Last-minute housecleaning before Tony takes a vacation

The Dodgers added pitchers Brent Leach, Jesus Castillo, Travis Schlichting and Victor Garate and outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to the 40-man roster tonight, which was the deadline for protecting Rule 5 draft-eligible players from being taken in the Rule 5 draft, which is scheduled for Dec. 11. They could have added more, but they needed to leave a couple of spots open for possible free-agent signings between now and the Rule 5. Forty-man is now at 38. And some of these guys could be removed if the Dodgers end up signing more than two FAs before Dec. 11. … I believe I have gotten to the bottom of this Camelback Ranch thing. Turns out, this whole area of Glendale/Phoenix is known as Camelback Ranch. I live at the Villas at Camelback Ranch, which is adjacent to the Townes at Camelback Ranch. Thus, that thing going up across the street should technically be called the Spring Training Complex at Camelback Ranch. For whatever reason, the Dodgers and White Sox seem to want to take credit for coming up with the name, which apparently was in place long before they ever even thought about building a spring-training complex here and even before KB Home started their development here. Talk about chutzpah. … I’m starting a well-deserved vacation tomorrow. Doug Padilla will be covering for me while I’m gone. See you on Dec. 2, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Will the REAL Camelback Ranch please stand up?

The Dodgers just sent out a release stating that their new spring-training home, which will be shared with the Chicago White Sox, will be called Camelback Ranch. That’s funny, because the subdivision across the street, where your favorite blog host now owns a home, is ALSO called Camelback Ranch. Now, I am completely unaware of ANY affiliation between the two entities — although the sales office DOES have an artist’s rendering of the baseball complex prominently displayed on an easel. I’m trying to figure out if there is some connection between the two. The subdivision is a KB Home project.

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Spring-training facility update

They put up the lights at the main stadium today, something I noticed as I was on my way to the gym tonight (yes, some of us scribes at least ATTEMPT to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle). Light towers were erected at a couple of the back fields several weeks ago, but the fact they are now up at the main stadium is a real sign of progress. Interestingly, the stadium lights have airplane warning lights on top, which the backfield lights don’t. They’re of roughly equal height, and there is an airport (Glendale Municipal) adjacent to the facility, as well as an Air Force Base (Luke) about five miles to the West. But I digress. Anyway, I’ll try to post regular updates whenever some significant, obvious development takes place over there. It’s amazing that it has only been eight months since I got my first glimpse of the place, when it was nothing but a big, flat patch of dirt. Now, it’s beginning to look like a spring-training complex.

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A good move for a good man

The Colorado Rockies are expected to announce tomorrow that our old friend Jim Tracy is their new bench coach. He has been out of the game for the past year while still being paid by the Pirates, who fired him as their manager after 2007. In all my years of covering ball, Trace is still one of my favorite people that I have met in the game, and it’ll be great having him back in the N.L. West and to be able to see him frequently and catch up.

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Dodgers-Giants rivalry heading for another showdown?

OK, this isn’t something anyone has told me, and it isn’t something that is being reported. It’s just a logical inference I am making based on the information that I have. But it APPEARS that the CC Sabathia sweepstakes could come down to two final teams: the Dodgers and the Giants. This is based on one very big assumption, which is this: the fact Sabathia still hasn’t accepted the Yankees’ offer of six years, $140 million, which was made almost a week ago, seems to suggest that maybe he just doesn’t want to pitch for the Yankees. I’m not stating that as a fact. I’m only saying that is what it seems to suggest. Anyway, we know CC wants to pitch for an N.L. club because he likes to hit. We know he just purchased a home in SoCal. And we know he wants to stay close to home. That pretty much leaves the Dodgers and Giants. Padres are dumping payroll to the point that they’re shopping Jake Peavy, so they’re out. Diamondbacks aren’t adding payroll, and besides, they have Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. So it LOOKS like that is where this whole thing is headed, provided the Dodgers don’t re-sign Manny Ramirez anytime soon. This much is clear: they WON’T sign both Manny and CC.

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