Stults goes on DL

CHICAGO (AP) — The Dodgers placed left-hander Eric Stults on the
15-day disabled list because of a sprained thumb on his pitching hand Sunday, clearing a spot in the rotation for Opening Day starter Hiroki Kuroda.
The Dodgers also called up reliever Travis Schlichting from Double-A Chattanooga.
Kuroda is expected to be activated before Monday’s start against Arizona after being
sidelined nearly two months with a strained left oblique. He has not pitched since the
opener on April 6, when he allowed one run in 5 2-3 innings while leading the Dodgers to a 4-1 victory over San Diego.
The 34-year-old Kuroda was fine after the start but felt tightness in his left side late
in his side session in the bullpen two days later. An MRI exam showed no structural
damage, but the right-hander felt it again when he threw off the mound and went on the DL on April 10.
“Hopefully, he’s going to deepen our rotation and chip in with what (Randy Wolf) and
(Chad) Billingsley have been doing,” Torre said before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. “Those two guys have been the only two that have been consistently getting us into the later part of the game.”
Recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque when Kuroda went on the DL, Stults is 4-2 with a 4.80 ERA and got hit hard in his last two outings. He got knocked out in the fourth inning of Saturday’s 7-0 loss and lasted just 4 1-3 in his previous start against Colorado.
“It’s not a fun thing to go on the DL, but it could be a good thing,” said Stults, whose
thumb was in a splint. “It’s something that could bother me the rest of the year, but
hopefully, with rest it’ll he’ll properly and heal quicker. The last two outings, I
haven’t helped the team the way I’d like to and hopefully, this will be the best
thing.”
Schlichting had a 0.66 ERA in nine appearances with Chattanooga after being limited by a bulging disc in his lower back during spring training.

Cubs 7, Dodgers 0

From the AP story on Saturday’s game …

The Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors, have dropped two straight after winning four in a row. Los Angeles has
not lost more than two consecutive games all year.
This was the Dodgers’ largest loss of the season — and the first time they were shut out. In the first three games of a
four-game series, Los Angeles has managed only three runs.
“We have to look at this. We’re very fortunate that we’ve scored three runs in three games and we have one win,” manager
Joe Torre said. “We’re certainly more capable of doing more damage, but we haven’t done it.”

Cubs to dispense with Gatorade dispenser

Funny story from the Chicago Tribune …

Going, going, gone.
The Gatorade dispenser in the Cubs’ dugout has taken its last hit for the team.
The large dispenser, which was the recipient of a wayward punch by Ryan Dempster on Monday and Carlos Zambrano’s bat-whacking
episode on Wednesday, will be removed from the dugout after the team hits the road Sunday night, a Cubs official said.
It will be replaced by the smaller, gray drinking fountain that had been there for years and had taken a beating of its
own.
Apparently, the orange color and large metal sides made the Gatorade dispenser too easy a target. It was brought in this
season as a way to enhance advertising revenues through a sponsorship with Pepsi, which owns Gatorade.
According to sources, Pepsi/Gatorade did not pay the Cubs to place the machine in such a conspicuous place and within easy
range of television cameras. However, Gatorade will continue to have portable orange-colored coolers in the dugout.
The news was first reported by FoxZZTOsports.com reporter Ken Rosenthal, who worked Saturday’s game for
FoxZZTO. Rosenthal also wrote that the Cubs “are in need of a psychiatrist” but offered no references.

Torre on his future

CHICAGO (AP)– Joe Torre is enjoying life with the Dodgers. That doesn’t mean he plans to manage much longer.
Torre spent some time discussing his future Saturday before his team’s 7-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The 68-year-old manager is in the second season of a three-year contract with the Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors at 34-17.
“I’ve got another year, but beyond that I’m not sure,” Torre said. “Well, next year is always in question. You hope you still continue to feel as energized as you do now.”
Torre managed the New York Yankees from 1996-07, guiding them to four World Series titles, six AL pennants and 12 playoff appearances. After a bitter split with the team, he was soon hired to manage the Dodgers. But during that brief period of
unemployment, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.
“I was wondering if the managing had just gotten to the point where the stress was outweighing the enjoyment,” Torre said. “The Dodgers were the first reason that I decided to come here … another big part was that I was curious if this managing
stuff could be fun or if I was just too old — and it’s been fun.”
Torre credited his coaching staff, particularly Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa, along with Dodgers players for helping him thoroughly enjoy his experience in Los Angeles. However, Torre isn’t ready to commit to anything beyond next season, when
his contract expires.
“Yeah, I’m enjoying it. Not to say that I’m thinking about doing this for 10 years, no. I have family, too,” he said. “I have another year left after this. There are still some days you don’t want to pack and go on a road trip. The ballpark is the best part for me. I still enjoy the baseball aspect of it. The energy is terrific and I feel good about it. It’s all
about the players and how they respond to you. The players have been great. This group of guys has been terrific.”

