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Dodgers add Greinke, South Korea's Ryu to rotation

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Dodgers add Greinke, South Korea's Ryu to rotation

LOS ANGELES (AP) Flush with cash after the team's sale this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are busy spending it on starting pitching.

The team introduced left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin (Ree-YOO He-YUN jin) of South Korea on Monday, making him the first player ever to go directly from the Korean league to the major leagues.

And he was just the setup man.

The Dodgers finalized a $147 million, six-year deal with free agent right-hander Zack Greinke later in the day.

``We were definitely hoping for Zack,'' said Magic Johnson, a partner in Guggenheim Baseball Management which bought the team last spring. ``Zack is a proven winner. When you put him together with Clayton, man, we feel really good.''

The deals for Greinke and Ryu give the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season, joining 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.

That doubles the number of starters the Dodgers had just two years ago.

``Feeling more fortunate than gluttonous,'' general manager Ned Colletti said. ``It's better to be sitting where we're sitting than where we've been. It's rare you need just five pitchers.''

The Dodgers were eager to bolster their pitching this winter knowing that Billingsley (elbow) and Lilly (shoulder) are coming off surgeries.

Johnson called 2009 AL Cy Young winner Greinke ``the big one.''

Colletti added, ``We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good.''

Greinke split last season with Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Angels. He went a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 34 starts, and finished the season going 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last eight starts after Aug. 24.

The 29-year-old pitcher spent his only full season in the NL in 2011, tying a career high with 16 wins.

Greinke pitched from 2004-10 with Kansas City, going 16-8 with a major league-leading 2.16 ERA in 2009 when he won the Cy Young and made the All-Star team.

``When we took over the team, we said we were going to spend money and I guess you guys are seeing that we're trying to do that,'' Johnson said.

Ryu signed a $36 million, six-year deal after talks went down to the final seconds of the negotiating window a day earlier.

``It's not just the spending but who you're spending it on,'' Johnson said. ``It has to be the right guys.''

The Dodgers paid $25.7 million for the right to negotiate with Ryu, whose agent is Scott Boras. If they hadn't reached a deal by Sunday's 2 p.m. PST deadline, Ryu would have returned to the Hanwha Eagles and the Dodgers would have been refunded the posting fee they paid for exclusive rights to negotiate with the 25-year-old pitcher.

``This deal came all the way down to the last 10 seconds,'' said Johnson, who tried out different versions of Ryu's name in trying to pronounce it correctly.

Colletti added, ``This is the place he wanted to be and we always had that in the back of our mind.''

At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Ryu cast an imposing figure as he slipped on his No. 99 jersey, the same number he wore with the Eagles. The last Dodgers player to wear the number was Manny Ramirez.

``I didn't realize he's this big and strong,'' Johnson said. ``Stamina-wise, he'll be able to hold up.''

Ryu was 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA in 27 games last season for the Eagles. He limited opponents to a .232 batting average and led the Korea Baseball Organization with a career-high 210 strikeouts. He has international experience, having pitched in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2009 World Baseball Classic, including two scoreless relief appearances at Dodger Stadium.

``It's my honor to play for the Dodgers,'' Ryu said through a translator.

He said his goals with the Dodgers would be to reach double-digits in wins, have an ERA in the range of 2.00, and surpass the 84-58 record of former Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park, the first South Korean to play in the majors when he made his debut in 1994.

Ryu said he would learn English ``little by little'' and rely on his catcher's signals to communicate during games.

``Just tell him with those strikes he'll communicate properly,'' Johnson interjected, drawing laughs from an overflow crowd of team employees and media.

Ryu's contract includes a clause that doesn't allow him to be demoted to the minor leagues.

``We can't be concerned,'' Johnson said. ``We got to go for it. Our scouts tell us he's the real deal.''

Colletti said the Dodgers' confidence comes from having two different sets of scouts tout Ryu. Also, Park put in a good word with the team, having played with Ryu last season in the Korean league.

``He's got a chance to be really good,'' Colletti said. ``He's youthful, but got great competitiveness.''

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Wizards go cold late to drop Game 5, as Raptors take 3-2 series lead

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NBC Sports Washington

Wizards go cold late to drop Game 5, as Raptors take 3-2 series lead

The Washington Wizards lost to the Toronto Raptors 108-98 in Game 5 of their first round playoff series on Wednesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Ice cold: When the Wizards needed it most, their offense failed them. With John Wall running the show, they can traditionally score with the best of them. But from the 4:05 mark in the fourth quarter, they went scoreless for a stretch of three minutes and 49 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Raptors converted turnovers into points to close the game on a 14-5 run. The Wizards shot brick after brick from long range and missed 11 of their last 15 shots. It was a shocking collapse in a game that had been going well for the Wizards.

