Dodgers name Neil Rampe head athletic trainer, fill out 2016 training staff.

Neil RampeThe Dodgers announced their training staff Tuesday.

Former Arizona Diamondbacks trainer Neil Rampe replaces Stan Conte as the team’s head athletic trainer, and Nathan Lucero and Thomas Albert will be the assistant athletic trainers.

Brandon McDaniel (strength and conditioning coach), Steve Smith (physical therapist) and Yosuke Nakajima (massage therapist) will return to the major league staff.

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Dodgers minor-leaguers in uniform today against the Chicago White Sox.

Please add the following names to your program for today’s game against the Chicago White Sox:

infielder Luis Mateo (No.86)
outfielder Joey Curletta (No.96)
outfielder 
Travis Witherspoon (No.85)
LHP 
Jeremy Horst (No.97)
RHP 
Jeremy Kehrt (No.87)
RHP 
Steve Smith (No.95)

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Daily Distractions: The National League’s best record is within the Dodgers’ reach.

Brian Wilson

The Dodgers are two games behind the Atlanta Braves for the National League’s best record. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)

While I spent the weekend at a wedding in which two bridesmaids went chasing after a tossed bouquet like a a couple of defensive linemen going after a fumbled football (congrats Darryl and Amanda!), the Dodgers spent the weekend looking ahead to October.

How else to view the Michael Young trade, with the Phillies unloading their primary third baseman to a Dodgers team that might or might not use him extensively off the bench?

Looking ahead in a way the Dodgers won’t publicly, the best record in the National League is within their reach the next three days in Denver. If the Dodgers sweep the Colorado Rockies, and the New York Mets sweep the Braves in Atlanta (stranger things have happened; the Metropolitans are 4-3 in Atlanta this year), the best record in the National League belongs to the Dodgers. Atlanta is currently two games ahead of the Dodgers, 83-53 compared to 81-55.

The National League team with the best record on October 1 will have home-field advantage throughout the postseason until the World Series, thanks to the American League’s All-Star game victory. All those Dodger wins in July and August that had us reaching for the record books, searching for the best 40- and 50-game stretches in baseball history, might actually mean something after all.

So far as we can tell, the last time the Dodgers held the NL’s best record outright as late as Sept. 4 was in 1978.

And so the journey into scarcely charted territory continues.

More bullet points for Labor Day:
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