Bud Selig statement regarding the impending sale of the Dodgers.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig issued the following statement Wednesday, posted on MLB.com:

“It is extraordinarily exciting for Major League Baseball that Magic Johnson, a beloved figure in Los Angeles and around the world, has entered into an agreement, along with Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten, that would make them a part of our national pastime.

“I believe that a man of Magic’s remarkable stature and experience can play an integral role for one of the game’s most historic franchises, in a city where he is revered. Major League Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities, and Magic Johnson is a living embodiment of so many of the ideals that are vital to our game and its future.

“The interest in this franchise and its historic sale price are profound illustrations of the great overall health of our industry. This has been a long, difficult process, and I once again want to thank the great Dodger fans for their loyalty and patience.”

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So Magic Johnson owns the Dodgers. What’s next?

In case you missed it, a group led by Magic Johnson was selected as the next owner of the Dodgers tonight. Here are the preliminary details.

There are some good questions that remain to be answered as of this moment.Why did the deal go down so soon after Major League Baseball owners approved the final three groups of bidders? What were Frank McCourt’s sticking points? What will the team’s next television package look like, and does the incoming ownership group already know?

If these questions haven’t been answered by the time McCourt and the Guggenheim Group sit down for a press conference later this week in Los Angeles (the exact date and location are TBA), they will be asked with Magic Johnson and his cohorts on the dais.

Here are some things we do know:
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Padres 6, Dodgers 5.

Brad Davis’ walk-off double against Francisco Felix –a call-up from the Dodgers’ minor-league camp –scored Beamer Weems and Daniel Robertson and lifted the San Diego Padres to a 6-5 win in the bottom of the ninth inning before an announced crowd of 4,740 at Peoria Sports Complex. [box score]

If those names sound obscure, it’s because they are. The game featured plenty of minor-leaguers on both sides, including six for the Dodgers as a number of regulars got the day off. That included third baseman Juan Uribe, who became a late lineup scratch after a bunted ball hit him in the groin during a practice Tuesday morning.

Juan Rivera hit his team-leading fourth Cactus League home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning off Padres starter Casey Kelly. The Dodgers totaled 15 hits, including three from Rivera, two from A.J. Ellis, Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier.

All of the Dodgers’ projected starters got a day off, and no pitcher –including starter Jamey Wright — pitched more than an inning. Of those, only Wright (1) Ronald Belisario (2), Angel Sanchez (1) and Felix (2) allowed runs.
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Sands optioned; Hawksworth to 60-day DL, Wright added to 40-man.

The Dodgers exercised an option on Jerry Sands today and assigned him to their minor-league camp, reducing the major-league camp roster to 39.

Sands had been hitting .158, his sixth hit in 38 at-bats serving as the game-winning RBI single in yesterday’s 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

“More than anything, we’ve got to let Jerry in our minds, let him settle down and get his swing back together, let him get to work and just get ready to play,” manager Don Mattingly said.

After Monday’s game, Sands admitted he’s been a bit off while trying to make adjustments to his swing during camp. Visibly, his swing didn’t look the same as it did last season with the Dodgers, when he hit .253 (50-for-198) with four home runs and 26 RBIs.

“Small things can throw big things off,” he said. “Going up to the plate worried about things going on with my swing and not worried about picking up pitches – it’s tougher than it looks up there. I’ve just kind of been out of it so far. I’ve got to get back to seeing some pitches.”

Now he’ll get that chance. Mattingly said that Sands is still the team’s “best option” in the long run to come off the bench and spell Andre Ethier or James Loney against left-handed pitchers.

“We just need to simplify things, get him back to work, get him out of the thought of this team right now,” Mattingly said. “Get him back to where he puts himself back together, and have a shot to be able to help us when he comes back.”

With Sands out, several players are still in the running for the final position player spot on opening day. Mattingly specifically mentioned infielders Justin Sellers, Luis Cruz and Josh Fields. Sellers is on the 40-man roster; Cruz and Fields would need to be added.

“We don’t know who it’s going to be,” Mattingly said.

Additionally, the Dodgers placed Blake Hawksworth on the 60-day disabled list, and officially announced the signing of Jamey Wright and added him to the 40-man roster.
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Dodgers 4, White Sox 3.

Jerry Sands‘ walk-off single drove in pinch-runner Elian Herrera in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Dodgers (11-8-4) to the win before 5,816 at Camelback Ranch. [box score]

Sands’ single was just his sixth hit in 38 Cactus League at-bats, and it came at a critical time as the roster is trimmed in advance of opening day.

“I’ve been feeling pretty brutal just trying to work on some things,” Sands said. “Changes here and there, just trying to get comfortable now after making some changes, all kinds of stuff. Just trying to get rhythm and timing after making changes is the hardest thing.

With two strikes against him, Sands lined a single into left field that Kosuke Fukudome could not field cleanly, allowing Herrera to score easily from second base. It was only the sixth hit by the Dodgers all afternoon, as starter Chad Billingsley allowed 11 hits in his 5 2/3 innings of work.

All of those hits were singles, however, and Chicago left nine runners on base. Billingsley also walked two and struck out five.

Dee Gordon stole two bases, giving him a major league-leading 10 this spring. Andre Ethier‘s fifth-inning double was his eighth, tying him for the major league lead with a pair of luminaries, Lorenzo Cain and Matt Carpenter.

A few more notes:

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