Dodger Thoughts

Expanded playoffs could lower bar for Dodgers in 2012
Can the seventh-best team in the National League in 2011 become the fifth-best team in 2012? Nothing's official yet, but Bud Selig thinks the expansion of MLB's playoffs to 10 teams could come this year, reports The Associated Press.

Shots at Kuroda undeserved
Some online have criticized Hiroki Kuroda for joining an East Coast team this winter after refusing to approve a trade to an East Coast team last summer.

New York Hirokee
No analysis, just a reluctant farewell to a pitcher of whom I was extremely fond.

Dodgers reportedly to sign Capuano
The Hiroki Kuroda era has all but ended in Los Angeles, with the Dodgers agreeing to terms with 33-year-old lefthander Chris Capuano on a two-year contract worth a total of $10 million, according to Jim Bowden and Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Remembering 2011: Hiroki Kuroda
The setup: Amid much speculation that he might sign elsewhere, namely Japan, Kuroda returned to the Dodgers on a one-year contract he signed in November for $12 million, one-third of which was deferred.

Japanese pitcher could be in Dodgers' future, with or without Kuroda
Might Hiroki Kuroda's replacement on the Dodgers also come from Japan? From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:... Assistant general manager Logan White was in Japan earlier this week to scout Tsuyoshi Wada, a left-handed starter for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Pacific League, a source close to the team confirmed on Wednesday.

Did Hiroki Kuroda decide the AL wild card?
When Hiroki Kuroda chose not to waive his no-trade clause at the end of July, it left one of his leading suitors, the Boston Red Sox, scrambling.The Red Sox ended up picking up Erik Bedard from Seattle in the three-team, seven-player deal that sent Tim Federowicz and Stephen Fife to Los Angeles and Trayvon Robinson to Seattle.

Bing bang boom: Nationals drum out Kuroda, Dodgers
Hiroki Kuroda, who had never allowed more than two home runs in a game in his major-league career, somehow served up three in the first inning today in Washington and four total in the Dodgers' 7-2 loss to the Nationals.

People who need people
Astros at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m. Tony Gwynn Jr., LF Jamey Carroll, 2B Andre Ethier, RF Matt Kemp, CF Aaron Miles, 3B James Loney, 1B Dioner Navarro, C Justin Sellers, SS Hiroki Kuroda, P A quick reminder of what's at stake for Hiroki Kuroda in his bid to become the unluckiest starting pitcher in Los Angeles Dodger history (thanks to Baseball-Reference.

A quick word about Kuroda and no-trade clauses
Some online are questioning why Ned Colletti gave Hiroki Kuroda a no-trade clause. The answer is that it has value, just like money. Without the clause, Kuroda would have been much less likely to stay with Los Angeles as opposed to going elsewhere, such as back to Japan.

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