Tag:Clayton Kershaw
Posted on: May 30, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: May 30, 2011 10:27 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Kershaw dominates

Clayton Kershaw

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers-- The Dodgers' left-hander threw a two-hitter and struck out 10 in Los Angeles' 8-0 victory over the Marlins. It was his second career shutout. Kershaw allowed just a soft single by Omar Infante and a line-drive double by Logan Morrison, while walking one. So far this season, he has 87 strikeouts in 79 innings with only 24 walks.

Martin Prado, Braves -- Prado not only hit the two-run homer that gave the Braves a 2-1 lead over the Reds, but also threw out Paul Janish at the plate to end the eighth inning (although, an assist to home plate umpire Dan Iassogna, who missed the call.)

Bobby Abreu, Angels -- With his eighth-inning RBI double, Abreu moved past Lou Gehrig on the all-time list with 535 in his career, giving him 32nd on the all-time list by himself. He's three behind the Rockies' Todd Helton, who also doubled on Sunday. Helton's one behind Al Simmons, who is 30th with 539. Tris Speaker holds the record with 792, if you were curious, followed by Pete Rose (746), Stan Musial (725), Ty Cobb (724), Craig Biggio (668) and George Brett (665). Ivan Rodriguez leads all active players with 569. 


Vance Worley, Phillies -- The Phillies have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Vance Worley. Which of these doesn't belong? If it weren't already clear, Sunday may have helped. Joe Blanton's replacement in the Phillies' heralded rotation allowed 12 hits and eight runs (five earned) in three innings on Sunday, needing 71 pitches to get through three. Of those 71 pitches, the Mets only swung and missed at three of them.

Joakim Soria, Royals -- The one-time Mexicutioner has only been killing the Royals this season. After his team gave him a lead in the ninth, he gave up a homer to Nelson Cruz. He would have gotten out of the inning if Brayan Pena made a tag on the play at the plate, but he didn't. Soria has already marked a career-high with four blown saves this season and has an ERA of 5.57. Despite his struggles, manager Ned Yost said he's standing by Soria as the team's closer. "Jack is our best option," Yost said after the game. "I've been through this five or six times. The worst thing you can do is to start messing around with the bullpen."

Jeff Fulchino, Astros -- The Diamondbacks bullpen has been a big reason Arizona has moved into first place, but Arizona was also helped out by Houston's 'pen. Sunday, Houston blew its 13th of 20 save opportunities this season. Fulchino was the loser against the Diamondbacks, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk in the eight inning, erasing J.A. Happ's strong start.

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:13 pm
 

On Deck: Harang goes for NL-leading fifth win

Harang

By Evan Brunell

Best matchup: Aaron Harang loves his new home in San Diego, as he's won all of his starts to date. With a victory in his fifth start Tuesday night, he would extend his NL-leading wins tally and pull within one of overall baseball leader Jered Weaver. Harang, who didn't make the 2010 postseason roster in Cincinnati after a three-year stretch of a 4.71 ERA and 18-38 record, has suddenly trimmed his walk rate to a career-best and has yet to allow a home run on the year. But he'll have his hands full winning the game as the Braves will toss out Jair Jurrjens. The 25-year-old started the year on the DL so has only made two starts so far, but what beauties they've been. In 13 total innings, Jurrjens has allowed just one run on a solo homer, walked three and whiffed 10. Both teams are scuffling on offense, so this could be quite the pitcher's duel. Braves at Padres, 10:05 p.m. ET

Chasing No. 23: Andre Ethier will seek to extend his hitting streak to 23 games for baseball's most dysfunctional squad. After seeing a trustee named Monday to oversee the club, GM Ned Colletti said Jonathan Broxton had lost his closer's job. But wait -- manager Don Mattingly disagrees. For all those people in an uproar over the death of soap opera TV shows, we've got a live version playing out before our very eyes. The Dodgers, behind phenom Clayton Kershaw, will battle Chris Volstad (good news for Ethier as Volstad has a 6.60 ERA on the year) and the 14-7 Marlins, who have matched the best start in franchise history as well as engineering nine comeback victories already. Dodgers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET

