"When you and I went to dinner in Arizona in the spring of 2011," I say to Ned Colletti, general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, "you thought your team might be a lot better than it turned out to be."
Matt Cain was always there. His teammate, Tim Lincecum, might be the Freak, but Cain was the Fixture. The foundation that the San Francisco Giants pitching staff was built on.
A judge ordered two men to stand trial on charges relating to the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow after a Los Angeles Dodgers game last year.
Want the inside scoop on steroids, Manny Ramirez and more? Larry talks baseball with ultimate insider, Tommy Lasorda.
Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda suffered a mild heart attack Monday while in New York, the Los Angeles team confirmed Tuesday.
The surprises began with the very first pick of the 2012 MLB draft -- when the Astros selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa instead of the widely expected choice, Stanford righthanded pitcher Mark Appel -- and didn't stop there. Here's a quick look at the winners and losers from the first round and the compensation round.
If it seems as if a star player goes on the DL every day, you're wrong. Sometimes it's two, as happened Thursday when Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki added to the casualty list of a season rocked by injuries to big-time players.
Before the million-and-a-half signing bonus or the relief appearance in which he threw 10 straight pitches of at least 101 miles per hour, Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner endured four straight drafts in which he received undulating annual assessments of his ability and potential.
Every sports fan has daydreamed about what it would be like to own their hometown team.
Golf journalist David Dusek discusses Phil Mickelson's entry into golf's Hall of Fame with CNN's Amanda Davies.
I know what I was supposed to feel on Tuesday, sitting in the morning sun on Pier 30 in San Francisco as Warriors owners Joe Lacob spoke about the franchise's move to San Francisco: This is all kinds of awesome.
Five Cuts from the first weekend of interleague play:
Sometimes it is easier for the highly skilled, purpose driven athlete to deal with injuries that happen in the blink of an eye. You crash into the wall; you take a bad step; you throw an awkward pitch. You break a bone; you snap a tendon; you tear a ligament. As painful and psychologically challenging as those injuries can be, at least what comes next is often clear cut. You get it fixed. You don't play for a month, or six months, or a year. Then, if all goes well, you do.
SAN FRANCISCO -- "Used to" isn't an encouraging way to describe an athlete who's 27, never had a major injury and was considered state-of-the art just 18 months ago.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball, ushered in a new era of ownership Wednesday while ending a dismal chapter of ownership under Frank McCourt, who baseball's commissioner described as "looting" the club of $190 million to fund an extravagant lifestyle.
If you told me eight years ago I'd end up writing an article extolling the virtues of Los Angeles, I would have laughed.
Half the time that Padres third baseman Chase Headley steps to the plate, the opposing fielders can take their gloves off, sit down and not have to worry about the baseball being playable.
A bankruptcy court Friday approved the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team to a group that includes former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
The 2012 Major League Baseball season officially opened last week in Japan, where the A's and Mariners played a mostly forgettable two-game series, and starts Stateside on Wednesday night when the Marlins face the defending World Series champion Cardinals. Thursday, though, is when the season really begins.
Of Major League Baseball's six divisions, only the NL West has sent each of its clubs to the playoffs at least once since 2006. "There's no clear favorite from year to year," says Giants GM Brian Sabean, "which makes it interesting."
We have arrived at an exit ramp, only we cannot be certain to where it leads. Baseball in 2012, with its expanded postseason, franchise-changing TV money and the Technicolor dream of Miami as a baseball town, is headed in a new direction, as it seems to do every 10 years.
A group that includes former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson will acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion, the team said Tuesday night.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly dresses as Mother Ginger in "The Nutcracker."
The proposed $2.15 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to a group primarily financed by Guggenheim Partners and led by longtime sports executive Stan Kasten and NBA legend Magic Johnson is not yet a done deal. Major League Baseball and the 29 other ownership groups must formally approve the sale and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross must be assured that it will enable current owner Frank McCourt to pay off his creditors.
LOS ANGELES -- The second-best trade in the history of the Dodgers was made on July 18, 1939, when they acquired shortstop Pee Wee Reese from the Red Sox for $35,000 and four players to be named later, most notably pitcher Red Evans. Reese made 10 All Star teams and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Evans, whose career record was 1-11, never appeared in the big leagues again.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- An unexpected thing happened late in the summer of what had once seemed a nightmare 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers -- who had been undermined by the failing ownership of Frank McCourt; who had fallen to 14 games under .500, at 37-51, on July 6 -- simply did not want the season to end. They went 41-28 after the All-Star break. Each of the seven teams with better second-half records made the playoffs, and the Dodgers felt sure that they could have joined them, had only the season extended just a little bit longer.
