again this year. And while they've penciled in Harden for a start next week against the Cardinals, any hint that he's hurt (he'll go at least 11 days between starts because of "discomfort") brings up all of his awful history with injuries.
Should the Cubs be worried? You bet.