August 2009 - Los Angeles Dodgers Wiretap
'Secret Sauce' Likes Yankees, Dodgers, Giants In Short Playoff Series
New York magazine took Nate Silver's "Secret Sauce" theory and applied it to this year's teams, and it showed that the Yankees are favorites to succeed in this fall's playoffs. In its simplest terms, the theory emphasizes a power pitching staff, a good closer and good defense to win a short series. The Dodgers ended up second in this statistical ranking, followed by the Giants, Tigers and Red Sox.
Dodgers Acquire Belliard From Nationals
The Dodgers have landed infielder Ronnie Belliard from the Nationals in exchange for minor league pitcher Luis Garcia. Los Angeles will also send Washington a player to be named later. Belliard started the season slow, but has picked it up lately and is hitting .367 in August. "He gives us some offense," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He can play around the infield, probably all positions but shortstop. It gives me the ability to spell these guys. He gives us a little more depth with experience coming off the bench."
MLB Probing Feud Between Rockies, Umps
Major League Baseball could punish both umpires and Rockies players for their actions during and after a game on Monday night. Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson told the Associated Press that the league is looking into the "serious" matter. A number of Rockies exchanged words with the umpiring crew during and following the game; a 14-inning win over the Giants. Players alleged after the game that second base umpire Bill Miller called Yorvit Torrealba a derogatory name while the catcher was a baserunner, according to the Denver Post.
Yankees Overtake Dodgers For Top Spot In MLB Rankings
The Opsera is a statistic I created in order to rank teams by how well they hit (OPS) and pitch (ERA). In order to determine a team's Opsera, I take their OPS, move the decimal point over one place to the right and then subtract the team's ERA from that number. 1. New York Yankees: 4.05 The Yankees have the 4th best ERA in baseball since the All-Star break, with 14 saves as they've created a ton of separation in the AL East. 2. Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.04 Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have become the monster young outfielders we expected this season, with OPS' of .872 and .900 respectively. 3. Tampa Bay Rays: 3.75 Who had Jason Bartlett in their preseason poll to lead the Rays in OPS? Or Ben Zobrist for that matter? Those two have OPS' of .934 and .929, ahead of their big three of Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. 4. St. Louis Cardinals: 3.73 Matt Holliday is hitting .430/.462/.720 in his first 93 at bats with Cards. 5. Atlanta Braves: 3.72 The Braves have the best fielding independent ERA in baseball with a mark of 3.69, slightly ahead of San Francisco's 3.74. 6. Boston Red Sox: 3.70 Daniel Bard has a 5.56 ERA since the break. 7. Colorado Rockies: 3.63 Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa and Jason Marquis have all been excellent since the All-Star break, with ERAs of 2.49, 3.00 and 3.18 respectively. 8. Texas Rangers: 3.58 The Rangers are second in isolated power with a mark of .196; the highest last season was from the White Sox with just .185. 9. Philadelphia Phillies: 3.57 Philadelphia pitchers have an excellent LOB% of 75.2%. 10. Chicago Cubs: 3.50 The Cubs have finally demoted Kevin Gregg and the club is 8th in blown saves with 17. 11. San Francisco Giants: 3.48 The Giants have the best UZR in all of baseball, barely edging out the Mariners; last season they were ranked 9th. 12. Toronto Blue Jays: 3.46 Aaron Hill and Adam Lind have 28 and 24 homers apiece, which is what they needed from Alex Rios and Vernon Wells. 13. Chicago White Sox: 3.44 Alex Rios has hit safely in five of his first six games with the White Sox, but he has an OPS of just .588. 14. Detroit Tigers: 3.32 The Tigers have a very human OPS of .734 since the break. 15. Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.27 Mark Reynolds has 14 homers since the All-Star break. 16. Los Angeles Angels: 3.24 The Angels have an outstanding .864 OPS since the All-Star break, while scoring 218 runs. 17. Florida Marlins: 3.24 The Marlins have recorded 10 or more hits in 14 consecutive games. 18. Seattle Mariners: 3.20 Checking in on Ken Griffey, he has a .819 OPS in August and .723 for the season. 19. New York Mets: 3.00 The Mets have hit just one homer for every 56.2 at bats, while the Yankees have been twice as effective with one for every 23.0 at bats. 20. Minnesota Twins: 2.98 The Joe Mauer for MVP campaign is now in full swing and he truly doesn't have a peer in the category. As much as I'd like to see him become Broadway Joe in the Bronx, I sincerely hope he remains St. Paul Joe at the new Target Field for the remainder of his career. This is the winter that they need to sign him before the Yankees (or Red Sox for that matter) make him an offer he can't refuse and the Twins can't match. 21. Milwaukee Brewers: 2.81 The Brewers have given up 1.39 homers per nine innings, which is the worst ratio in the MLB. 22. Houston Astros: 2.76 The Astros have grounded into an MLB-worst 112 double plays. 23. Cleveland Indians: 2.66 The Indians have the best road OPS in baseball with a mark of .820, but they only have a 26-34 record. 24. Oakland Athletics: 2.65 The Oakland lineup I saw on Tuesday against CC Sabathia and Yankees was one of the worst on paper that I've ever seen, so I was shocked to learn that the A's are second in runs scored since the break. 25. Washington Nationals: 2.62 The Nationals are one of seven teams with walks in at least 10% of their at bats. 26. Pittsburgh Pirates: 2.55 Take Garrett Jones. Multiply by eight and then the Pirates might have something. 27. Cincinnati Reds: 2.47 The Reds have the lowest team OPS in baseball and also are lowest in BABIP with a mark of .275. 28. Baltimore Orioles: 2.39 Matt Wieters came into the 2009 season as baseball's next great catcher, but Joe Mauer has put his spikes to the O's catcher and delayed that launch. Wieters is hitting better from the left (.736) than the right (.617), but he clearly has a long ways to go. 29. Kansas City Royals: 2.38 Billy Butler has quietly put up nice numbers, with an .841 OPS. 30. San Diego Padres: 2.36 Despite their cavernous ballpark, the Padres have thrown just two shutouts this season.