Young guns: As the Red Sox chase .500, they'll ask Clay Buchholz to take the mound and address the troubles he's experienced early on. Buchholz has a 5.31 ERA on the year but is facing the right team in an attempt to turn his fortunes around as he has a 0.32 ERA in his last four starts against Baltimore. The O's were also Buchholz's victims back in 2007 when the youngster tossed a no-hitter. But the O's have their own electric starter coming out in rookie Zach Britton, who may have forced Baltimore's hand to keep him up the entire season and thusly qualify for free agency a full year earlier. Britton has a 3.16 ERA on the year and could be poised to cut a swath through Boston's lefty-heavy lineup. Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: April 22, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: April 23, 2011 12:43 pm
 

Pepper: Dodgers leave Kershaw out to dry



By Matt Snyder


Seemingly lost in the shuffle of the Dodgers' extra-innings win over the Braves -- on another Matt Kemp walk-off bomb -- was how long Don Mattingly stuck with Clayton Kershaw in the ninth. I generally find that managers, especially early in the season, seem to err on the side of pulling starters early when they're throwing well. It was the complete opposite here.

Kershaw recorded two outs to begin the ninth, so he was just one out from a complete game victory. Chipper Jones singled. Dan Uggla singled but advanced to second on a throw to third base. So there are now runners on second and third in a one-run game. Kershaw had thrown 113 pitches and didn't look completely done, so I could see letting him face one more hitter.

Then he walked Freddie Freeman on six pitches. The bases were loaded, Kershaw was sitting at 119 pitches and finally -- during the Freeman at-bat -- seemed to be losing some bite on his pitches. Closer Jonathan Broxton was ready to enter. Instead, Kershaw was left in the game and allowed a two-RBI single to David Ross. So much for the lead, now the Dodgers trailed by one.

Look, it's tough to blame Mattingly for giving Kershaw some leeway. He's their best pitcher, Broxton hasn't been good and they were one out from victory. It just seemed like Kershaw was cooked and Mattingley refused to acknowledge it.

Of course, had Kershaw recorded an out we wouldn't even be talking about it. That's just the way things go in this game. It's really an illustration for how hard it is for managers to truly judge when to remove a pitcher. Think about it: had Mattingly removed Kershaw and seen Broxton lose the lead, what would we be saying?

BASEBALL TODAY: Ryan Braun is going to be in a Brewers uniform for a long time. Watch Danny Knobler discuss this and more with Lauren Shehadi on CBSSports.com's Baseball Today.



HEY, SITTING IN THE BULLPEN IS BORING: In a Class A-Advanced game Tuesday, members of the Clearwater Thrashers (a Phillies affiliate) bullpen came up with a game for fans peering over the edge. They simply put paper cups down and said if a fan tossed a quarter into the cup, he could win a prize. They had a cardboard sign up advertising the "promotion," even saying "we make change." The prize was a bat. No official word, but I'd guess the players keep the quarters that don't make it in a cup (hey, minor leaguers don't make much). You've gotta click through on this link and see the pictures -- in the last one you can see how many quarters are littered across the bullpen ground. (The X-Log )

HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT COMES TUMBLING DOWN: National Geographic is doing a show -- "Break it down" -- about the demolition of the old Yankee Stadium April 28 at 10 p.m. ET. After all the great games we've all seen there, it's going to be a bit surreal, no? (NatGeo )

PERFECTIONIST: Joey Votto had an RBI double in a 3-1 loss Wednesday night, but he was angry ... because he should have had a triple. “I stopped because runs were at premium. I was in scoring position. We had two outs to get the job done. It was a real in-between play. And I wish I had taken the chance. I left like there was a good shot I would have been safe.” And you made the correct decision, Joey. Quit beating yourself up for making the smart play. The reining NL MVP is crushing the ball again this year, but he needs to realize he can't single-handedly carry the team. (Cincinnati.com )

CAPTAIN JUNIOR: Ken Griffey Jr. followed in his father's footsteps in becoming a major league baseball player and now he's gone and done it again. Apparently, Griffey the elder is a pilot and now Junior is working on his pilot's license as well. Kudos to him. Is his flight path follows the same as his career path in baseball, he'll greatly exceed his father's abilities. Oh, and in case you're worried about Junior's well-being, his plane has a built-in parachute. (Geekwire )

THANK YOU, JOE: I've long hated the phrase "Hall of the Very Good" when people try to denigrate the Hall of Fame cases of players who they believe don't belong. It doesn't make sense because it's not the same medium. Hall of the Very Good would be secondary to the Hall of the Great or Hall of the Elite or Hall of the Exceptional. But Joe Posnanski finally up and did it, he created a "Hall of Not Famous Enough," peppered with players every bit as good as lower-level guys in the real Hall, just lacking some mainstream oomph on their names. Bobby Grich, Dwight Evans, Alan Trammell, Rick Reuschel and several others make the list. I hightly recommend at least a quick glimpse. (Joe Blog )