This week, Cliff Corcoran will break down what to expect from each team's camp as part of SI.com's spring training preview. Teams are listed by their order of finish from 2011. Note: The Big Prospect is a player who will be in camp and has not yet debuted in the major leagues.
Baseball's most important joint is the mending left ankle of a young catcher in San Francisco, a hinge upon which the Giants' playoffs hopes this year might, well, hinge.
The troubled Los Angeles Dodgers, one of baseball's most storied franchises, began receiving bids from potential buyers this week in a sale that's expected to set a Major League record at more than $1 billion.
Powerful groups loaded with sports celebrities are expected to bid for the L.A. Dodgers. CNN's Paul Vercammen reports.
If Victor Martinez had not blown out his knee working out in Florida, Prince Fielder might have been a Dodger. Los Angeles ran a stealth recruitment of Fielder for two months, beginning immediately after the December winter meetings, only to be trumped when Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, concerned about contingency plans to replace Martinez, told his general manager, "I think we should go after Prince."
Compared to Prince Fielder's $214 million deal with Detroit, every other transaction in the past week qualifies as "other news." Nevertheless, while Fielder was grabbing all the attention, some other impactful moves took place that warrant attention, such as:
At first glance it's a fix-it strategy bound for disaster: take an 89-loss team that quit last year and make it . . . older. In this age when older impact players practically don't exist, Colorado Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd added age at second base, third base, rightfield, closer and possibly in his rotation. It begs two questions: What is O'Dowd's plan, and does the Joint Drug Agreement list Metamucil as a banned masking agent?
In the past week, the headlines have been dominated by Yu Darvish's Wednesday signing deadline and subsequent deal with the Rangers and the Yankees' Friday night rotation reinforcements, while the transaction wire was dominated by arbitration settlements leading up to Tuesday's deadline for teams and players to exchange of salary figures. Here's what else has been going on:
Of all the beautiful names given to the places we play games -- Colosseum and Craven Cottage and Camp Nou; Molineux and Maracaña and Madison Square Garden; Polo Grounds and Elysian Fields and Fabulous Forum -- none was ever more evocative than Candlestick Park, which called to my adolescent mind an innocent nursery rhyme ("The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker") and an implement of murder ("Professor Plumb, with the candlestick, in the conservatory").
The White Sox send mixed messages, the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Reds fortify their bullpens, and the best available centerfielder (not counting Yoenis Cespedes) and two of the best platoon outfielders in the game all re-sign with their 2011 teams in this week's edition of Hot Stove Roundup.
The big transaction news of the last week was the five-player trade that landed the Reds Mat Latos, Jimmy Rollins re-signing with the Phillies for three years, and the Rangers winning the right to negotiate with Japanese ace Yu Darvish. However, Joe Lemire nailed the first two in his column on Saturday, and the Darvish news won't have any real impact unless (or until) the Rangers actually ink the right-hander, something which might not happen until mid-January. Still, there were a few other noteworthy moves from the past week, including the coming and going of three Twins outfielders, a trade between the Red Sox and Astros, and a handful of smaller signings by teams looking to flesh out their bench and bullpen.
The Angels and Marlins weren't the only teams getting things done at the just-completed Winter Meetings in Dallas, and Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson weren't the only players the Angels acquired. For fans of the other 28 teams and LaTroy Hawkins, here's a summary of some of the less-celebrated player transactions from the last week and a half.
Longtime talk show host Larry King says he's joined an effort to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.
December shopping season is almost upon us, and judging by some early infield impulse buying, there could be plenty of big spending. Baseball's powers are headed back in a week to the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas for the winter meetings, the site of the wildest week of spending 11 years ago, highlighted by the $252 million, 10-year deal for Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers.
MILWAUKEE -- The San Francisco Giants have been quiet so far this winter, but rather than chase free agents their biggest goal at present appears to be to lock up superstar pitcher Tim Lincecum. The Giants will make an attempt to sign the two-time Cy Young winner to a multi-year deal, according to people familiar with their thinking.
