March 2011 - Los Angeles Dodgers Wiretap
Emotional Belt Makes Giants' Roster
When Giants rookie first baseman Brandon Belt was called into manager Bruce Bochy's Wednesday's, he didn't have to wait long to learn his fate. "He kind of got right to it," Belt said. "As soon as I walked in he said, 'Congratulations, you made it.' I immediately started crying. I tried not to be too big of a wuss in there, but it's hard when you've been dreaming about this your entire life and it finally comes through. I couldn't be happier right now." Belt made the 25-man roster and will be the everyday first baseman beginning at at Los Angeles on Thursday night, when the Giants begin defense of their World Series championship against the Dodgers.
Ethier Thinks He's Entering Final Season With Dodgers
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier believes that this will be his final year with the team because, "a lot of signs are pointing that way." Ethier is entering the final season of a two-year, $15.25 million contract that will pay him $9.25 million this year. However, he won't be eligible for free agency until after 2012 because he won't have six years of big league service time at the end of this season. The Dodgers can choose to non-tender Ethier, which would make him a free agent. They went that route with Russell Martin over the winter. "My salary is increasing each year," Ethier said. "I would say the likeliness of me being here beyond this year, it's not just my decision. ... I have been kind of lucky to be in one spot in baseball for as long as I have been, for six years now. That is a long time to be in one city playing for one team. There is no inclination now other than to go out and play this year and see what we've got. "If I don't play well, we have seen them non-tender guys here. If you do play well, sometimes they don't offer those guys arbitration because their salaries are too high."
Dodgers, Billingsley Agree To Extension
The Dodgers have reached a preliminary agreement on a three-year contract extension with right-hander Chad Billingsley, according to a source. The deal includes an option for a fourth year and is worth approximately $35 million. The contract would lock up Billingsley for two years after he would be eligible for free agency. He is earning $6.275 million this year. "This is the organization I came up with and the one I'd like to be with," Billingsley said Monday.
Benches Clear At Dodgers-Padres
The Dodgers were involved in their second bench-clearing incident this spring on Saturday, this time against the Padres, who they will see 18 times over the next six months. The game turned momentarily ugly in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton hit Padres left fielder Ryan Ludwick in the foot with the second pitch he threw after entering the game. The Padres took exception because Broxton also had hit their shortstop, Orlando Cabrera, in the back with a pitch on March 10 at Camelback Ranch, in the midst of a four-run implosion by Broxton.
Dodgers Send Navarro For MRI
Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro was scratched from the starting lineup for Thursday's Cactus League game against the Rockies and sent for an MRI exam after feeling pain in his right side taking a swing during a morning session of batting practice, according to an ESPN.com report.
Casey Blake Likely Headed To DL
Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake is expected to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list due to a bad back. "Yeah, we are definitely moving in that direction," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I know guys start thinking about Opening Day and [how] they want to be ready, and they do stuff and they tell you stuff to get to Opening Day. I would rather have him miss [the first] five, seven or 10 days and then have him healthy for the rest of the year instead of trying to [bring him back] on Opening Day when he's not ready to go and not 100-percent healthy." The Dodgers will break camp on Sunday night and the thinking is that Blake won't have enough time to get ready for the season after the inflammation in his lower-thoracic region heals.
Selig Won't Comment On Dodgers' Ownership
Commissioner Bud Selig held an impromptu news conference at Sunday's Cactus League game between the Dodgers and White Sox, but he continued to deflect questions about the Dodgers' unsteady ownership situation, according to an ESPN.com report. "I'm not going to say anything [about that] today," Selig said. "I have monitored it, and I am monitoring it very closely. But I think that any further comment at this point would be very inappropriate."
Dodgers' Blake May Begin Season On DL
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly allowed for the possibility Friday that Casey Blake might begin the season on the disabled list because of the inflammation in his lower-back/rib-cage area, according to an ESPN.com report. "Right now, Casey isn't on the field. ... I don't want to try to project it yet, but obviously, we are looking at other options in case he isn't going to be available Opening Day," Mattingly said.
Kuroda Pledging $50K To Japan Relief Effort
Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda told his teammates on Tuesday that he is donating $50,000 to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort in his homeland of Japan and encouraged them to join him. "As everyone knows, Japan has been hit with the most devastating catastrophe in its history," Kuroda said. "I'm grateful to the Dodgers organization for offering a hand at this time of crisis and just praying for everyone in Japan. I am truly grateful for the concern my teammates have shown." Kuroda said his money is a portion of what he donates annually through the terms of his $12 million contract. "Every year I donate $100,000 to the ThinkCure Foundation and I decided to take half of that and give it to earthquake relief," he said. "I decided to do this as soon as the earthquake happened. And I heard the Dodgers organization was holding a fund-raiser today at Dodger Stadium and it means a lot to me that the people in this game are so concerned with what happened in Japan."
MRI Reveals Inflammation In Blake's Back
Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake has been diagnosed with nothing more serious than inflammation in his lower back following an MRI. He has reported some progress since the initial injury on Saturday, but the team released no timetable for his return. "We really don't have a timetable, but in talking with [trainer] Stan [Conte] earlier, he sounded optimistic we have a chance to get him back [quickly]," Dr. Robert Watkins, a spine specialist, said. "As soon as we can get the swelling to subside, [Blake] has a chance to be back out there."
Blake To Have MRI On Back
The Dodgers want to make sure Casey Blake's back issues aren't serious.
Casey Blake's Back Still 'Pretty Sore'
The Dodgers say Casey Blake won't miss much time, but the third baseman appears more concerned.
Casey Blake Sidelined With Back Tightness
Casey Blake is listed as day-to-day with back tightness.
Garland Likely To Miss A Month
The Dodgers will need a new fifth starter to begin the season.
Dodgers, Kershaw Agree On $500K Deal
Clayton Kershaw could be baseball's lowest-paid Opening Day starter.