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Down The Line

August 17, 2008|Bill Shaikin

Think blue, act green

News item: The Dodgers sell their Vero Beach minor league franchise for close to $3.5 million, according to a source who declined to be identified because the buyer has not yet made an announcement.

News item: The Dodgers tell other teams trades must be "revenue-neutral," and they acquire Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake only when their former teams agree to pay off their contracts.

Why have the Dodgers taken in money but chosen not to spend it on player acquisition?

"Your two points are unrelated," Dodgers spokesman Charles Steinberg said. "If-then logic does not apply here."

He said the long-planned sale is part of the Dodgers' relocation of their spring home to Arizona and has no impact on whether the club decides to put prospects and/or dollars on the table in trade talks.

News item: The Dodgers put Brad Penny on the disabled list. Cost to acquire the contract of Greg Maddux for the remainder of the season: just above $2 million.

Hank Steinbrenner's Yankees mythology

Quote: "I think it's very simple. We've been devastated by injuries. No team in baseball has been decimated like this."

Fact: The New York Yankees have used the disabled list 21 times through Friday, tied for fifth in the major leagues, according to STATS LLC.

The New York Mets, in first place in the NL East, have used the DL 21 times. The Rays, in first place in the AL East, have used the DL 20 times.

Quote: "[Chien-Ming] Wang won 19 games two straight years. [Joba] Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can't lose two guys like that."

Fact: The Angels lost 19-game winner John Lackey for the first six weeks of the season and lost 18-game winner Kelvim Escobar for the entire season.

Fact: The Cubs' Rich Harden has a better ERA than Chamberlain, better ratios of strikeouts to walks and strikeouts per nine innings, a better opponents' batting average and a lower WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched).

The Padres' Jake Peavy betters Chamberlain in four of those five categories. The Indians' Cliff Lee betters him in three, and Lee is 17-2 for a team that is 12 games under .500.

Who's running the Reds?

For the first time since 1983, the Cincinnati Reds may finish in last place, in Dusty Baker's first season as manager. He apparently would like you to know he is not the problem.

"This is Wayne Krivsky's team, not Walt Jocketty's and not mine," Baker told the Dayton Daily News. "I just hope there is enough out there after the season that we can get to help us."

The Reds fired Krivsky as general manager in April and replaced him with Jocketty. But Baker is the power broker -- at least the way pitcher Bronson Arroyo tells it, in expressing confidence the Reds will add hitters this winter after trading Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr.

"I think Dusty has enough pull to get them to go out and sign some hitters," Arroyo told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "If we had a real young manager, I'd be worried."

Can Lasorda get a golden tattoo?

The Rays' Grant Balfour has the Olympic rings and "2000" tattooed onto his left arm. The right-hander pitched for Australia, in his hometown of Sydney, in the 2000 Games.

"You're not always a big leaguer. You'll retire," Balfour said. "But they say you'll always be an Olympian."

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