March 16, 2014 |
PHOENIX - The Dodgers learned last year that a $240-million payroll can overcome a disastrous start. They'll now find out if it can negate the effects of an abbreviated exhibition season and trip to the other side of the world. The most expensive team in baseball broke camp Sunday, departing late in the night for Sydney, Australia, the site of a two-game, series-opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Spring training started and ended early for the Dodgers, who will play their first regular-season game about a week earlier than usual.
March 16, 2014 |
Dodgers 3, Rockies 3 AT THE PLATE: Adrian Gonzalez capped a solid spring by driving in two runs. Gonzalez finished the Cactus League with a .303 average. Carl Crawford broke out of his spring-long slump by collecting two hits and scoring a run. Utilityman Justin Turner, who was added to the major league roster earlier in the day, got a hit in his only at-bat. He finished the spring with a .355 average. ON THE MOUND: Hyun-Jin Ryu looked as if he was ready to face the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.
March 15, 2014 |
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Angels' most intriguing start of the spring could come Monday, when Joe Blanton takes his next turn. If Blanton turns in a second consecutive strong performance, the Angels might have to consider whether they can afford to get rid of him. That might sound ludicrous, given how poorly Blanton pitched last year. But the Angels appear short on pitching depth. Without Blanton, the Angels' depth chart would have seven starters. Of the 30 major league teams, only the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers did not use more than seven starters last season.
March 14, 2014 |
MESA, Ariz. - Andre Ethier's move to center field last year was sudden. Matt Kemp suffered a strained hamstring muscle and the next day Ethier was asked to do something he hadn't done regularly since college. Now, with an entire spring to prepare himself to play the position, Ethier expects to be more comfortable in the middle of the outfield this season than he was last. "I think you learn some of the finer points that come with that position, the things that you're able to do, how you cut off balls," he said.
March 14, 2014 |
Cubs 5, Dodgers 2 AT THE PLATE: Dee Gordon was two for three with a run-scoring triple - his third of the exhibition season. Alex Guerrero, who replaced Gordon at second base, hit a two-run double to left-center field in the seventh inning. Miguel Rojas, who entered camp with a reputation as a subpar hitter, raised his average to .409. He was two for three with a pair of doubles. ON THE MOUND: Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez each pitched a scoreless inning.
March 13, 2014 |
It might be sound reasoning, but a Supreme Court decision this week on an arcane legal-easement argument will likely have broad and regrettable consequences, particularly in the West, for the national movement to convert old railroad beds into bicycle paths. The case, Brandt vs. U.S., is rooted in the General Railroad Right of Way Law of 1875, through which Congress established a uniform approach to granting easements on government land so railroad companies could extend tracks through the heart of the still-developing country.
March 12, 2014 |
GOLDEN, Colo. - The instructions seemed simple enough: nine steps forward, heel to toe, a quick turnaround, then nine steps back. But for the guy swaying a bit as he walked, his face slack, his eyes half closed, it was all too much. He made the nine steps forward and stopped, forgetting what came next. "Wait. What?" Colorado State Trooper Jason Morales dutifully marked it down in his report, just as he had a few minutes earlier when the suspect closed his eyes and tilted his head back to guess the passage of 30 seconds.