MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Roberts proving Dodgers found right man for job

Newly crowned NL champs kept open mind when hiring manager before 2016 season

Roberts proving Dodgers found right man for job

All these teams looking for a new manager -- and another one joined the list Friday when the Nationals announced they're parting ways with Dusty Baker -- should hire somebody the way the Dodgers hired Dave Roberts.

OK, look, that sentence isn't as simple or as silly as it sounds. Roberts is an individual, and individuals are all, in their own way, unrepeatable. The point here is not that every team should aspire to have somebody exactly like Roberts, the skipper of the newly named National League champion Dodgers.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sarah's Take: Dodgers playing like champs

Los Angeles is four wins from goal of winning Fall Classic

Sarah's Take: Dodgers playing like champs

The Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League pennant on Thursday. For the first time since 1988, Dodger Stadium will host a World Series game.

The Dodgers simply dominated the Cubs, winning four of the five games played in the best-of-seven series. While the Cubs had the best record in the NL after the All-Star break, they struggled in the NLCS presented by Camping World. The Cubs couldn't launch a rally against the Dodgers' pitching staff, as most of their runs during the series came via home runs. The defense committed costly errors and allowed passed balls, giving the Dodgers many more scoring opportunities. The Cubs' starting pitchers, except Jake Arrieta, struggled with their control, and the Chicago bullpen was the Achilles' heel. Although the 2016 season was the Cubs' special year, winning the franchise's first World Series since 1908, they didn't have the same magic in 2017.

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Sarah D. Morris can be reached at sarahmorris27@gmail.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers pitch in with relief aid to Puerto Rico

Dodgers pitch in with relief aid to Puerto Rico

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will make a "substantial" donation to aid Puerto Rico's relief effort from Hurricane Maria in the name of Enrique Hernandez, whose record-tying three-homer performance on Thursday helped the club clinch the National League Championship Series.

Hernandez, a native of Puerto Rico, tied postseason single-game records with the trio of home runs and seven RBIs against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Game 5 of the NLCS presented by Camping World.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Cubs shouldn't hang their heads

Coming off first title since 1908, club showed a lot of heart

Cubs shouldn't hang their heads

CHICAGO -- Maybe you could have seen this coming, but the Cubs didn't.

When they ran onto the field to face Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers on a gorgeous Thursday night, center fielder Albert Almora Jr. and left fielder Kyle Schwarber bathed in the enthusiasm of Wrigley Field's bleacherites.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roberts, Dodgers seeing fruits of their labors

Second-year manager beaming with pride as club heads to Fall Classic

Roberts, Dodgers seeing fruits of their labors

CHICAGO -- In December 2001, a speedy 29-year-old outfielder named Dave Roberts was dealt to the Dodgers for a pair of prospects. The following spring, Roberts donned Dodger blue for the first time.

Shop for Dodgers World Series gear

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AJ Cassavell is in his seventh season as a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers latest top seed to reach World Series

10 previous times in Wild Card Era has team with best regular-season record made it to Classic

Dodgers latest top seed to reach World Series

The Dodgers are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1988 after Thursday's 11-1 win over the Cubs clinched the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World. They're doing so as baseball's top seed in the first year home-field advantage in the Fall Classic is determined by overall record.

• Gear up for the World Series at Dodgers Shop

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DYK: Records toppled in NLCS Gm. 5 clincher

DYK: Records toppled in NLCS Gm. 5 clincher

At long last, the Dodgers are going back to the World Series.

Enrique Hernandez and a relentless offense backed up a stellar Clayton Kershaw on Thursday night at Wrigley Field, as the Dodgers defeated the Cubs, 11-1, in Game 5 of the National League Division Series presented by Camping World. In taking the series, 4-1, L.A. can sit back and await the winner of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, in which the Yankees hold a 3-2 edge over the Astros heading into tonight's Game 6 in Houston.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

WS berth one of Kershaw's 'best moments'

Elated Dodgers ace realizes childhood dream with clinching win, will start Game 1

WS berth one of Kershaw's 'best moments'

CHICAGO -- Clayton Kershaw could not move. He turned to his right, slamming into a wall of teammates and a shower of beer. He turned to his left. More of the same. Eventually, Kershaw ducked out of the huddle of screaming Dodgers, who had transformed Wrigley Field's weight room into a fraternity house following their 11-1, pennant-clinching Game 5 win over the Cubs on Thursday in the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despite NLCS loss, Cubs still set for future

Despite NLCS loss, Cubs still set for future

CHICAGO -- The Cubs aren't going to repeat as World Series champions, but manager Joe Maddon is quick to remind fans that getting to the National League Championship Series three years in a row is quite an accomplishment and that the future is bright.

