I’m a sucker for applying the Kevin Bacon Game to baseball. Stephen Strasburg was a teammate of Ivan Rodriguez, who was a teammate of Nolan Ryan, who played with Ken Boyer, who played with Stan Musial. Boom.
Juan Rivera‘s days as a Dodger seemed over from the moment the final out of the season was recorded. The 34-year-old was a free agent and Ned Colletti already had a backup corner outfielder under contract in Jerry Hairston Jr. (and later, Skip Schumaker).
In 109 games last season, Rivera batted .244 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs. It was a disappointing follow-up to his 62-game audition as a Dodger in 2011 (.274/.333/.406) in a year the Dodgers could have used him with injuries befalling Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and Shane Victorino, Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn Jr. doing little with their playing time.
The Dodgers purchased Rivera’s contract after he was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays on July 12, 2011, then got a one-year $4 million contract after the season. The Dodgers chose to buy out Rivera’s contract for $500,000 rather than exercise his option for 2013.
Thought I’d pass this along for the enjoyment of those who were Dodger fans in 2006-2007. Now-Yankees pitcher Brett Tomko is still drawing. This time, though, he’s drawing himself — and in his self-portrait, he appears sad after what looks like another a bad outing. Article from the Star-Ledger (with pictures and video! here, via Deadspin).
In other news, the LAT’s Dylan Hernandez reports that Ronald Belisario has left the team to have an MRI on his elbow. Cory Wade has been called up to replace him in the relief corps. Belisario has thrown 48 1/3 innings this season and is on pace to log 95 — which would be his highest season total since 2002, when he was in Single-A.