Kenta Maeda gets the ball in Dodgers’ home opener.

Pitcher Kenta Maeda is starting the Dodgers’ home opener, which is a big deal for Maeda here and his many fans back in Japan.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke was asked about the comparisons between him and Maeda (begun by Yasmani Grandal in spring training): “I’ve only watched him pitch an inning, but that’s what they’ve  been saying a little bit, and if you read his scouting report it seems pretty accurate. I probably shouldn’t comment since I’ve only seen him pitch one inning.”

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On the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks, and deferred payments.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke will get more than $60 million after his six-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks expires. (Associated Press photo)


PHOENIX — The Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks both did something interesting this off-season by deferring payments on some fairly large contracts.

The Diamondbacks will be paying Zack Greinke only $144 million of his estimated $206.5 million contract over the life of his six-year contract. The Dodgers will be paying Scott Kazmir through 2021 even though it’s only a three-year, $48 million deal.

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Assessing the Zack Greinke fallout, one day later.

Clatyon Kershaw Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw might not be BFFs anymore, but what does that really mean for the Dodgers going forward? (Associated Press photo)

One of the better Zack Greinke analogies I’ve read in the last 24 hours came from Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs: “The Dodgers didn’t lose a war. They fell short in this particular battle.”

I’m not sure what kind of sentences were written after, say, Antietam. But there is a certain sense of shock and loss among fans who have taken time to chime in on Twitter and Facebook. For now hindsight is easy and foresight is difficult. We don’t know exactly where the Dodgers will go from here, only that the days of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top of the starting rotation are over. As of this writing, most fans are OK with that.

A few things to consider for perspective:
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Managing expectations, Day 8: Mattingly to Marlins, cross Bud Black off the list.

Bud Black and Don Mattingly might be managing in the same division again when the 2016 season starts. Just don’t expect either the Washington Nationals or Miami Marlins to make this official before the World Series is over.

Black will become the Nationals’ next manager, according to the Washington Post, while Mattingly and the Marlins have reached agreement on a four-year deal.

Meanwhile, the Padres are reportedly set to hire Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green to be their manager.

Mattingly reportedly interviewed for the Marlins’ job on Monday, though he had been linked to the job in reports since early September. At the time, the Dodgers were in the middle of a critical series against the San Francisco Giants, and there wasn’t much Mattingly could say.

“I’m not worried about anything as far as that goes,” he said. “I’m happy here. I feel like I’m a Dodger.”

That changed last Thursday, when Mattingly and the Dodgers mutually agreed to forego the final year of his contract. It is unknown how much of Mattingly’s 2016 salary, if any, will be paid by the Dodgers.

Once the three hires are announced, the Dodgers will be the only MLB team without a manager.

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Game 151: Chase Utley muscles up and Carlos Frias bears down in victory.

Chase Utley

Chase Utley led off the Dodgers’ 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks with a home run, and hit the go-ahead RBI double (above) in the eighth inning. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Zack Greinke was scratched with a sore right calf muscle, so Carlos Frias started Wednesday instead and halted the Dodgers’ four-game losing streak with help from Chase Utley.

The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

The San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 in extra innings, so the Dodgers lead the second-place Giants by seven games with 11 to play.

The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the division is 5. The earliest they can clinch outright is Saturday. Because the Giants’ game against the Oakland A’s begins at 1 p.m. PT, and the Dodgers’ game against the Rockies begins at 5 p.m., it’s possible the Dodgers can clinch the division before they set foot on the field.

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