"I think we did OK based on how we started [the season]," Maddon said. "Three trips to this neck of the woods doesn't happen often. We're young, and we're no longer inexperienced. We've been young and inexperienced, and now we're just young, so that's nice. Eventually, the young will become veterans, too."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs proud of season as repeat quest ends

Reigning champions reflect after 2017 campaign finishes with NLCS loss

Cubs proud of season as repeat quest ends

CHICAGO -- During the National League Championship Series games at Wrigley Field, Cubs manager Joe Maddon glanced at the center-field scoreboard. For the third straight year, the Cubs were one of the final four teams still playing.

"That's pretty darn impressive," Maddon said. "That speaks to the group, speaks to the organization itself. That's not lost on me, believe me. That's pretty special stuff. You could ask other groups in Major League Baseball who have not had that same situation and ask them what they think about it.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LA pleased to beat 'incredibly talented' Cubs

Dodgers win pennant in place where '16 season ended, '17 season began

LA pleased to beat 'incredibly talented' Cubs

CHICAGO -- It was nothing more than coincidence that the Dodgers happened to be at Wrigley Field on April 10, the quirk of a schedule printed long before any October storylines came to be. It was nonetheless uncomfortable. The Dodgers watched as the Cubs raised their 2016 World Series championship flag, knowing they stood on the same field six months earlier with a chance to prevent it.

Dress for the World Series: Get Dodgers postseason gear

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Memories of '88 return with LA in World Series

Current Dodgers reminding fans how special championship was 29 years ago

Memories of '88 return with LA in World Series

"In a year that has been so improbable the impossible has happened." -- Vin Scully, Oct. 15, 1988.

World Series Gm 1: Tues., 7:30 p.m. ET air time | 8 ET game time on FOX

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner, Taylor share NLCS MVP honors

Each player homers twice in series against Cubs

Turner, Taylor share NLCS MVP honors

CHICAGO -- Justin Turner and Chris Taylor wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

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AJ Cassavell is in his seventh season as a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs salute Dodgers after falling in NLCS

Chicago's offense, pitching struggle against formidable LA

Cubs salute Dodgers after falling in NLCS

The Cubs' season came to an end Thursday as their quest to repeat as champions fell short with an 11-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World at Wrigley Field.

Chicago managed to hand the Dodgers their first loss of the playoffs, taking Game 4 at home on Wednesday, but ultimately couldn't keep pace with the hot bats and dominant pitching of Los Angeles.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hollywood & Vines: LA wins NLCS at Wrigley!

Hollywood & Vines: LA wins NLCS at Wrigley!

CHICAGO -- Clayton Kershaw was born in the spring of 1988, and that fall, Orel Hershiser shut out the Mets to clinch the Dodgers' previous National League pennant. It seemed fitting that Kershaw was on the mound Thursday night at Wrigley Field, leading Los Angeles back to the World Series for the first time since that memorable October of '88.

• Gear up for the World Series at Dodgers Shop

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Trio grand! Hernandez has 3-HR, 7-RBI clincher

Left fielder ties all-time MLB records for homers, RBIs in one postseason game

Trio grand! Hernandez has 3-HR, 7-RBI clincher

CHICAGO -- His father pleaded patience, and Enrique Hernandez shook his head. His mother called for contact, and Hernandez refused the request. This, the man they call "Kiké" had decided prior to the first pitch of the Dodgers' pennant-clinching victory, was going to be a night to swing early and swing big.

World Series Gm 1: Tues., 7:30 p.m. ET air time | 8 ET game time on FOX

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roberts encouraged by Seager's recovery

Shortstop making progress with lower back sprain

Roberts encouraged by Seager's recovery

CHICAGO -- Shortstop Corey Seager reported continued progress in his rehabilitation from a lower back sprain in Los Angeles on Thursday, said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who is hoping to get him back for the World Series.

Dress for World Series: Get Dodgers postseason

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maddon lauds Wolf for admitting wrong call

Maddon lauds Wolf for admitting wrong call

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he appreciated umpire Jim Wolf admitting he made the wrong call in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night vs. the Dodgers. Maddon had argued the call and was ejected for the second time in the series.