LOS ANGELES -- Only now, with the divorce trial settled and the bankruptcy court satisfied, with tens of millions spent on legal fees and hundreds of millions taken in personal loans, with the franchise finally up for auction and buyers mercifully preparing bids, Frank McCourt is doing something for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers and general manager Ned Colletti, with his three decades in baseball, have gone sabermetric. In September the Dodgers hired Alex Tamin, a graduate of Johns Hopkins and UCLA School of Law, as Director of Baseball Contracts, Research and Operations. That was a confirmation that Los Angeles is joining the "new school" franchises with a strong belief -- not just an obligatory nod -- that quantitative analysis plays an important role in building a winning team.
This week, SI.com will analyze the offseason plans for each team in a division-by-division format. Wednesday will preview the National League and Thursday the American League. Teams are listed in order of finish in 2011.
Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the team, the owner and Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.
The couple who bought the Los Angeles Dodgers seven years ago announced Monday they've agreed that the husband, Frank McCourt, will get the baseball team in their pending divorce.
The San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten into a coma this year after a Los Angeles Dodgers game has improved enough that he was transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center said Tuesday.
Ten Things that surprise me about the NFL at the quarter-pole:
PHOENIX -- When the Brewers decided to intentionally walk the Diamondbacks' Miguel Montero, the game's early star with two hits and three runs driven in, a seemingly profane two-syllable chant arose from a vocal minority of the crowd. Could the fans in the desert have such disdain for pitching around hitters?
MILWAUKEE -- Baseball's sixth inning lies at the intersection of good hitting and poor pitching, often the collision of a lineup facing a tiring starter for the third time or a long reliever in over his head.
Five keys to the Brewers-Diamondbacks National League Division Series -- a battle between the presumptive top two finishers for the manager of the year award, Arizona's Kirk Gibson and Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke -- which begins Saturday afternoon at Miller Park:
In the previous four days, the Red Sox, Rays, Angels, Braves and Cardinals all lost games in the eighth inning or later. The wild card races have become such wars of attrition that rumor has it the Mariners are back in it. Throw in the longshot Giants, and the six wild card contenders have gone 8-13 this week. It's absurd enough to root for the ultimate in chaos: the first-ever three-way tie in major league history.
It's hard to fault a team for losing for just the third time in 15 games, but that just underscores how remarkable the Cardinals' surge has been and how little room for error they have heading into the season's final weekend. Having blown a 6-2 lead in the ninth inning on Thursday, the Cardinals trail the Braves for the National League Wild Card by two games with just six to play, the same deficit that the Rays, who beat the Yankees 15-8 Thursday night, face in the American League. That's a tall order for either team, no matter how poorly the leaders in those two races have played this month.
Nobody besides maybe the Arizona Diamondbacks themselves figured they'd sniff the playoffs this year, but here they are, within a whisper of clinching an improbable postseason berth. Everyone associated with the team, from club president Derrick Hall to first-year general Kevin Towers to their emotional manager Kirk Gibson to their players, many of whom border on anonymity, deserve credit. Collectively, they've overcome a low payroll, lower expectations, a brutal local economy, limited experience and a fresh memory of last year's stinging disappointment in which they finished last in the NL West, 27 games behind.
Go ahead and put Milwaukee and Arizona into the playoffs, given their sizeable first place leads and lack of a strong contender to challenge them. And when they do play in October, they will continue an amazing run in the Wild Card Era that speaks to the sport's parity.
SAN FRANCISCO -- They added an elite hitter. Jettisoned dead weight. Got a pep talk from the home run king.
LOS ANGELES -- Two All Stars approaching career crossroads sit in opposite clubhouses at Dodger Stadium. In one, the team wants to keep the player but doesn't know if he wants to stay. In the other, the player wants to stay but doesn't know if the team wants to keep him. Such is the backward business of baseball, at least in Southern California's National League cities, where the organizations either can't convince their stars to stick around or can't afford them to.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy wasn't running from the media.
Five Cuts on the weekend that was -- and, thanks to Hurricane Irene, often wasn't -- in baseball:
Over the past two seasons, Aaron Hill has hit .213/.271/.359 despite playing his home games in a ballpark that's very friendly to right-handed hitters such as himself. Despite that performance, the Diamondbacks seem to have convinced themselves that he can help them create distance between themselves and the injury-riddled defending world champion Giants, who currently trail Arizona by one game in the NL West in what is by far the tightest playoff race in the major leagues entering Tuesday night's action.
