California ballin' -- sort of


California ballin' -- sort of

Unless the Angels pull off a wild-card miracle, the great state of California is going to be shut out of the MLB playoffs for the first time since 1999.Thats a little bit sad given that its the state with the most big-league teams -- the Angels, As, Giants, Dodgers and Padres represent 16th of the games squads.It hasnt been a completely lost season for the Golden State, though, and here are five golden storylines that support that stance.1) The Giants sent three starting pitchers to the All-Star Game, as well as their colorful closer and their lone consistent offensive performer, Pablo Sandoval. Only Wilson and Sandoval got into the game, but both of them had a positive impact and helped the National League secure home-field advantage in the World Series. 2) The As are the subject of a movie that features perhaps the biggest star in Hollywood (Brad Pitt), an Academy Award winner (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and one of the hottest comedic properties on the planet (Jonah Hill). Moneyball had been met with largely positive reviews, which is more than you can say of the 2011 As season as a whole. 3) Outfielder Matt Kemp and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, despite playing for a Dodgers team that made more headlines for the marital messiness atop the org chart than for what happened on the field, are frontrunners for the two most prestigious postseason honors. Even if Kemp falls short of winning the NL MVP and Kershaw is edged in the NL Cy Young voting, they at least brought some positive attention to a team that needs all it can get. 4) The Angels are the lone California team that entered play Monday with a shot at making the playoffs. Its a longshot, no doubt; theyre three back in the AL wild card race with three games to play. But at least theyre still playing meaningful games, and for a good long while they had a legitimate Cy Young candidate of their own in Jered Weaver.5) The Padres um the Padres well the Padres OK, busted. Four will have to do.Or do you have a Padres positive? Heath Bells sliding entrance to the All-Star Game? OK, thatll have to do.Got any more? The Golden State is hurting. Give it some love.

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”