By beating the Wizards in Game 5, the Raptors took a 3-2 series lead which historically means they have nearly an 83 percent chance of winning the series. Those aren't good odds for the Wizards, who can look at one area of the court to blame.

The Wizards made only five threes on 26 attempts. The Raptors, conversely, went 11-for-25 (44%) from the perimeter. The Wizards' five threes were their fewest in a game since Jan. 12.

DeRozan was a killer: As has been the case this entire series, DeMar DeRozan led the charge for Toronto. The perennial All-Star came out on fire with 20 points in the first half alone.

This time, it wasn't just free throws. He was 4-for-4 at the half, but 7-for-13 from the field and 2-for-2 from three. Usually, threes aren't his game.

DeRozan kept it up in the second half to score 32 points on 12-of-24 from the field. That's a pretty efficient night.

Otto looked a bit hurt: Otto Porter, who was held to nine points and four rebounds, didn't appear to be moving very well. He was running around with a limp, which suggests his right lower leg strain is still bothering him.

Head coach Scott Brooks said last week that Porter is 100 percent, but that doesn't seem like the case, unless there was some sort of setback in the time since. Porter, however, is such a smart player and such a good shooter that he can still make the most of his time on the court.

Solid start: The Wizards aren't used to playing well in the first quarter this series. They entered Game 5 with an average deficit of -7.2 points in the first quarter. In this game, however, they led by one point after one.

That was thanks to a buzzer-beater by John Wall (26 points, nine assists, nine rebounds). Ian Mahinmi got the offensive rebound and it set up Wall for a last-second shot. He got to one of his spots and sent it in:

It was just the second time in five games this series that the Wizards have been leading after one. The other time was Game 3, when the Wizards beat the Raptors handily to earn their first win.

The Wizards, though, couldn't finish. They also couldn't protect the ball. At least Wall couldn't, as he committed seven turnovers, one short of his playoff career-high.

Backup PGs: The Raptors again played without point guard Fred VanVleet, their best bench player and a guy who is arguably one of the best backup point guards in basketball. The loss has been evident for the most part, despite his replacement Delon Wright doing a solid job, including with 18 points in Game 5.

On Wednesday, Washington's backup point guard also shined. Despite not playing a single game during the regular season, Ty Lawson continues to make smart plays and create scoring opportunities for others.

He had four assists in this game and made one of the best plays of the night. Check out this move he put on to set up Ian Mahinmi:

And this dude was playing in China like two weeks ago? If he keeps this up, there will be an easy case to make that the Wizards should re-sign him for next season.

Clearly, they want Tomas Satoransky to play more off the ball and the coaching staff hasn't gained full trust in him. Lawson and Satoransky could make a solid reserve backcourt if they have some time to develop some chemistry.

Up next: The Wizards and Raptors are back at it on Friday night in Washington for Game 6. The tipoff time has not been announced, but the game will be aired on NBC Sports Washington.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

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The Hershey Bears

Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann and Bears assistant coach Ryan Murphy will not be renewed for next season, the Capitals announced Wednesday. Hershey finished in last place in the Atlantic Division and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“Troy is a dedicated and hard-working coach and we appreciate all he has done for the Hershey Bears,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. “At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level. We also want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Hershey Bears and wish him all the best.”

Just two seasons ago, the Bears under Mann were playing the Calder Cup Finals where they lost in four games to the Lake Erie Monsters. Mann served as an assistant coach for Hershey from 2009-2013 and was hired as the head coach in 2014. He led the Bears to a record of 162-102-22-18 during his tenure, good for sixth all-time among Hershey coaches in wins.

Mann coached several current Capitals players in Hershey including Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Philipp Grubauer, among others. Hershey also currently boasts several of the Caps' biggest prospects such as Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Riley Barber and Jonas Siegenthaler.

Murphy was with the Bears for all four years of Mann's tenure. He started in video development in Mann's first season and was promoted to assistant coach the following year.

“We’d like to thank Troy Mann and Ryan Murphy for their contributions to the Hershey Bears organization,” said Hershey vice president of hockey operations, Bryan Helmer. “While we are looking to move our hockey club forward, today is certainly an emotional day. I had the pleasure of working with both Troy and Ryan behind the bench for two seasons, and consider them to be great people. We wish both all the best in future endeavors.”

Coaching in the AHL is a tough job as coaches are expected to bring the team success while also developing their NHL club's prospects. There are times when the two goals do not necessarily line up which can make it a difficult balance.

Considering how important it is to develop talent from within, AHL coaches are very significant parts of an organization. Getting the right guy in charge of Hershey won't just boost the AHL team, but will help the Caps down the line with developed players.

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