The team with the best chance of keeping the Philadelphia Phillies out of the World Series is the team that trails them in the standings: the Atlanta Braves. No disrespect to the Milwaukee Brewers, a legit threat in their own right, but no team will take a greater inventory of pitching into the postseason than the Braves, whose bullpen is shortening games the way the Yankees did in the late 1990s.
PHILADELPHIA -- The story of how the (National League) West is won each year isn't a wild country tale of outlaws brandishing six-shooter guns or three-run homers but of bats corralled by a posse of pitchers.
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay doubled for the first time in his career, balked for the second time in the last six seasons, matched a personal best with 14 strikeouts and, most improbably of all, lost a complete game while pitching into the ninth inning with a lead.
Five thoughts on a mid-August weekend of baseball...
Lawyers for the Los Angeles Dodgers fought back against a lawsuit attempting to implicate the baseball franchise in the severe beating of a man outside its stadium, according to court documents.
There won't be any Florence + the Machine for Bruce Bochy on his iPod for this 10-game road trip. "Dog Days Are Over" wouldn't be appropriate music, because Bochy and his Giants are right in the thick of the dog days: snarling, mangy, flea-bitten dog days.
BOSTON -- Five Cuts from the weekend in baseball, highlighted by the Red Sox taking two of three games from the Yankees at Fenway Park to take over first place of the AL East ...
Prosecutors in the case of the March 31 beating that left a San Francisco Giants baseball fan severely injured said in court documents Monday that one of the suspects harassed other Giants fans at Dodger Stadium and beat the victim even after he lost consciousness.
Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Eastern time Sunday afternoon. SI.com's Jon Heyman is providing regular updates on the fast-moving trade market in advance of the deadline. To follow Heyman on Twitter, click here.
Why would the Rockies even think about trading Ubaldo Jimenez? Aces are so valuable -- especially young ones under team control for years -- that I keep a rule of thumb: The minute you trade one, you begin a lengthy search to come up with another one. But this is different. This is Denver.
Maybe it was the sight of his players flailing in Citizen's Bank bandbox in the first game of a potential playoff preview series.
The 2011 trading deadline went from zero to sixty on Wednesday with a pair of blockbuster deals. The Giants and Cardinals loaded up for the stretch run, and the Mets and Blue Jays capitalized on the desperation of those two contenders by acquiring a pair of young players with star potential.
So far, the slowest-moving trade market in history has featured one big deal (the Mets' salary dump of Francisco Rodriguez), one small deal (the Tigers' pickup of Wilson Betemit), and one very serious logjam.
Only by the grace of the woebegone AL Central could a team that lost 93 games last year, has gone 22-33 in its last 55 games and outscored its opponents this season by exactly two runs consider itself a division title contender. But look over there, shopping the aisles of the trade market as a most unlikely buyer, and you'll find the Cleveland Indians, the accidental contender.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has postponed the arraignments of two men accused in a March 31 beating that left a San Francisco Giants baseball fan severely injured.
SI.com asked several current and retired SI writers to offer reflections on the best team they ever covered as sports journalists. Here's Jim Trotter on the 1992-93 San Diego Gulls:
SI.com asked several current and retired SI writers to offer reflections on the best team they ever covered as sports journalists. Here's S.L. Price on the 1989 San Francisco Giants:
The narrative for the once-proud Los Angeles Dodgers franchise has been hijacked this season by a series of ugly headlines: a bankruptcy proceeding that is part of the ongoing mess surrounding owner Frank McCourt; the beating of a Giants fan on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium; a drop in average home attendance by more than 7,000 fans per game; and a 42-54 record that has left them in fourth place in the NL West and headed toward their worst mark in almost 20 years.
The Rockies have been in contact with the Yankees and a few other teams regarding right-handed ace Ubaldo Jimenez.
The Colorado Rockies are absolutely doing the right thing by shopping talented right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. They also are doing the right thing by asking for the moon and the sun for him.
"To sell, or not to sell, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of angry season-ticket holders or to acquire arms against a sea of contenders and by opposing end them? To buy, to keep, no more; and by keep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that baseball teams are heir to."
