Not a great deal of news today. Ubaldo Jimenez was sticking it to the boys until just now, when Chin-lung Hu, to which the crowd responded with chants of “Huuuuuuuuu” as he rounded the bases. It was his second big-league homer, and it tied the game. By the way, there was a smattering off boos when Grady’s name was announced before the game. Not sure it was warranted, but not sure it wasn’t, either. … Rockies 2, Dodgers 2, end 4
By Tony Jackson
Dodgers backup catcher Mike Lieberthal said on Tuesday that he has changed his mind about retiring if the Dodgers don’t pick up his $1.5 million club option for next season. A month ago, Lieberthal said that if he doesn’t play for the Dodgers in 2008, he won’t play anywhere, but he has since opened himself to the possibility of playing for another club.
“I’m not going to retire,” Lieberthal said. “I feel like I can keep playing. I have asked so many people, especially my friends, a few players on this team and my family. They all feel I should keep playing. And I have talked to guys like (former Dodgers catcher) Steve Yeager, who tell me to play until they take (the jersey) off my back. Even if it’s for $1 million, $500,000 after taxes is a nice paycheck.”
The Dodgers have until five days after the World Series to decide whether to exercise the option. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti declined to comment on whether he is leaning one way or the other.
If nothing else, Lieberthal, who will turn 36 in January, should be fresh going into next year. He has started just 17 games this season behind iron man Russell Martin and has entered 14 others defensively. The fact he hasn’t complained about such sporadic playing time might be a compelling reason for the Dodgers to keep him, given that the situation doesn’t figure to change much next season.
“I would like to play more, but there is a stud playing in front of me,” Lieberthal said. “But as hard as he plays, he is probably going to get hurt sometime, even if it’s only for a week or two.”
Injury updates: Shortstop Rafael Furcal’s stiff lower back still hasn’t healed enough to allow him to play. Furcal now has missed seven consecutive games, and each day that passes without him returning to the lineup makes it less likely he will play again this season.
“There would be value is him playing if he is able to play,” said Dodgers manager Grady Little, shooting down the idea that it might be better to simply shut Furcal down for the year.
Furcal has been playing through pain in his left ankle all season.
Meanwhile, infielder Tony Abreu, who left Sunday’s game at Arizona with pain in his hip flexor, hadn’t improved much and was as questionable for the rest of the season as Furcal.
“He is hurt,” Little said. “I don’t know if he will be able to play. He is kind of day to day. We’ll check him and see.”
No difference: Little said the club won’t approach this three-game series with wildcard-contending Colorado any differently than this weekend’s season-ending set with last-place San Francisco, even though there doesn’t figure to be anything at stake for either club in that series.
“We’re going to try to win as many games as we can,” Little said. “What we did last week (a 1-6 trip), there is nothing we can do about that right now. We just have to go forward.”
The Dodgers entered the day trailing the third-place Rockies by four games, leaving them only a remote chance to avoid finishing behind Colorado in the standings for the first time since the Rockies came into existence in 1993. The Dodgers needed to go at least 2-4 to post their seventh winning season in eight years during this decade.