GO AHEAD AND SLEEP ON SEATTLE: The Mariners have some good, young arms like Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. The offense, however, is pretty bad. We know that. Surprisingly, however, the defense actually measures worse at this point in the season. (Seattle Times )

LITTLE LEAGUE HOME RUN: In Jason Bay's first game of the 2011 season, he scored on his own plate appearance without recording a hit. Yep, he came around on a four-base error when Hunter Pence dropped a fly ball -- otherwise known as a "little league home run," for obvious reasons. It was the fourth in Mets history. (ESPN New York )

TEXEIRA DEMOTED: C'mon, not Mark. His last name is spelled Teixeira anyway. Just going with a trick subhead there, as the Royals have sent Kanekoa Texeira to Triple-A. (MLB.com )

SHORT AND SWEET: Matt Joyce is swinging a hot bat right now, and he attributes it to shortening up his swing. (TampaBay.com )

MAD MAICER: You wanna call Maicer Izturis fragile just because he's missed almost half the Angels' games in the past three seasons? You aren't going to endear yourself to him, that's for sure. "Those are ignorant people who say that," Izturis said. "They don't know the game. I could play 140 games at 90%, 80%. But that's not the way I play. I play 100%." It's interesting to note that later Izturis said something about how when Josh Hamilton gets hurt, people don't call him fragile. Um, they actually do. Quite a few people say that, actually. The broader point, however, is the guy doesn't like being called fragile and there's nothing wrong with that. Injuries happen during the course of 162 games. (LA Times )

IN THE SEATTLE AREA? The boys over at Sports and Food have a sports bar suggestion for you. Check it out. (Sports and Food )

ON THIS DATE: On April 22, 1970, Tom Seaver threw a complete game for the Mets against the Padres. He allowed only two hits, two walks and a run -- a solo homer by Al Ferrara. The game is noteworthy because Seaver struck out 19 hitters, which tied the major-league record at the time (held by Steve Carlton, along with a pair of guys from the 1880s). It has since been surpassed by Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens (twice). (Baseball-Reference.com )

MAKIN' IT RAIN: Angels fans threw money at Carl Crawford when he was on deck Thursday night. You might recall Crawford spurned the Angels in order to sign with Boston. (Big League Stew )

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:49 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/30: Opening day matchups

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3UP

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum -- Opening day at Dodger Stadium, against the Giants and with the Giants coming off a World Series title, this game has enough going for it to start with, add in two of the best young pitchers in the game and it's an embarrassment of riches. (Thursday, 8 p.m. EST at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles)

CC Sabathia vs. Justin Verlander -- There'll be no shortage of heat at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. Sabathia is starting his third straight opening day for the Yankees, while Verlander's strong spring give hope to avoiding another rough April. Not only do you have two of the best pitchers in the game going head-to-head, they're both facing formidable lineups. (Thursday, 1:05 p.m. EST at Yankee Stadium, New York)

Felix Hernandez vs. Trevor Cahill -- Hernandez won his first Cy Young Award last season, while Cahill is at the top of what is probably the American League's best rotation. We all know Hernandez's resume, but Cahill had an impressive 2010 as well, going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA. (Friday, 10:05 p.m. EST at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.)

3DOWN

Ryan Dempster vs. Kevin Correia -- Correia goes from being another guy in a very good rotation in San Diego a year ago to the top of the Pirates' rotation. Dempster has started two opening days before, both in Florida, but is hardly a marquee name for one of the game's marquee franchises. (Friday, 2:20 p.m. EST at Wrigley Field in Chicago)

Derek Lowe vs. Livan Hernandez -- Lowe's starting his third straight opening day for the Braves and Hernandez is making his fourth overall opening day start for the Nationals/Expos, but first since 2006. Both have had good careers, but there's little sizzle to this matchup.  (Thursday, 1:05 p.m. EST at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.)

Tim Stauffer vs. Chris Carpenter -- With all due respect to the 2005 Cy Young Award winner, this game is as much about who isn't pitching as who will toe the rubber. The expectation was that it would be Mat Latos against Adam Wainwright, this just doesn't have the same juice. (Thursday, 4:15 p.m. EST at Busch Stadium, St. Louis)

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Pepper: Sign spring's end is near



By Matt Snyder


How can you best tell when spring is winding down and the real Major League Baseball season is nearing? Well, a few things. The snow finally stops falling. I guess, though this year who really knows. It's liable to snow at some places into May at this rate. Another good sign is watching the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS (shameless plug alert). How about baseball teams starting to name -- or get close to naming -- a fifth starting pitcher? That's a pretty good one, and it's happening in a lot of different places right now.

