Magic Johnson is back at Dodger Stadium, giving the Los Angeles Times something to write about.
One of the two new Dodgers are at Dodger Stadium, as relief pitcher Brandon League has arrived and outfielder Shane Victorino will join the team Wednesday morning before their afternoon finale against Arizona. Here is a quick recap of Tuesday's news and notes before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks:
- Manager Don Mattingly said Victorino would play left field and bat leadoff for the Dodgers.
- General manager Ned Colletti said the groundwork for the Victorino trade was laid two weeks ago when the Philadelphia Phillies were in town, when he and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. met multiple times during the three-game series. Two days ago talks intensified, and the deal was completed early Tuesday morning.
- Mattingly said he was going to have Josh Lindblom pitch longer than one inning on Monday night, but got the call that Lindblom was part of a possible trade, which ended up being the Victorino deal, and pulled Lindblom after one inning.
- The Dodgers need to make a corresponding move to add Victorino to the active roster but the Dodgers gave no inclination at what that move could be. Speaking of that...
- Juan Uribe has just one plate appearance in the last eight games, but there is nothing physically wrong with the infielder. He's just the odd man out of sorts right now. "He's healthy," Mattingly said. "In a sense, with Hanley at third and Cruz playing well at short, there is nowhere to use him except maybe as a pinch hitter, or doubling him in late in the game.
- Mattingly clarified his comments from Monday, that when Hanley Ramirez moves to shortstop he will remain at the position only until Dee Gordon returns from the disabled list. Mattingly said Gordon would resume playing shortstop upon his return, but that he could still be out for up to a month.
- League was assigned uniform number 31, last worn last season by catcher Tim Federowicz. League will likely pitch in the seventh and eighth innings for the Dodgers, setting up closer Kenley Jansen.
- League found out about the trade last night. "Playing for a new team and a new city adds a little spice to your life," he said.
- Ownership partner Magic Johnson said he was excited about the moves made by the Dodgers. "We definitely want to win this year. We're not sitting back waiting on next year or the year after. We want to win now," he said. "We had needs, and we feel like we upgraded our team." (In a related story, I apparently have a bald spot.)
- Though Colletti wouldn't mention Ryan Dempster by name, calling him "a veteran pitcher," but said the deal on the table with the Chicago Cubs wasn't just Allen Webster, but "one premiere prospect and other players too." Colletti said even though he had been in contact with Chicago for weeks, they were never really close to a deal on Tuesday. 'We had been talking for such a long period of time, and there was no moving. We tried up until the last couple of minutes," Colletti said.
- Colletti said the Dodgers wouldn't be precluded from making a deal in August, citing previous trades for Greg Maddux (in 2008) and Marlon Anderson (in 2006) as examples of acquisitions during the August waiver period. "They don't slam the door on July 31. They close it, but they don't slam it," Colletti said.
- Scheduled Wednesday starter Josh Collmenter has been moved to the bullpen by the Diamondbacks, per Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. Instead, Patrick Corbin will start for Arizona in the series finale.
- Tuesday night is Kirk Gibson bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium, and the former Dodgers player and current Diamondbacks manager said before the game, "It's got to be weird for the Dodgers. We're going to try to beat their tails tonight."
- At Gibson's request, current Dodgers clubhouse manager Mitch Poole will throw out the first pitch tonight. Poole was a Dodger bat boy in 1988 and helped Gibson during Game 1 of the World Series by putting balls on the tee as Gibson hit in the batting cage to get ready to make history. It was Poole who told manager Tommy Lasorda in the dugout that Gibson was ready.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.