September 4, 2011 |
Reporting from Atlanta -- Hong-Chih Kuo said baseball is fun for him again — and so long as his elbow holds up, the former All-Star reliever intends to pitch again next season. "I'll try to pitch," Kuo said. This wasn't always a given. In a season in which he landed on the disabled list because of an anxiety disorder and performed erratically, there were times when Kuo was noncommittal about his future. Kuo, whose earned-run average was 12.46 as recently as July 31, has looked like the Kuo of old in recent weeks.
August 25, 2008 |
PHILADELPHIA -- Andruw Jones had played 1,835 games in the major leagues and another 324 games in the minor leagues without ever playing first base. Until Saturday night, that is. Jones, on a rehabilitation assignment at triple-A Las Vegas, played first base -- at his request. The Dodgers invested $36 million in Jones as a center fielder. Yet the club management and training staff approved his request, deciding the risk of injury at an unfamiliar position did not warrant holding him out of the lineup.
July 21, 2008 |
PHOENIX -- Russell Martin hasn't seen Pablo Ozuna hit or field a baseball, but he knows this of his newest teammate: He can run. Ozuna, a 34-year-old utilityman who was released by the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday and signed by the Dodgers four days later, was used as a pinch-runner on Sunday and made an immediate impact, scoring from first on a ninth-inning double by Matt Kemp to tie the score and set the stage for a 6-5 victory over the...
August 30, 2009 |
On the eve of his third start for the Dodgers, Charlie Haeger talked about the courage required to be a knuckleball pitcher. "It takes some guts to throw a 66-mph pitch," he said. Saturday, he showed why that's true. Haeger was savaged by the Cincinnati Reds, giving up four runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings to blow a four-run lead. Making things palatable for Haeger was that the Dodgers claimed an 11-4 win at Great American Ball Park and that Manager Joe Torre said Haeger would remain in the rotation.
February 22, 2010 |
When word trickled out of Nicaragua in November that Vicente Padilla was shot, his agent said the bullet only "grazed" his leg. Some graze that was. Pointing to a spot high on his right thigh, Padilla said, "It went in here." Touching the back of his leg, he continued, "And it went out the other side." Padilla said the wound healed in about two weeks. Padilla laughed several times as he recounted the incident, in which the pitcher was accidentally shot by a friend who was trying to fix his gun for him at a shooting range.
April 7, 2010 |
Chad Billingsley said he felt he fixed the problems with his mechanics in the six weeks the Dodgers spent in Arizona for spring training. But he said that a final tuneup in Los Angeles last week is what got his head right. Billingsley, who will make his first start of the season in the Dodgers' series finale in Pittsburgh on Thursday, said that being roughed up by the Angels in the Freeway Series reinforced a message that Manager Joe Torre has been trying to deliver to him. "Pitchers, we have the tendency to give hitters too much credit," Billingsley said.
April 16, 2011 |
Frank McCourt took a $30-million loan from Fox to meet the Dodgers' payroll obligations last week, according to three people briefed on the arrangement. The money is expected to cover the Dodgers' expenses into next month. Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to say whether he will approve a proposed television contract between Fox and the Dodgers, which McCourt has presented as a long-term solution to the team's financial troubles. Offensive woes might force Dodgers to bring up Jerry Sands The loan marks the second time since the end of last season that Fox has provided money to the Dodgers owner so he could cover expenses.
May 19, 2011 |
Andre Ethier has learned how to control his temper when striking out. What he hasn't learned how to do is ignore the click of a camera. As a result, Ethier had to stand in front of his locker Thursday and explain why pictures of him flipping off credentialed photographers appeared on a sports gossip site earlier in the day. "It was an inspirational piece," he said. "They asked me what I thought of Dylan Hernandez . " He was kidding. Or so we would like to think.
April 10, 2010 |
Andre Ethier had the kind of at-bat that should have added to his growing legend as a late-game hero, hobbling off the Dodgers' bench for the first time in three days on a swollen left ankle to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead. But setup man George Sherrill was later to learn that he was only being set up for his latest on-the-mound meltdown by Ethier's two-run, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning. Inheriting a man on first base and a lead that was doubled on a home run by Matt Kemp, Sherrill let the Florida Marlins score three runs to complete a 7-6 comeback and achieve a two-game winning streak.
April 11, 2008 |
Ramon Troncoso asked his mother for two years. If he didn't see that he had a shot at the big leagues by then, he told her, he would go back to school. The 25-year-old right-hander, who had never pitched above double A and was invited to his first major league camp this spring, recently laughed as he told the story of that conversation with his mother in the kitchen of their home in the Dominican Republic almost six years ago.