We've already passed along that Mark Rogers has been demoted, which leaves Wily Peralta the Brewers' likely five . We've also noted Michael Pineda being in Seattle's driver's seat as well. But there are plenty more.

Esmil Rogers looks like he's opening up a lead over John Maine and Greg Reynolds for the Rockies, after working five innings Tuesday and only facing the minimum 15 batters. (Denver Post )

Brandon McCarthy has gotten in the good graces of manager Bob Geren for being "impressive" and "consistent" in looking to win the A's fifth starting job behind a pretty underrated top four of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez. (San Francisco Chronicle )

Ever since Adam Wainwright went down with injury and the Cardinals said they were going to look internally, Kyle McClellan has been the front-runner to take the remaining spot. And every outing since then, he's gotten rave reviews and been tabbed as the front-runner. Thus, it would be pretty shocking if he didn't get the job. Still, the word from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is that McClellan is merely "closer" to getting the nod.

Speaking of shocking, it would be just as shocking if Randy Wells doesn't win one of the Cubs' two remaining rotation slots. He's throwing well this spring and has the past experience. It also appears that former first-round pick Andrew Cashner is putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field as well. We'll get back to Cashner in a second. (MLB.com )

Of course, there is one team a bit behind the curve here. The Texas Rangers, your defending American League champs, still have a whopping seven guys in the mix for two spots. If a decision is made to start Neftali Feliz, one that seems increasingly likely with each passing day, that narrows the field to six guys for one spot. Those six: Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Michael Kirkman, Alexi Ogando, Dave Bush and Eric Hurley. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram )

THE PROFESSOR: Of the two nicknames you see listed for Greg Maddux on baseball-reference.com, I always preferred "the Professor," even though it's nowhere near mainstream. He was so much more cerebral than his opposition, seemingly getting guys out just with his mind. Thus, it's only fitting he's passing along some knowledge to Cashner in Cubs camp as a special assistant. His latest nugget? "Walks are overrated." It's not surprising, coming from a guy who probably never walked someone by accident in his prime. Those who remember watching him in the mid-90s are nodding in agreement. You could feel when Maddux was walking someone on purpose; otherwise it didn't happen. Oh, and if Maddux's wisdom isn't enough, Kerry Wood has also taken Cashner under his wing. (Chicago Tribune )

RUSSELL THE MUSCLE: Hey, someone has to fill the void left by Mark Reynolds -- both in terms of power and strikeouts. Despite his lackluster defense -- which is reportedly a concern for manager Kirk Gibson -- Russell Branyan is turning heads by killing the ball this spring, to the tune of a 1.274 OPS. And don't scoff. While Branyan has a bad batting average and strikeout issues, his career OPS-plus is 115 and he averages 31 home runs over the course of 162 games. He need only hold off Juan Miranda and once-big prospect Brandon Allen. (MLB.com )

NO WORRIES: Clayton Kershaw was torched Tuesday by the Rangers, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't worried about his likely ace. Nor should he be, considering it's only the spring and Kershaw entered the game with a 0.00 ERA through 11 1/3 innings. (Los Angeles Times )

SWITCHBACK: Prior to the ALDS last year, the rules for the dreaded catwalk at Tropicana Field were altered, but now those rules are reverting back to where they were in the regular season of 2010. Check out the complete list on St. Petersburg Times .

GETTING GRADY BACK: Sunday could be the day. Grady Sizemore hasn't seen game action in about 10 months, but reportedly he has a real shot to play Sunday. Obviously huge news for the Tribe. (Cleveland.com )

KEEPING DICE-K: There's been a lot of talk about the Red Sox trading Daisuke Matsuzaka of late. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe makes a good case to fans that Dice-K is actually a pretty average major-league pitcher and that, as the fifth starter, that's really all the team needs. Put the absurd salary aside and just enjoy the good Red Sox team, he pleads. I tend to agree. (Boston Globe )

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Pepper: Rites of spring


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Every spring we get excited and pick winners for every division, count out teams, give a couple of other teams a free ride to the World Series and then sit back and are surprised when it doesn't happen.

The thing is, in baseball and in life, things change quickly and can change drastically.