"I give Jimmy Wolf a ton of credit for coming forth like he did," Maddon said Thursday. "That's awesome. I've known him for years and he's outstanding and I love when he's umpiring big games."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chris Taylor NLCS Game 5 pregame interview

Chris Taylor NLCS Game 5 pregame interview

Q. If you had a dollar for every time somebody came up to you this year and said, Hey, why are you so good this year, what do you think you could afford to buy?

CHRIS TAYLOR: I don't know. I think I get it in every interview: What's the difference in the success this year? And every time I've talked about my swing change. So stop asking that question, please (laughter).

Q. I'm trying to think of how to ask this without saying the word "swing change" but when you decided to make that, what was the risk involved? Could you have just gone on the way you were and tried to carve out a career as a bench guy? Was there a downside in trying something new?

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NLCS Game 5 pregame Joe Maddon interview

NLCS Game 5 pregame Joe Maddon interview

Q. Do you feel you've been taken to task for being honest about scripting games when it's been going on for a hundred years where managers in their mind have it scripted but don't necessarily share that?

JOE MADDON: It's possible. It doesn't really matter though, honestly. I've done it ever since I've been doing this, and it's really the only way to do it, I think. You want to try to make decisions in advance of a hot moment.

Gene Mauch taught me early '80's, I think it was, you've got to play the game three times before it occurs, as it's occurring and then postgame also. When you have something scripted, that's not to say you can't go off script because, of course, reality and theory are two different things, so you're always willing and ready to do that.

But, I just got the lineup, so I'll sit down when we get down with this. I'll go watch BP for a little bit, and then I'll go back inside and start writing down bullpen names next to their players' names. You know what they're going to do pinch hitting-wise, if you choose to put a righty on righty if they're going to pinch-hit, et cetera. So you know that and then you do it. If it doesn't work out, here's the thing that people have to understand, you all have to understand. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't mean it was wrong. It means it didn't work. Sometimes in our game, and it's really becoming very prominent is that there is more of an attempt to vilify as opposed to glorify. In other words, when Turner hits a home run, it's because Turner is good, not because the pitcher is bad or wrong.

So I think it's been shifting in a sense that people want to blame somebody as opposed to giving somebody credit. I see a lot of that. The thing I've taught myself historically is that even if something doesn't work out, it doesn't mean it was wrong, it just means in that moment it didn't play, and I think that happens in every baseball game, every day. Managers are confronted with those decisions all the time, but we're just making our best guess in the moment based on what we know.

It's not fantasy baseball, it's not based on probability, statistical stuff. It's about your best guess against this guy. There is some data involved, absolutely. But it's the human element that I think is sometimes overlooked.

Q. For the lack of a better word, are you desperate to see your team score a run not with a home run?

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Jon Lester NLCS Game 5 pregame interview

Jon Lester NLCS Game 5 pregame interview

Q. Jon, talking approximate a game that you don't know you're going to pitch or not, is that difficult for you? And considering the situation tonight, are you ready if called on by Joe?

JON LESTER: Ready tonight for what? For me to pitch? Oh, I think as scheduled, as far as I know. I haven't been told otherwise. We're just planning for Saturday. So I know there's a lot of what-ifs and if we're playing then or not, but you still just do your normal routine. Be prepared. I'll look over -- since we have an off-day tomorrow, I'll look over some stuff tonight and be ready to go.

No, I'm prepared for Saturday. I don't think there's anything scheduled for tonight.

Q. Postseason tends to skew the numbers greatly, and so Javy Baez is whatever he was, 0 for 20 and then hits a couple homers and goes from bad to good. What kind of mindset do you have to have in the playoffs when there can be those kind of swings?

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Dodgers-Cubs NLCS Game 5: In Real Life

Dodgers-Cubs NLCS Game 5: In Real Life

The Dodgers beat the Cubs, 11-1, on Thursday to win the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World. We were at the scene in and around Wrigley Field. Los Angeles took the best-of-seven series, 4-1.

11:43 p.m. ET: You da real MVP

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NLCS Game 4 makes history with 5 solo HRs

NLCS Game 4 makes history with 5 solo HRs

Not only did the Cubs give fans a glimmer of hope against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World, but they also made some history in the process.

