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Dodgers Web musings: Struggle for the No. 2 hitter, the McCourts, off-season grades and more

It’s one of the great unknowns the Dodgers will begin to examine when they report to camp next week:

Who can possibly bat second in the lineup?

There isn’t anything that even resembles a traditional No.2 hitter in their expected lineup, although I understand Larry Bowa is available. No typical table setter. No one with an interestingly high on-base percentage or particularly adept at bunting and advancing the runners.

So are you ready for Casey Blake batting second?

Hey, somebody has to. Newbie manager Don Mattingly told’s Ken Gurnick he is giving serious thought to having Blake in the No.2 spot because he can hit to the opposite field and take a pitch.

And this can’t be good, can it? Mattingly implied the batting order could be a daily shuffle.

Also on the Web:

-- Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that Bud Selig views Frank and Jamie McCourt far less kindly than Mets’ beleaguered owner Fred Wilpon, but doesn’t sound hopeful the commission will use the "best interest of the game" provision to force movement by either.

-- Off-season grades are coming in, and the Dodgers aren’t faring badly. ESPN’s Jayson Stark gives the Dodgers an NL West-best B-plus, while CBS Sports’ David Andriesen gives them a B, just behind the Rockies’ B-plus.

-- Joe Block is the new co-host for KABC’s Dodger Talk
. Block comes from New Orleans, where he hosted a similar show on the Hornets. He’ll team with Josh Suchon, replacing Ken Levine.

Levine is the Seattle Mariners new play-by-play announcer, though he wrote in his blog that he hopes to continue to contribute to Dodger Talk with features.

-- Former L.A. Times baseball writer Ross Newhan thinks Rangers infielder Michael Young would be an ideal fit for either the Dodgers or Angels, but doesn't believe it’s going to happen.

-- The first name listed by Fox Sports’ Jack Magruder on players whose teams need them to step it up this season is Matt Kemp.

-- True Blue LA’s Phil Gurnee gives an overview on prospect Jerry Sands, the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year.

-- Fernando Valenzuela is making his first trip to the Dominican Republic to be enshrined in the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame on Staturday.

-- Sports Illustrated’s Joe Lemire, meanwhile, bemoans the current state of major talent at the Caribbean Series.

-- Tony Malinosky was baseball’s oldest surviving player when he died Tuesday in Oxnard. Malinosky played 35 games for the Dodgers in 1937.

-- Vin Scully Is My Homeboy’s Roberto Baly
is pumped over a miniature replica of Ebbets Field, reportedly valued at $4,500.

--'s Michael Arkush catches up with Maury Wills, still going strong at 78 after prostate and knee replacement surgeries, and still lamenting his lost opportunity as a manager.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (6)

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Still having to see "we are giant" add on this sight. Booo.

B-plus is better grade than I thought we'd get. I was thinking C - average, and that's without consideration of us as the No. 2 market in the majors. With that in mind, our grade slips down to about a D. The No. 1, 2 and 3 market teams should readily be signing a big splash about every other offseason or even more frequently.

Boy, Jack Macgruder really went out on a limb with that one. In other news, the sun will rise in the east, set in the west tomorrow.

Congrats to Fernando - still an ace!

I gotta say I agree with the B+ and B grades. We now have five proven decent starters with a sixth in the bullpen, last year we had only 4 and lots of times 3. We have an improved bullpen with experience. There is a lot of flexibility with this team if injuries occur. I foresee a 90+ win season and playoffs. The keys are the ability of the back-end of the bullpen to close and Furcal's health.

Instead of making a big splash signing on one guy we got 6-7 pieces for our team that are needed and will all contribute.

We could spend and get more with a better owner cause lord knows this city supports the team, but for what the situation is I'd say Ned did a great job.

A DODGER FAN SINCE THE EARLY 80's off season was ok but, did we get better on just defense or just pitching.Picking up urebe was good, but adding M.YOUNG FROM TEXAS would give LA A A+.

Blake batting second? He's too slow! What is the manager thinking? Blake belongs in the 6th or 7th slot, delivering the timely hit once in awhile. They'll be lucky if he hits .250 and gets 70 RBI's as he's getting old.

Bring Michael Young to the Dodgers. What are they waiting for? NED!!! Look at his numbers. He maybe one of the best #2 hitters in the game over the past several seasons. How many All Stars does he have to have? How many batting titles? Yes, age is not on his side. However, he will be productive enough over the next two seasons to warrant a gamble on a season at age 36 in 2013. Yes, we all know about the prospects knocking at the door. But, Gordon and De Jesus are still developing and M. Young can play anywhere in the infield. He will not impede their progress. With age and health, along with mediocre production from the current cast of infielders, this move would make sense.


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