Since the start of spring training games -- a little less than two weeks -- we've seen the Cardinals and Brewers lose some of their luster in the NL Central and the Phillies go from 110 wins to a struggling offense. We've even seen Carlos Zambrano be the calm, collected, sane member of the Cubs staff.

It's a rite of spring to project and to then react and overreact to anything we see on the field in these four weeks of meaningless games. And even when meaningful games start, there's enough time for injuries to happen, players to return and players to emerge to really know what's going to happen at the end.

And that's the fun of it. We don't know. You never know.

Sure, we can all expect a Red Sox-Phillies World Series, but there's no guarantee that'll happen. But if it does, I guarantee the road there will be completely different than we all imagined. And that's why this game is so great. You just never know, even if you think you know.

FEELING 'HITTERISH': Nationals über-prospect Bryce Harper has been nearly as entertaining off the field as on it, as he coin a new term on Wednesday.

From the Washington Post:

"I feel really confident in myself. There's guys who are going to come after you. I want to hit right now. I'm feeling hitterish. I'm trying to go up there and get some hacks in. I'm not going to be here for a long time. I want to try to go up there and get my hits in."

So, what's the definition of "hitterish" Adam Kilgore asked?

"You wake up in the morning, and you're feeling hitterish, you're going to get a hit that day," Harper said. "That's what it is. If you get a hit every day, you're feeling hitterish, for sure. Wake and rake."

Harper had an RBI single in his only at-bat on Wednesday and is hitting .357 this spring (in 14 at-bats).

BELTRAN BETTER: Carlos Beltran won't play in a Grapefruit League until next week, but he does feel "a lot better" and has not been "shut down." He took batting practice and played catch on Wednesday.

The Mets are looking at Willie Harris and Scott Hairston in right field if Beltran can't go, and are also giving Lucas Duda extra work in right field to prepare him to play there if needed. (New York Daily News)

GARLAND GROUNDED: Dodgers starter Jon Garland is expected to start the season on the disabled list after leaving Wednesday's game with a  strained oblique muscle on his left side. He had an MRI on Wednesday and the team is expected to announce the results today.

The team has already lost starter Vicente Padilla for at least the first month of the season after surgery to repair a nerve below his right elbow.

The injuries mean the once-pitching rich Dodgers are down to four starters, although the team won't need a fifth starter until April 12. John Ely and Tim Redding would likely be candidates if Garland and Padilla are still sidelined. (Los Angeles Times)

GOOD ADVICE: Maybe the Dodgers could get that old guy to take the mound -- the one working with Ted Lilly on Wednesday. That guy was Sandy Koufax.

"He still loves to watch baseball, loves the art of pitching," Lilly told MLB.com. "You know he was great. But he's also smart, he's passionate about pitching, he understands and sees things. Sometimes they are little things.

"I enjoy learning about baseball and talking about it with someone like Sandy Koufax, and I enjoy talking about it with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley and Jon Garland. There are always ways to move forward, even if they are small."

ZOOM GROUNDED: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is planning his bullpen to start the season without Joel Zumaya, who has been sidelined with pain in his surgically repaired right elbow this spring.

"I don't think right now, from within camp or by trade, that you can replace a healthy Joel Zumaya -- and I emphasize a healthy  Joel Zumaya," Leyland told MLB.com. "So you have to just keep looking and try to come up with somebody, mostly from within."

The Tigers did go out and spend a lot of money on a set-up man, Joaquin Benoit, so the path leading up to closer Jose Valverde isn't barren. Ryan Perry is expected to handle seventh-inning duties, which he was expected to shoulder with Zumaya.

SALAZAR IMPROVING: Several Braves players said they feared for the worst after minor league manager Luis Salazar was hit in the face by a foul ball on Wednesday. 

"A ball hit that hard, at that short a distance, can certainly kill somebody if it hits them in the right spot," Chipper Jones told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm so glad to hear that he's conscious and breathing on his own."

Salazar was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Brian McCann and was airlifted to an Orlando hospital. MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports Salazar suffered multiple facial fractures, but did not suffer any brain damage. He was able to interact with family members later Wednesday night.

D-BACKS COACH BREAKS FOOT: While not nearly as serious as Salazar's injury, the timing does take away several light-hearted remarks I could make, but Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams may miss the beginning of the regular season with a broken foot.

Williams took a line drive off the foot while throwing soft toss to his son, Jake, on Monday. He's expected to miss two-to-three weeks. (Arizona Republic)

FIRST AT FIRST: Indians catcher Carlos Santana played his first-ever professional game at first base on Wednesday.

