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Mailbag: Is Randolph torn after win?

Mailbag: Is Randolph torn after win?

LOS ANGELES -- Almost an hour before the Dodgers began their climb back into the National League Division Series against the New York Mets, early-arriving fans at Dodger Stadium already were in a festive mood.

The huge video screen in left-center field showed the top of the ninth inning being played at Comerica Park in Detroit, where the Wild Card Tigers wrapped up an 8-3 victory over the New York Yankees to clinch a berth in the American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics.

Reasons to cheer were somewhat limited for most of the evening, however, as the Dodgers dropped a 9-5 decision to the Mets that sent the NL team from the Big Apple into the NLCS.

For the Dodgers and their fans, it's wait 'til next year.

As every team, the Dodgers face many questions as they head into the offseason. And, speaking of questions ...

Why wouldn't the Dodgers replace injured first baseman Nomar Garciaparra with a healthy player?
-- Paul D., Costa Mesa, Calif.

Well Paul, until 1974 an injured player could be replaced on the 25-man roster during a postseason series. But the injury-replacement rule was changed after Oakland Athletics owner Charles O. Finley attempted to remove second baseman Mike Andrews from the 25-man roster after Andrews committed two errors in Oakland's Game 2 loss to the New York Mets in the 1973 World Series. Andrews was coerced into signing a statement that he had suffered a shoulder injury and therefore could be replaced on the roster by Manny Trillo. Then-commissioner Bowie Kuhn investigated the "injury" to Andrews, found it to be false, and refused to allow the roster change. The injury-replacement rule was changed the following year. Teams can make roster adjustments between series, but not during a series.

With the lineup card "snafu" before Game 2, if Shawn Green was actually on the lineup card that the umpire had, would he have been counted as having played, and then not been available, or is there some other penalty that would have been imposed for the improper lineup or improper substitution?
-- Chris O., Fairfield, Conn.

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You are right on the money, Chris. If Green actually had been on the lineup card presented to the umpires prior to the game and Endy Chavez went to right field instead, as soon as the first pitch of the game had been thrown, Green would have been declared out of the game, replaced in the lineup by Chavez.

How disappointed was Mets manager Willie Randolph that his former team, the Yankees, were eliminated by the Tigers in the AL Division Series?
-- Bob M., Tucson, Ariz.

Willie was asked that question after the series-clinching win and there were tears in his eyes. However, the tears were caused by the champagne being squirted into his face, not by his former team taking it on the chin in Detroit earlier in the day. The longtime Yankees second baseman said his only thoughts were on the Mets, not the Yankees.

Do you think the Dodgers will re-sign Garciaparra?
-- Alice G., El Segundo, Calif.

That is a tough one to answer right now, Alice, but I would expect general manager Ned Colletti to work something out with Nomar, who was selected on Saturday as the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Garciaparra proved without a shadow of a doubt that he can still play the game at an All-Star level, but he's not a kid anymore, and he can't play as many games as he did a few years ago. Another factor is James Loney. He was one of the best hitters in the Minor Leagues this past season and is close to becoming an everyday player -- somewhere.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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