All five runs in the Cubs' 3-2 win were scored via solo homers, the highest total to be scored in such a way in postseason history according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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

Cachorros apuestan a José Quintana en el Juego 5

Cachorros apuestan a José Quintana en el Juego 5

CHICAGO -- Los Cachorros evitaron una barrida en la Serie de Campeonato de la Liga Nacional el miércoles con un triunfo por 3-2 sobre los Dodgers en el Juego 4. Ahora los pupilos de Joe Maddon buscan otro triunfo para obligar que la serie se defina en Los Ángeles. El señalado para la misión es el colombiano José Quintana.

El zurdo hará la apertura más importante de su carrera el jueves, jornada en la que se medirá al as de Los Ángeles, Clayton Kershaw, en el Juego 5. Los Dodgers tienen ventaja de 3-1 en la serie al mejor de siete juegos.

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Dodgers, Cubs announce NLCS G5 lineups

Dodgers, Cubs announce NLCS G5 lineups

The Dodgers and Cubs have revealed their starting lineups for Game 5 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World. Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts has shuffled his lineup considerably to face Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana, while Chicago manager Joe Maddon has made only one notable change as Ben Zobrist returns to the lineup.

Los Angeles leads the best-of-seven series, 3-1, and has ace Clayton Kershaw on the hill. A win tonight at Wrigley Field would put the Dodgers in the World Series for the first time since 1988. Quintana will try to thwart Kershaw and the Dodgers.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Cubs refuse to go away quietly

Maddon's club makes it 3-1, but NLCS is far from over

Cubs refuse to go away quietly

CHICAGO -- Not all wins are created equal.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 14 LAD 5, CHC 2 WATCH
Gm 2 Oct. 15 LAD 4, CHC 1 WATCH
Gm 3 Oct. 17 LAD 6, CHC 1 WATCH
Gm 4 Oct. 18 CHC 3, LAD 2 WATCH
Gm 5 Oct. 19 LAD 11, CHC 1 WATCH

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baez breaks out of funk in dramatic fashion

Cubs second baseman homers twice in NLCS Game 4

Baez breaks out of funk in dramatic fashion

CHICAGO -- Javier Baez's swing looped from the bottom of the strike zone to the top of it, his right hand leaving his bat as it whooshed above his shoulder. Baez watched his first home run of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series fly into the night on Wednesday, as aware as anyone of its personal significance.

Three innings later, Baez cranked another home run into the Wrigley Field bleachers, blowing a bubble as he took a skip toward first base. Baez's elation was unmistakable; in hitting two homers to lead the Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Dodgers, postponing elimination, he burst out of an 0-for-20 postseason funk in about the most explosive way possible.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kershaw aims to KO Cubs in NLCS rematch

Kershaw aims to KO Cubs in NLCS rematch

Most of the time, it's very difficult to imagine a situation in which a baseball team would like absolutely nothing more than the chance to step into the batter's box against the best pitcher in the Major Leagues.

But in this National League Championship Series presented by Camping World, the sustained excellence of the Dodgers has led to this unique predicament.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

With ace on tap, Dodgers still in good spot

Cubs' victory to avoid sweep could end up helping Los Angeles

With ace on tap, Dodgers still in good spot

CHICAGO -- To fend off the Dodgers on Wednesday night, the Cubs had to use their closer Wade Davis for six outs (well, seven if you count Curtis Granderson possibly striking out twice in one at-bat) and 48 pitches. They had to get a game-ending double-play ball to prevent the possibility of Justin Turner, who was looming on deck, doing what he had done an inning earlier when he continued his majestic month with a scorching solo shot off Davis.

In other words, the Dodgers' ridiculous run of six straight postseason victories wasn't easy to stop, and it won't be any easier when this National League Championship Series resumes with Game 5 on Thursday night at Wrigley Field, where Davis almost certainly won't be available and, notably, Clayton Kershaw will. It wasn't difficult for the Dodgers to shrug off their 3-2 loss, even as reporters asked the inevitable questions about momentum and whatnot.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Seager out, LA's depth issues exposed

Granderson's deep postseason funk continues, while Utley also scuffling

With Seager out, LA's depth issues exposed

CHICAGO -- Yes, the Dodgers miss Corey Seager.

When they seemed to be steamrolling toward a sweep of the Cubs in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series presented by Camping World, it didn't look as if leaving Seager and his sprained back off the roster would matter. With a devastating bullpen and Justin Turner walk-offs, the absence of the All-Star shortstop was covered over. But Wednesday night's 3-2 loss in Game 4 showed the Dodgers' depth can go only so far.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.