Southern California breaking news and trends

Dodgers hire 6 international scouts for worldwide baseball player manhunt

Dodger Stadium

Grant Slater/KPCC

The sign in the upper decks of Dodgers Stadium.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are adding Pedro Avila, Gene Grimaldi, Patrick Guerrero, Pat Kelly, Jamey Storvick and Mike Tosar to the MLB team's team of international baseball scouts, according to a Dodgers press release.

In the announcement Monday, Dodgers’ General Manager Ned Colletti said the six international scouts, who will serve under Vice-President of International Scouting Bob Engle, will cover the following areas:

  • Avila will be coordinator of Venezuela operations
  • Grimaldi will be coordinator of European operations
  • Guerrero will be coordinator of Latin America
  • Kelly will be coordinator of the Pacific Rim
  • Storvick will be special assignment scout in the Pacific Rim
  • Tosar will be coordinator of Cuba and Mexico

Additional hires announced: Scouts Willie Fraser, Scott Groot and former Dodger third baseman Bill Mueller, and Josh Bard as special assistant, player personnel.


POLL: Would you be happy with Mark McGwire being the next Dodgers hitting coach?

Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals batting coach Mark McGwire adjusts his cap in the dugout during the start of an interleague basebaseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Reports from St. Louis are claiming controversial slugger Mark McGwire is heading back to Southern California to be the Dodgers new hitting coach. 

The burly home run basher, who played collegiate ball at USC, spent the last three seasons as the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach where the team responded beautifully. Under McGwire's instruction, the Cards have led the NL in batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.337) and ranked second in runs and fourth in slugging percentage.

Not bad for a guy who many remember as the bloated power hitter who demolished Roger Maris and Babe Ruth's records in 1998, stubbornly refused to answer questions from Congress about his then-alleged steroid use in 2005, admitted in 2010 to juicing up, and who has failed over the last five years to garner support from baseball writers to vote him into baseball's hall of fame.


POLL: Will the Oakland A's magic run out or will they go all the way?

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics celebrate on the mound after defeating the Texas Rangers 12-5 to capture the American League West title at Coliseum on October 3, 2012 in Oakland, California.

If you have a friend who say they know baseball ask them to name two players on the Oakland A's, who yesterday won the American League West. 

They might be utter the hilariously-named speedster Coco Crisp, who hit a measly .259 this year but swiped 39 bases. 

Your friend may even pull 39-year-old Bartolo Colon out of the air to which you should say, "fine, but name someone who is still on the active roster as Mr. Colon was suspended after he was caught using illegal performance enhancing drugs."

The truth - and the beauty - of this team is they really are a group of relative no-names who succeeded in a division where two of baseball's top five largest team salaries exist. The Texas Rangers spent over $120 million in salary, and your Anaheim Angels have a $155 million payroll.

The Oakland A's payroll is a paltry $49,137,500. 


Lenny Dykstra gets 90 days for forcing massages — once at knifepoint


Lenny Dykstra being cuffed in March after he pled no contest to grand theft auto.

Lenny Dykstra, the former All-Star outfielder who has become no stranger to criminal behavior, plead no contest Wednesday to lewd conduct and assault.

Dykstra, 48, in essence plead guilty to using Craigslist to lure women to his home between 2009-2011 under the guise that he had work for them as his personal assistant or housekeeper. Once they arrived at his home, the Los Angeles city attorney said, "he would allegedly inform the women that the job also required them to give a massage and would expose himself to them. During one incident in July 2010, Defendant Dyskstra held a knife and forced the victim to massage his body."

The World Series champ from Garden Grove was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation.

In March "Nails" was sentenced to three years in a California state prison after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.


LA Angels settle wheelchair suit with better service and prime seating discounts

angels stadium anaheim

Photo by Sara Grajeda via Flickr Creative Commons

A federal lawsuit between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and stadium patron J. Paul Charlebois was settled Monday, the Orange County Register reported.

The dispute was over wheelchair seating and service at the baseball team's Anaheim stadium. The team and the city of Anaheim were both sued in 2009 by the patron who said they failed to provide sufficient club level seating.

The team will now offer prime seating at a deeply discount rate for fans who rely on a wheelchair (ie: tickets in the Diamond Club will now cost for $50 instead of $150), and will also expand its in-seat food-and-beverage service options to the existing 32 wheelchair seats on the Terrace level.

Charlebois did not seek monetary damages. Attorney fees and court-related costs, which could cost the Angels $300,000 to $800,000, will be considered by a judge at a future hearing.