Torre: Manny should skip All-Star Game

CHICAGO (AP) — Suspended slugger Manny Ramirez should skip the All-Star game even if he’s voted in by fans, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre says.
“No,” Torre said before Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. “I think if you asked Manny, he’d give you the same answer.”
Despite his 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, Ramirez is fourth among outfielders in the latest voting tallies. The Dodgers star had received 442,763 votes, about 34,000 shy of the Mets’ Carlos Beltran for the third starting spot for the game July 14 in St. Louis.
One fan even created a “Vote for Manny” Web site after the first voting results were released on May 26.
Ramirez hit .348 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 27 games before he was suspended May 7. He is set to return to the Dodgers on July 3.
“To me, I think the significance of the All-Star Game is to reward players who have a good first half,” Torre said. “We don’t always do that, because it’s a popularity vote, for the most part. If you want to include the fans, that’s how it’s got to be.”

Manny likely to get stint in minors

DENVER (AP)– Suspended outfielder Manny Ramirez will be sent to the minor leagues
for a week to 10 days as part of a rehabilitation assignment prior to rejoining the Dodgers.
Ramirez is serving a 50-game ban for violating baseball’s drug policy. He’s eligible to
rejoin the Dodgers on July 3.
Manager Joe Torre said before the Dodgers’ game against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday that Ramirez has been doing conditioning work on his own in California but may soon go to the team’s spring training facility in GlendaleZZGB, Ariz., to work out.
While the Dodgers are still developing a plan for his return, Torre said Ramirez would
need some time in the minors to get ready to return to Los Angeles.
“We’ve still got a ways to go with him,” Torre said. “The most important thing was getting
all the cobwebs cleaned out with all the things he’s going through and that he’ll continue
to go through until he gets back and starts playing and the questions sort of taper
off.”
Torre said he hasn’t spoken with Ramirez in recent days but the team knows he has been working hard on his own to stay in shape. The manager also said he’s looking forward to Ramirez going to the Dodgers’ spring facility to get more baseball-specific work.
“I think he’s not ready for that right now” because of the media attention that would
generate, Torre said. “Eventually, obviously, he’s going to have to, but it hasn’t been
spelled out yet exactly what he’s going to do anyway. More important now for him is to be
in a routine and to get himself starting to think ahead as opposed to thinking about
what’s been going on.”

Vote for Manny

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Rosenberg was heading home and listening to satellite radio
when he heard that Manny Ramirez was fourth among National League outfielders in initial All-Star voting. By the end of the night, a new Web site was born: Vote for Manny.
“I said it would be funny if Manny got elected, because he’s coming off a suspension on
July 3 and the All-Star game is a week later, so they don’t even have that sort of
built-in protection,” the 39-year-old from suburban Ardsley said Wednesday. “So I got
home, and just quickly threw a Web site together.”
Rosenberg got voteformanny.blogspot.com up and running Tuesday night, designed to point out that MLB has no rule preventing players coming off drug suspensions from becoming All-Stars. It links to an online All-Star ballot and implores fans: “Remember, vote early and often!”
Ramirez was suspended for 50 games on May 7 after his drug test showed artificial
testosterone and baseball investigators obtained documentation that he received HCG, a
banned female fertility drug taken by some after steroid cycles to restart natural
testosterone production.
In the initial All-Star vote released Tuesday, Ramirez was on 442,763 ballots, trailing
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (663,164), the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano (545,354) and the New York Mets’ Carlos Beltran (476,843).
“The All-Star game is for the fans and I think if he got voted in, then it would be
appropriate for him to play,” said Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel, the NL manager. “Once he serves his suspension, he’s paid his penalty and he’s just like every other player.”

Dodgers light up Coors Field, 16-6

The Dodgers blasted the Colorado Rockies 16-6 today. The Dodgers scored seven runs in the fourth inning and eight runs in the seventh inning. Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, James Loney and Juan Castro all had three hits. Eric Stults, who returned from a thumb injury, struggled, allowing four earned runs and walking SEVEN in 4 1/3 innings. The Dodgers have won nine of their last 12 games and still have the best record in baseball at 31-15.