Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon hustles to beat the throw to first base on a… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Reporting from Phoenix — Manager Don Mattingly said he doesn't want to call this two-month period an audition. Dee Gordon doesn't either.
"You know what?" Gordon said. "I don't look at it that way."
But with Rafael Furcal traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, Gordon is the only viable candidate in the Dodgers organization to be the everyday shortstop next season. If the Dodgers don't think the 23-year-old Gordon can handle the responsibility, they will probably have to find a shortstop on the free-agent market.
"In a sense, I guess you are auditioning for us," Mattingly said.
Called up from triple-A Albuquerque for the first time in early June, Gordon batted .232 with nine steals and 11 runs in 22 games. He was sent back down July 4.
"I learned I had stuff I needed to work on," Gordon said. "Everything, basically. Nothing's perfect."
He said he thinks he returned to the Dodgers a better and hungrier player. In 20 games he played for Albuquerque until he was called up again on Sunday, Gordon batted .375.
Heading into Friday, Gordon was batting .235 (four for 17) with one steal in four games since his recall.
Dodgers, MLB reach loan agreement
The Dodgers and Major League Baseball submitted a $150-million loan agreement to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday, under which the league would lend the Dodgers the money needed to get through the season at 7% interest and would not seize the team in the event of default.
By making the loan, however, the league did not waive any claims for "past or future violations of the MLB Rules and Regulations" that the Dodgers might have made.
When the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in June, they proposed financing the team with a hedge-fund loan arranged by owner Frank McCourt. The league countered by proposing a loan without accompanying fees and at a lower interest rate, but the Dodgers argued the team should not have to accept the loan because Commissioner Bud Selig wants to remove McCourt as owner and could use the loan terms to help accomplish that.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross last month ordered the Dodgers and MLB to negotiate a loan that would save the team money on interest and fees but would not allow MLB to use the loan as leverage to strip McCourt of the team.
In the event of default, the league can refuse any future funding and/or demand immediate repayment of funding already provided. The league can pursue legal remedies as well.
The next phase of the bankruptcy proceedings is expected to involve McCourt's effort to sell the Dodgers' cable television rights, the revenue from which could be critical to his plan to emerge from bankruptcy as the Dodgers' owner. McCourt's attorneys had said they would proceed on that front at an Aug. 16 hearing, but that date has been put off.
Infielder Jamey Carroll was voted by the Major League Baseball Alumni Assn. as the Dodgers' winner of the Heart & Hustle Award. Matt Kemp won the award last year.
Shaikin reported from Los Angeles.