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June 15, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
SEATTLE - When cyclist Lance Armstrong was found to have used performance-enhancing drugs last fall, he was publicly disgraced, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport for life. When outfielder Melky Cabrera tested positive for PEDs last summer, he was suspended 50 games. Then two months later he was rewarded with a two-year $16-million contract, by far the richest of his career. It's a loophole that has undermined baseball's get-tough approach to drugs and weakened the strongest drug-testing program in U.S. professional team sports.
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February 11, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
PHOENIX - Shortly after he avoided an arbitration hearing with the Dodgers and agreed to a $4.3-million salary for the upcoming season, Kenley Jansen reflected on how he went from a light-hitting catching prospect to the closer of baseball's most expensive team. "It's unbelievable how stuff works that quick," Jansen said. "Now, a million-dollar contract. That's pretty awesome. " Jansen, 26, was paid $512,000 last season. When he and the Dodgers exchanged salary figures last month, he asked for $5.05 million and the team offered $3.5 million.
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SPORTS
February 4, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
"Drugs had destroyed my body and my mind and my spirit. I could no longer experience happiness or surprise. I couldn't remember the last time I felt spontaneous joy. Why was I even alive?" Josh Hamilton in his autobiography, "Beyond Belief" WESTLAKE, Texas -- It was 2 a.m. when Josh Hamilton, strung out on crack cocaine, his once-robust 6-foot-4, 230-pound body withered to 180 pounds, most of his $3.96-million signing bonus squandered on booze and drugs, staggered up the steps to his grandmother's house in Raleigh, N.C. Homeless, dirty and barely coherent, Hamilton was a few days removed from a suicide attempt -- an overdose of pills -- and in the fourth year of a harrowing drug addiction that caused the former can't-miss prospect to be banned from baseball for three full seasons.
SPORTS
November 14, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
  Mike Trout might be the best player in baseball. He might even win a most-valuable-player award one of these years. This was not the year, again. For the second consecutive season, Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera beat the Angels outfielder for the American League MVP award in voting announced Thursday by the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. Andrew McCutchen, the leader and best player of the team that returned postseason baseball to Pittsburgh for the first time in 21 years, was named the National League MVP. Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks finished second, followed by Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals.
SPORTS
August 20, 1994 | JEFF FLETCHER
Dave Landaker's victory came last week, when he performed the simple task of fielding a ground ball and throwing it to first base. The routine play during a rookie league game last week was momentous for Landaker. The Royal High graduate had played fewer than 10 minor league games in the field since the Houston Astros made him a second-round pick in 1992. Years of sidearm throws from shortstop had turned his right shoulder into mush. Landaker's 1994 season began in mid-June with Kissimmee, Fla.
SPORTS
August 23, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
The rites of late summer in Los Angeles include getting the kids ready to go back to school, counting down to college football season, and awaiting word from the most popular figure in Dodgers history. We cannot help on the first two fronts, but we bring good news on the third. Vin Scully is coming back. The Dodgers announced Friday that Scully, the finest broadcaster in baseball history, will return for a record 65th season in 2014. PHOTOS: 1988 Dodgers: Where are they now?
SPORTS
July 10, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
PHOENIX - Just when the baseball world thought it had seen everything that Yasiel Puig could become, the Dodgers phenom has added yet another tool. It's not as overwhelming as his bat, or as strong as his arm, but it can be just as powerful - or powerfully destructive - as both. The hot young outfielder and hitter is also now officially a villain. It happened this week in Arizona, where the charging Dodgers swept through the first-place Diamondbacks against a backdrop of boos, accusations and rips.
SPORTS
September 20, 2011 | Bill Plaschke
He first appears in the movie as he first appeared with the Dodgers, a wallflower pulled reluctantly into the spotlight, a nerd suddenly tapped on the shoulder by the cool kids. The character that is supposed to be Paul DePodesta is a rumpled and bespectacled figure leaning against a wall whispering trade vetoes to a Cleveland Indians colleague. The character that is supposed to be Billy Beane openly wonders who he is, and why everyone thinks he's so smart, and so begins a journey that Dodgers fans will instantly and painfully recognize.
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September 11, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Like many great romances, Major League Baseball's love affair with AstroTurf was born in experimentation, applied in desperation and appreciated best in moderation. Now comes its expiration. After five decades in which artificial grass was often as ubiquitous - and in some places as loathed - as the designated hitter, professional baseball is going natural. Where once a dozen stadiums featured faux fields, this season there are only two: Toronto's Rogers Centre, where the Angels will finish a three-game series Thursday, and Florida's Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
SPORTS
December 25, 1991 | JEFF MEYERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With Madonna and Geena Davis starring as 1940s pro baseball players who overcome sexism and inside fastballs to save America's sagging spirits during World War II, Columbia Pictures' upcoming "A League of Their Own" can't help but be outrageous, audacious and occasionally dramatic. The movie, as odd as it sounds--women playing hardball for a living?--is based on fact. In the long history of professional baseball in this country, women have had their own league only once.