Santana cleanly fielded all nine chances he got at first and also had a double in the Indians' 9-2 loss to the Padres.

The Indians are searching for ways to keep his bat in the lineup and keep the young catcher healthy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PILING ON: A New York  storage company is joining in on making jokes about the city's easiest target -- the Mets.

In an ad on the city's subways for Manhattan Mini Storage, it says, "Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets?" (New York Times)

WHEN HIDEKI MET RICKY: New A's slugger Hideki Matsui has connected with team icon Rickey Henderson, whom Matsui admired growing up in Japan -- and the feeling is mutual. (MLB.com)

HIGH PRAISE: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says 19-year-old left-hander Manny Banuelos is the best pitching prospect he's ever seen.

"I like everything about him," Rivera told ESPNNewYork.com. "The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitchers, he has the ability to do that."

WHITE RETIRES: Former West Virginia and Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White has retired from baseball.

After White was released by the Dolphins last September, White signed a minor-league contract with the Royals and played in the Fall Instructional League. On Wednesday, the team said White did not report to spring training.

The Dolphins drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft. He was also drafted by the Angels, Reds and Yankees. (Associated Press)

RISING WATER: It's been raining here in Cincinnati, but check out just how much -- this photo from Reds assistant media relations director Jamie Ramsey gives you a big-picture view of just how high the water is on the banks of the Ohio River.

He adds another picture of flood gates set up around Great American Ball Park. (Better Off Red)


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Posted on: February 28, 2011 9:08 pm
 

Carmona tabbed to start opening day

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

Fausto CarmonaThe Indians tabbed Fausto Carmona as their opening-day starter on Monday, before he went out to work two scoreless innings against the Reds at the team's shared home in Goodyear, Ariz.

Carmona will start opposite Mark Buehrle of the White Sox on April 1 at Progressive Park in Cleveland.

Not that it's much of a surprise -- it was Carmona or… Carlos Carrasco? But anyway, it was official until Monday when manager Manny Acta was asked if it was a "safe assumption" Carmona would start on opening day.

"That's a good assumption," Acta told reporters, including MLB.com. "Yeah, he's our opening day starter. He deserves that."

And while there are plenty we can assume -- we won't. Here's the official list so far:

Cubs -- Ryan Dempster
Dodgers -- Clayton Kershaw
Indians -- Fausto Carmona
Mets -- Mike Pelfrey
Rangers -- C.J. Wilson
Reds -- Edinson Volquez
Twins -- Carl Pavano
White Sox -- Mark Buehrle

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:04 am
 

Getting to know the Dodgers

Matt KempTEAM MVP

Matt Kemp didn't have the best 2010 -- he was called out by his general manager, benched for not hustling, saw his batting average drop nearly 50 points and had a public split with girlfriend Rihanna. Is Kemp, 26, the breakout superstar of 2009 or is he the talent-wasting malcontent of 2010? The Dodgers need him to be the vintage model for their season to be successful.

 

PLAYER ORACLE -- Sandy Koufax to Clayton Kershaw

Sandy Koufax played with Claude Osteen for the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers

Claude Osteen played with Jerry Mumphrey for the 1974 St. Louis Cardinals

Jerry Mumphrey played with Greg Maddux for the 1988 Chicago Cubs

Greg Maddux played with Clayton Kershaw for the 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

POP CULTURE

Better Off DeadIn the capital of America's entertainment industry, Los Angeles, the Dodgers are no strangers to pop culture -- from celebrities at the ballpark to ballplayers in movies and TV shows.

There's no shortage of movies and TV shows that have used Dodger Stadium as a backdrop, but my favorite is probably 1985's Better Off Dead (a CBS Production!). It's one of the mid-80s John Cusack classics, with Cusack playing sad-sack Lane Meyer, who falls in love with French foreign exchange student, Monique Junot (Diane Franklin). Monique came to the United States just to see Dodger Stadium -- "What else is there of interest but the Brooklyn Dodger?" 

The end of the movie shows the two kissing, sitting on the hood of Meyer's 1967 Camero parked at home plate.

Other movies using Dodger Stadium as a set:

Mask (1985)

Fletch (1985)

Naked Gun (1988)

Sandlot (1992)

Strange Days (1994)

Life (1988)

Matchstick Men (2002)

Be Cool (2004)

Rocky Balboa (2005)

Star Trek (2007)

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com