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July 8, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
PHOENIX - The firefighter was a Dodgers fan. His wife's family are Dodgers fans. His nephew is named after Vin Scully. Perhaps it only made sense that Andrew Ashcraft's survivors would seek a moment of peace at a Dodgers game. Barely a week ago, Ashcraft was one of the 19 elite wildlife firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., who perished in the Yarnell Hill blaze. On Monday, several dozen of his family members climbed into a bus supplied by the Arizona Diamondbacks and rode it 125 miles south to Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks play the Dodgers.
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July 6, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Smart money The divorce of Dwight Howard and the Lakers might be the biggest story in town, and NBA legend Magic Johnson is an owner of the Dodgers. So the L.A. sports fan ought to appreciate that the best moves the Dodgers made last week included trading for cap space. There is no salary cap for major league players, but the new collective bargaining agreement caps what teams can spend on amateurs. After Bob Engle , the Dodgers' vice president of international scouting, determined the team needed more cap space to pursue players around the world, the Dodgers traded reliever Matt Guerrier to the Chicago Cubs for reliever Carlos Marmol . Dodgers fans vented about why their team would want the erratic Marmol, but what the Dodgers really wanted was the additional $200,000 in international cap space the Cubs included in the trade.
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June 27, 2013 | Chris Erskine
Dear Dodgers fans, let me just say that interviewing you in the first inning is a far different experience from speaking to you in the sixth, when that icy concoction you've been slurping completely Novocains your mouth and you almost swallow your tongue. Don't get me wrong: They're both good experiences. One is just more entertaining than the other, like those snippets that go yard on YouTube. But this much is clear from 75 interviews Tuesday night: You Dodgers fans are loyal, almost to a fault.
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June 22, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
SAN DIEGO - The Dodgers talked the talk Saturday. They had won, and they talked about how this victory could launch them on the winning streak that could save their season. "We've said that how many times this year?" catcher A.J. Ellis said. Too many to count, so let the Dodgers simply enjoy their 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers won this game in June the way they drew it up in December, with a dominant start from Zack Greinke and home runs from Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez.
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June 18, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
It was a graduation speech. Each fifth-grader at Burlingame's Lincoln Elementary gave one. They were allotted one minute to describe their favorite school memory. Some talked about their first teacher. Others talked about a recent field trip to the Hyatt. A blindingly hopeful 10-year-old named Casey Johnstone changed the subject, using his moment to speak for the blinding hope of generations. In the heart of San Francisco Giants country last Friday night, he stepped to the microphone in his bright blue shirt and talked about his love for the Dodgers.
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June 15, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
Of all the important numbers rolling around Stan Kasten's busy brain, from a giant Dodgers payroll to shrinking Dodgers victories to the size of the line at reserved-level bathrooms, the number that most shaped his life is the one he's never known. It was tattooed in blue on the left forearm of his father. The number was blurred because, during the five years Nathan Kasten spent in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, he would continually gnaw his skin in an attempt to suck out the ink. "His memories, my lessons," Kasten said.
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June 6, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Wednesday night's game between the Dodgers and the Padres wasn't held at Dodger Stadium, as scheduled. It took place at Yasiel Puig World. Disney might try to buy the place and raise ticket prices some more. Hours before the Cuban overnight sensation had to face curves and fastballs from San Diego right-hander Jason Marquis, he had to face the media music. The microphones and notepads swooped in like vultures. This is Hollywood and a star had been born. No long labor here.
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June 3, 2013 | By Gary Klein and Andrew Gastelum
If Dodgers fans were expecting some fireworks when the Padres and Carlos Quentin came to Chavez Ravine, they'll just have to wait for their usual place on Friday nights. At least for today, as Quentin was left out of the Padres starting lineup. Monday night's game marks the first time since the infamous April 11 benches-clearing brawl that Quentin was eligible to face the Dodgers. Padres Manager Bud Black said Quentin will not be in the starting lineup because of a left shoulder injury that stems from a collision with the outfield wall in Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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May 31, 2013
It's hard to believe that Matt Kemp has made the Dodgers' $160-million investment disappear quicker than Bernie Madoff ever could have. Herb Schoenberg Tarzana :: I have never heard of a team being worse off if a guy that's hitting .251 with two home runs and 17 RBIs goes on the disabled list. I'm pretty sure that a minor leaguer could equal or exceed those numbers in half the time. How does Matt Kemp injure his hamstring when he hardly, if ever, goes full speed? Geno Apicella Placentia :: Lest we forget, Matt Kemp is a paid performer and he's not earning his keep.
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May 7, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
He had just made the final out in a city where his name is booed, his jersey is reviled, and his team had been swept. His power had disappeared, his swing was spotty, and his season was a wreck. Matt Kemp would have been excused for quickly disappearing through the dugout at San Francisco's AT&T Park on Sunday night and forgetting all about an earlier promise to third base coach Tim Wallach. “But that was the neat deal about it,” Wallach said. “He was standing there waiting for me.” PHOTOS: Greatest moments in Dodger Stadium history Kemp was waiting to cross the diamond to sign an autograph for a terminally ill Dodgers fan, waiting to summon the passion necessary to pass along the hope that he now found so precious.
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