Dodgers Report: Ryan Dempster

OK, so Joe Blanton isn't Cliff Lee. But he's also not Stephen Fife or one of the other kids from Triple-A Albuquerque the Dodgers would have been using as a fifth starter until Ted Lilly is healthy, whenever that might be.

Blanton is what he always has been: solid, if not spectacular. But for the Dodgers' purposes, he's a nice upgrade who should help add depth and dimension to a rotation that has been a little wobbly of late.

After missing out on Ryan Dempster at the deadline, the Dodgers' brass was insistent it wasn't done dealing. In fact, when I caught up with him on the field Tuesday afternoon, new controlling owner Mark Walter openly hinted at that idea.

"Do you really ever want to say we did enough?" Walter said. "That's not an attitude I really want a lot of around here. I guess if the entire All-Star team is on your team, you could feel like you had enough. But I don't want to think that way. That's now how you want to look at it.

"I think we are a very competitive team now. But you can always get better."

Walter has been an interesting guy to get to know in the three months he has owned the Dodgers. Before we met, I'd been told he was a quiet guy from Chicago who would mostly remain behind the scenes and let team president Stan Kasten and co-owner Magic Johnson do the talking. His role was to put up the cash, then authorize Kasten to spend it.

That's mostly what he has done. Except he actually has been a whole lot more visible that anticipated. Walter has been at the stadium quite a bit, and when he's there, he's often down on the field or in the clubhouse before games. He's not shy, either.

When I joked with him about how much money he had spent in the past few weeks, he laughed and said, "Yeah, I guess I have."

He described the trade deadline as something of a roller coaster ride, said he was hanging on every phone call from Kasten or GM Ned Colletti and wasn't doing much to conceal some disappointment he felt at not being able to do even more.

In other words, Walter is invested -- and not just financially.

What does that have to do with Blanton, Lee or any other trades the Dodgers might make this month? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. The Dodgers' new owner isn't going to be a silent partner in all this. He's into it, Mark Cuban style.

As he said himself, "Do you really ever want to say we did enough? That's not an attitude I really want a lot of around here."

The one that got away

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
6:36
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers answered as many questions about the player they didn't acquire before Tuesday deadline -- pitcher Ryan Dempster -- as they did about Shane Victorino and Brandon League, the newest members of the team.

Dempster (5-5, 2.25 ERA) was on turn to pitch Tuesday night and likely would have pitched Wednesday for the Dodgers in their series finale with Arizona, but...

General manager Ned Colletti said the Chicago Cubs' asking price for Dempster exceeded what he considered reasonable for a player who might only be a Dodger through early October. According to reports, the Cubs insisted on Double-A pitcher Allen Webster, one of the Dodgers' top prospects.

“It was not just one premier prospect, it was one premier prospect and other players, too," Colletti said. "We just decided that we were going to pass on that.”

The difference this season, of course, is that it wasn't money that cost the Dodgers the player they were after. The owners had given Colletti the clearance to take on the remaining $4.6 million on Dempster's contract. He is a free agent after this season.

“We’re happy about where we are. We wanted to do more, but it just didn’t happen," Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson.

Here are lineups for Tuesday night:

Arizona
Chris Young CF
Aaron Hill 2B
Jason Kubel LF
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Justin Upton RF
Miguel Montero C
Chris Johnson 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Wade Miley P

Dodgers
Jerry Hairston Jr. LF
Mark Ellis 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Hanley Ramirez 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Luis Cruz SS
Matt Treanor C
Chris Capuano

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.296 16 69 92
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
WC. Kershaw 21
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239