Source: Dodgers Looking At Padilla
The Dodgers have interest in Vicente Padilla, a major-league source told FOX Sports on Wednesday. Padilla is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday afternoon and could sign with a new team soon after. The Rangers placed him on waivers this Monday.
Wolf K's 10, Falls Triple Shy Of Cycle
Randy Wolf was dominant for the Dodgers on Sunday, striking out 10 batters and falling a triple shy of the cycle at the plate. Wolf led Los Angeles to a 9-3 win over Arizona. "Wolf gave us the lift we needed after last night's game and we came off the trip on a good note," manager Joe Torre said, according to MLB.com. "He did it all. What can I say?" The pitcher had one of the team's three home runs, hit a single and also slugged an RBI double in the victory.
Kuroda Feels 'Lucky To Be Alive'
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda feels "lucky to be alive" after being hit in the head with a line drive. Kuroda has hit on the right side of the head by a ball off the bat of Arizona's Rusty Ryal on Saturday. "It happened so fast that I didn't have any time to be scared," Kuroda told the Los Angeles Times, "I was kind of scared about what was going to happen next." The right-hander wants to return to the mound soon, but admitted that the decision is up to manager Joe Torre.
Marlins, Cards, Dodgers Interested In Smoltz
The Red Sox are expected to release John Smoltz when his 10-day waiver period ends. The veteran pitcher refused a minor league assignment and a spot in Boston's bullpen. The Marlins, Cardinals and Dodgers remain interested in Smoltz.
Dodgers' Kuroda Hit In Head By Line Drive
Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a line drive during a 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday night, but tests revealed no fracture or internal bleeding, according to an Associated Press report. ?Amazingly, things look really pretty good,? Dodgers athletic trainer Stan Conte said. ?The fact that he didn?t lose consciousness is a very good sign.? Kuroda was to spend the night at St. Joseph?s Hospital for observation.
Russell Martin: I've Never Done Steroids
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin has struggled this season, and some around the game believe that he lacks the strength he once had. "There are 2-0 pitches, 3-1 pitches that he's missing," a National League scout told the Los Angeles Times. "In the past, he could sit there and punish them. He doesn't swing with the same intensity that he used to." Martin understands the speculation, but hopes that people don't see him in that light. "I hope people don't think that," Martin says. "It would be unjust." The catcher points out that he came into the Majors in 2006, when baseball was already testing for performance-enhancing drugs. "I came in when we had the testing," he says. "It'd be kind of hard to get away with that." For the record, Martin says he never took any banned substances.
Dodgers Nearly Made Deal For Heath Bell
The Dodgers were close to acquiring Padres closer Heath Bell at the non-waiver deadline.
Billingsley To Miss Next Start
Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley will miss his scheduled start against the Giants on Wednesday.
Dodgers Looking At Smoltz, Padilla
The Dodgers are looking for pitching help and both John Smoltz and Vicente Padilla are options.
Jason Schmidt's Career May Be Over
The Dodgers have placed Jason Schmidt on the disabled list, a move that could signal the end of the pitcher's career.
Fielder Regrets Reaction To Plunking
Prince Fielder expressed some regret on Friday for his actions earlier in the week after being hit by a pitch against the Dodgers.
Hudson Unlikely To Return To Dodgers?
Orlando Hudson will head into free agency this winter and a return to the Dodgers may be unlikely.
Fielder, Mota Fined But Not Suspended
Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota were each levied fines by Major League Baseball.
Fielder Entertains Dodger Stadium With 0-For-5, Stolen Base
Prince Fielder was passionately booed by the Dodger Stadium of 50,276 each time he came to bat.
Furious Fielder Stopped At Dodgers' Clubhouse Door
Prince Fielder was denied in his post-game attempt to challenge Guillermo Mota, who hit him with a pitch in the ninth inning on Tuesday night.
Torre: Manny's Hand Isn't An Issue
Dodgers manager Joe Torre claims that Manny Ramirez's hand isn't an issue.