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Boras confident about Ryu deal with Dodgers

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Boras confident about Ryu deal with Dodgers

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) Ryu Hyun-Jin grew up in South Korea dreaming of playing in his country's professional baseball league. Once he achieved that, he developed a new goal - to pitch in the United States for a major league team.

Ryu's dream got closer to reality last week when the Los Angeles Dodgers submitted the highest bid for the right to negotiate with the 25-year-old left-hander and his agent, Scott Boras.

Under baseball's posting system, the Dodgers offered $25,737,373.33 to Ryu's team in South Korea, the Hanwha Eagles. Los Angeles settled on that figure because the numbers 3 and 7 are considered lucky in Korean culture.

It was the third-highest posting bid by a big league team for the chance to negotiate a contract with a player from Asia.

The Texas Rangers paid Yu Darvish's former team in Japan $51.7 million last year, and the Boston Red Sox paid Daisuke Matsuzaka's team $51.1 million in 2006.

The Dodgers have exclusive negotiating rights with Ryu through Dec. 10. If no agreement is reached, they won't be required to pay the posting fee to his Korean team - and Ryu will return to Korea to pitch for the Eagles.

Where Ryu would fit into the Dodgers' rotation remains to be seen. They already have a little more than $61 million committed to six starters for the 2013 season: Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano.

But Boras indicated he is confident he can get a deal done with the Dodgers after he meets with general manager Ned Colletti next week. Under new ownership, the Dodgers have shown a willingness to spend more money and could have a 2013 payroll that exceeds $200 million.

``Certainly the Dodgers' conduct makes it very apparent they're interested in being one of the Goliaths, if not the leading Goliath in the game,'' Boras said while sitting alongside Ryu during a news conference Thursday. ``It's clearly a very different world than it was with the prior era.''

Boras compared Ryu to four-time major league All-Star Mark Buehrle, a veteran left-hander who signed a $58 million, four-year contract with the Marlins last offseason. Miami is set to trade Buehrle to the Toronto Blue Jays in a blockbuster deal that was awaiting final approval.

Ryu has pitched for seven seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization and was an All-Star each year. He was the rookie of the year and MVP of the league at age 19, and is 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA in his career. He pitched for South Korea when it won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

``He comes here with a great pedigree. To accomplish so much at a young age is rare and certainly from our scouting and many others in professional baseball he has been someone who is considered major league ready and capable of pitching in the major leagues at a very high level,'' Boras said. ``He has the ability to command the fastball from 90-95 mph and his changeup is a very elite weapon for him. And he has a quality slider and curveball.''

If Ryu signs with the Dodgers, he wouldn't be the first Korean pitcher to join the team. Chan Ho Park pitched for Los Angeles from 1994-2001 and again in 2008.

``Chan Ho's been very influential in my career,'' Ryu said through a translator. ``He's been very helpful, giving a lot of insights of playing in the majors, and he's also given me the dream of playing in the majors. He's been a good alumni in teaching me the ropes and playing in the U.S.''

Ryu, who has a brother living in New Jersey, plans to stay and work out in Southern California while Boras negotiates with the Dodgers.

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Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, George Hill, Larry Nance, Jr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington Plus)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Back in action

The Wizards return to the court after a week-long layoff due to the All-Star break. Add in the fact that they had three days off before their last game and this will be just the second game for the Wizards in the last 12 days. What is this, football?

The Wizards will try to overcome the rust to keep their momentum going. They entered the All-Star break having won seven of their last nine games. Though the time off was needed due to a wide array of injuries, the Wizards had a good thing going and will aim to recapture that against a good Cavs team.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Tough stretch

The Wizards come back with a game against the Cavs, a difficult first assignment after such a long layoff. But this is just the beginning of what will be a very difficult part of their schedule. In their next 17 games, the Wizards will play 15 times against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Warriors, Celtics, Spurs and Raptors.

The schedule is tough beyond their opponents. Four times in the next three weeks they will play back-to-back games and they have five games in the next seven nights. Hopefully the players recharged their batteries because it won't be easy.

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

New-look Cavs

The Wizards and Cavs have played twice this season already and Cleveland took both of those matchups. However, that was all before the trade deadline when the Cavs overhauled their roster. They have won all three of their games since and look rejuvenated with younger players.

Now surrounding LeBron James are a host of new faces like George HIll, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards match up with this new group.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

As a member of the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal has had many battles with LeBron James over the years, first with the Miami Heat and now with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the weekend, Beal got to experience having James as a teammate for the first time at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

It was an eye-opening endeavor. Beal got to see up close and personal James' abilities and his routine to maximize them. In a group of the best players on the planet, James stood out.

"It was surreal at first, just being around all the guys," Beal said. "Even just being on his team for two days, that was an unbelievable experience."

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Beal, 24, is six seasons in to his NBA career and from experience has learned how to train for the rigors of an 82-game regular season. What James does at 33 years old to stay in peak form, however, is next level.

"To see his preparation, his focus and his mentality and what he does to take care of his body before and after games," Beal said. "That's the true testament to a Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever play the game."

James actually assisted Beal's first points in the All-Star Game, a two-handed dunk in the first quarter. James attacked the rim on a fastbreak to draw attention, then found Beal with a dump-off pass for an easy bucket.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

It was an example of James' tricks of the trade. He is not just the most athletic player on the court, he is also the smartest when it comes to the game of basketball.

"His approach and his leadership and everything, it's top notch. It's crazy because you always play against him and to play with him, you get experience the other side of it," Beal said.

Beal, however, did note that much of what he gleaned from James was by watching him. At the end of the day, they are competitors and James isn't going to give away all of his secrets.

"He's not disclosing that information," Beal joked.

The Wizards happen to play James and the Cavs in their first game back from the All-Star break on Thursday night. Once again, Beal will be on the other side. 

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