SPORTS
November 12, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Don Mattingly, who nearly lost his job as manager of the Dodgers in June, was second in the voting for National League manager of the year. Mattingly finished behind Clint Hurdle, who led the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first playoff spot in 21 years. Mattingly was all smiles on MLB Network, which broadcast the award announcement Tuesday. In his first public appearance since he challenged the Dodgers to grant him a multiyear contract, he said the team has engaged him in discussions about a new deal.
SPORTS
November 12, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
ORLANDO, Fla. - Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford have drawn interest on the trade market over the first two days of the general managers' meetings. The Dodgers have fielded inquiries about all four of their outfielders, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The conversations were described as preliminary. Of the four, the Dodgers are most reluctant to trade Puig, who turns 23 next month. The markets for Puig, Kemp, Ethier and Crawford aren't expected to fully develop until the free-agent market is defined.
SPORTS
November 11, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Yasiel Puig excited a city, electrified Dodger Stadium, spurred record merchandise sales and helped the Dodgers to within two victories of their first World Series in 25 years. He ignited a national debate about how to play baseball the right way. He even lent his name to a rock band called "Puig Destroyer" and a rap song called "Yasiel Puig," which he promptly adopted as his walk-up music. Even with all that, he did not win the National League rookie of the year award on Monday.
SPORTS
November 11, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
ORLANDO, Fla. - When the general managers' meetings started Monday, the Dodgers and Angels still didn't know if or when one of their primary targets, Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, would be available this off-season. Some clarity on the issue is expected in the coming days. Japanese baseball officials are reportedly close to agreeing on a new set of rules governing the transfer of players from their professional league to the majors. The later the new rules are implemented, the later Tanaka will be auctioned, and teams such as the Dodgers and Angels could be forced to decide whether to delay their pursuit of other rotation candidates while waiting for him to become available.
SPORTS
November 9, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
The season of free agency is upon us, and with it the season of contractual absurdity. Baseball is awash in money - from national television contracts, local cable deals, and the most powerful website in sports, mlb.com. The industry generates $8 billion per year, and the cash flow is so generous that each team will get another $25 million in revenue next year, just from an increase in TV money. All that money has allowed even small-market teams to retain their stars. The Cincinnati Reds kept Joey Votto for $225 million.
SPORTS
November 8, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Saturday night at a black-tie dinner in Chicago, a Dodgers broadcaster will go into the Hall of Fame and it won't be Vin Scully. A shocker? No. Scully is already there. If there is a Hall of Fame that has any connection whatsoever to broadcasting and Scully isn't in it, it's a lousy Hall of Fame. Now, Charley Steiner will be joining him. That means, next year, when fans tune in to Dodgers' baseball, they will be informed and entertained by three Hall of Famers. That's far from the norm, maybe a first, and should make Dodgers fans proud.
SPORTS
January 13, 2012 | Bill Dwyre
He was a baseball player with a contradictory name. In a 17-year Hall of Fame career with the Cincinnati Reds, Johnny Bench almost never sat on one. Bench was a workhorse. Starting in 1967, and becoming arguably the best catcher ever, he played in 2,158 games, an average of 127 a season. That's a lot of squatting. He had his ways of communicating when enough was enough. "We were playing the Dodgers in Cincinnati one time, and the game the night before had gone on until something like 1 in the morning," Bench says.
SPORTS
July 13, 2012 | By Steve Dilbeck
Billy Hamilton shifted his weight from one foot to the other, a little bit of a dance solo as he stared at the pitcher. He wanted to run. Billy Hamilton always wants to run. It was the bottom of the ninth inning of a scoreless tie and he had already stolen second and third base. Now he could almost feel the pull of home plate. The batter popped up weakly; the second baseman retreated slightly to make an easy over-the-shoulder catch. That's when Hamilton improbably broke for home, scoring the winning run without a tag. "I'd never seen that one before," said Bakersfield Blaze Manager Ken Griffey, who has been in professional baseball for almost 40 years.
SPORTS
November 3, 2013 | By Ben Bolch
Dwight Howard walked past Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in that Staples Center tunnel last spring and never really stopped, the allure of less pressure and a permanent honeymoon triggering a Texas two-step. The hypersensitive hulk returns to the same court for the first time Monday night to face the Clippers, having gone from ejected in his final game as a Laker to elated in his first week as a Houston Rocket. "I'm just happy to be on the floor playing, being a lot healthier than I was last season," Howard told reporters a few days ago. "I'm just full of joy. " Why wouldn't he be?
SPORTS
November 2, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
As wild and wacky as the World Series was - Game 3 ending on an obstruction call at third base, Game 4 on a pickoff play at first . . . really? - the Boston Red Sox celebrating their third championship in 10 years won't be baseball's most indelible image of 2013. That honor belongs to the prince of pinstripes, the closer with class, and the last major league player to wear No. 42. This season's top 10 moments: Exit Sandman Mariano Rivera's farewell tour included on-field ceremonies and private gatherings with select fans, stadium and team employees throughout baseball.
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