PHOENIX -- It was an interesting first half. Two managers quit. None were fired. Two managers were hired. The average age of them was 74. The heavily-favored Phillies did what they were supposed to do, and the Red Sox pretty much did, too. But surprises abounded, led by none other than the usually pathetic Pirates, who are capturing a city and threatening to post a winning record for the first time since Barry Bonds left town. The Indians are right in the thick of things, too, to nearly everyone's surprise. And the Nationals would be, if they weren't in the same division as the Phillies and Braves.
Dodgers players generally deny that the team's ongoing financial troubles (a.k.a. the McCourt mess) are affecting them. But at least star right fielder Andre Ethier is said by several sources around the team to be unhappy with what's going on with the last-place team.
The All-Star Game may be thought of as baseball's midway point, but the Midsummer Classic is still almost two weeks away and several teams will actually be making the turn into the second half of play this week. On Wednesday six teams -- the Braves, Reds, Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Padres -- will become the first clubs to play their 82nd games, and by the weekend all 30 teams will officially officially have completed the first half of their schedules.
Chapter 11 will help the bankrupt Dodgers protect their assets from creditors, the largest of which -- in every sense of the word -- is Manny Ramirez, who is owed nearly $21 million in retirement. But which of the Dodgers' many assets are most worth protecting, not merely from Manny, but from the self-harming hands of owner Frank McCourt? Before the Dodgers disappear entirely in a pyre of acrimony and alimony, these priceless assets should be rescued from the flames, beginning with:
In a tight, wait-and-see trade market, the San Diego Padres are one of the few potential sellers already engaging in early and serious trade discussions. The Padres have several valuable pieces, and executives who have spoken to them say they are being very aggressive. San Diego has even shown a willingness to at least engage in trade talk even about a star young reliever such as Mike Adams, whose 0.65 WHIP, $2.5-million salary and inability to become a free agent until after the 2012 season would bring a haul.
Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt scored a partial victory in bankruptcy court Tuesday, but the judge left the door open to giving Major League Baseball the ultimate victory at a hearing next month.
The doubleheader that will unfold today at Wrigley Field should be catnip for baseball fans and armchair psychologists.
The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy court protection early Monday, less than a week after Major League Baseball blocked the team from signing a new television deal to provide it with the cash it needed to meet the team's payroll.
LOS ANGELES -- Note to Bud Selig: Next time somebody tries to buy one of your crown jewel franchises, make them show you the money.
A Dodgers game beating victim improved Wednesday from critical to serious condition, according to the San Francisco General Hospital's media hotline.
Would increased security have prevented a Giants fan from being attacked at Dodger Stadium? HLN's Prime News reports.
Now that the possibility of the great Felix Hernandez being traded has been all but expunged, thanks to Seattle's surprisingly nice start to the season, it's time to consider the pitchers with a real chance to go somewhere else via trade this summer. And without King Felix (or any other No. 1-type starter, for that matter) available, the list isn't exactly looking like the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation, or even anything even close.
The biggest everyday star with a chance to hit the trade market this summer remains the Mets' great shortstop Jose Reyes -- although, a Reyes being dealt is far less than a certainty now. As one competing National League executive speculated, "the Mets will need to be overwhelmed'' to move Reyes. For a while, it appeared that his being traded was a foregone conclusion, but now that exec's assessment sounds about right, what with the Mets hanging around the fringes of the wild card race and Reyes generally playing better than just about anyone else in the league.
Realignment remains little more than theory for now. Neither commissioner Bud Selig nor his 14-man special committee has studied the idea, and there have been no negotiations about it between owners and players in talks toward a collective bargaining agreement, according to high-ranking sources in baseball. But that hasn't stopped baseball people from yakking about it.
What's wrong with Tim Lincecum?
The Arizona Diamondbacks were supposed to drift quietly through the 2011 season, as new GM Kevin Towers sorted through the roster in his first full season on the job, figuring out how to build the same kind of winner in the desert as he did by the sea in San Diego. For about six weeks, the D-backs played to form, starting 15-22 and drifting to the bottom of the NL West.
As one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball history, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the 2011 season with a victory over the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The nationally televised game was nearly sold out with a seating capacity of 56,000 fans.
Major League Baseball takes control of the L.A. Dodgers after team owner Frank McCourt borrowed money to make payroll.