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Remember when Baseball Tonight said the NL West race was over?

Baseball-Tonight-logoWhen the month of June began, the San Francisco Giants were one of the hottest teams in baseball. Those same Giants have now lost 15 of their last 19 games. It was not long ago that Bruce Bochy’s team was 9.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West division. Now, the two teams are tied.

While the Giants were streaking in May and June, the Dodgers looked lost. LA quickly turned things around and ended the month of June with a 17-10 record after Sunday night’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals. That brings us to the following tweet from “Baseball Tonight,” which was sent just over two weeks ago.

Oops. Fortunately, MLB Memes was not about to let that one go. Dodgers fans can’t help but smile when they look at this graphic:

This is baseball. We haven’t even gotten to the All-Star break yet, so every divisional race across the league is still open. Teams get hot and cold all the time, and you can never tell exactly where they will end up by looking at the standings in June.

Baseball Tonight could probably learn a thing or two from Seth.

Only 52,000 fans watched Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter on SportsNet LA

Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

Clayton Kershaw had one heck of an outing on Wednesday night. It was one of the most dominant pitching performances in MLB history. It would have been nice if most Dodgers fans in LA could have seen it.

According to the LA Times’ Joe Flint, Nielsen metrics say only 52,000 people in the LA market watched the Dodgers game on TV Wednesday night. The game drew just a 0.60 TV rating.

The problem is that an estimated 70 percent of households in the Los Angeles area do not have Time Warner Cable and therefore do not have access to watching the Dodgers on TV. Time Warner Cable owns the Dodgers’ TV rights and created a channel called SportsNet LA to air the games, but their rights fees for the channel are so high, other providers like DirecTV, Dish Network, Cox and Charter don’t carry it.

For most of LA, the team has been a non-entity this season. Most fans literally cannot watch the team on TV.

I can’t watch them and it’s frustrating. My mom, a lifelong Dodgers fan who rarely misses a chance to watch them on TV when she’s home, had no idea about Kershaw’s no-hitter until I called her in the 9th inning. Even Vin Scully is blacked out of the games.

Who will blink first in these negotiations? Tell TWC to lower the price; they’re asking for too much.

Don Mattingly on Dodgers: ‘Basically, we’re sh***y’

Don-Mattingly-DodgersThe Los Angeles Dodgers have picked a terrible time to start losing games. They have lost six of their last eight and are falling further behind the red-hot San Francisco Giants by the day. The Dodgers lost two out of three at home against the Chicago White Sox in their most recent series, scoring just seven runs in the three games. Don Mattingly has little explanation.

“Basically, we’re sh—y ,” Mattingly said Wednesday night, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. “We’re just not that good.”

LA has a record of 13-19 at Dodger Stadium, which is particularly alarming.

“Home, away, whatever,” Mattingly added. “I don’t know what that has to do with it.”

The Dodgers started off slow in 2013 and ended up dominating the second half of the season. According to Mattingly, that team played as a collective group, not a collection of individuals. After telling reporters they should talk to the players because he is tired of answering the same questions, Mattingly quoted Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda.

“Tommy says it all the time, and it seems corny at times, but he says, ‘We all have to get on one end of the rope,’” Mattingly said. “When that group gets going in one direction and that focus is purely to win a game no matter who gets the attention or who gets this or who gets that, I think it’s always better.

“… We haven’t felt that as a team, and I think it’s the one area that we’re missing. To be absolutely honest with you, I think that’s the one thing we’re missing at this point, a collective group fighting and pulling in one direction trying to win a game, without any concept of this guy or that guy or this guy.”

The problems Mattingly insists the Dodgers are having sound a lot like the same ones the Boston Red Sox had before they traded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to LA a couple of years ago. Mattingly seems to be growing tired of dealing with big personalities like Yasiel Puig and the rest of his $240 million payroll. You almost get the feeling he wont be in LA long regardless of how his team performs.

Dodgers players attempting to speak Australian slang is all sorts of LOL (Video)

Hyun-Jin RyuThe Dodgers are in Australia to open up the MLB season with a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and they’re having a lot of fun soaking up the culture while they’re there. Not only have we seen Vin Scully hang out with a koala, but the Dodgers players also shot a video where they attempted to speak in Australian slang. The whole thing was pure comedy.

Best part? Carl Crawford’s Southern twang won’t let him say that word! And Hyun-Jin Ryu saying crikey? That was fantastic.

Brian Wilson, Dodgers reportedly close on one-year deal

Brian Wilson beard

Brian Wilson and the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly are close on agreeing to a one-year deal that would keep the bearded relief pitcher in LA.

Wilson was said to be a strong possibility for the Detroit Tigers, but they signed Joe Nathan instead. Now Tim Brown at Yahoo! Sports said Tuesday that Wilson and the Dodgers appear to be close on a contract.

Wilson would likely remain as a setup man for Kenley Jansen if he comes back to the Dodgers. Though he had a great partial season for the Dodgers, the market didn’t set up too favorably for him. If he agrees to a one-year deal with LA, he could probably hit the market again next offseason and hope for a big free agent contract to be a closer.

Wilson went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA and eight hits allowed in 13.2 regular-season innings. He pitched six scoreless innings in the playoffs.

Dodgers reportedly offered Clayton Kershaw $300 million contract

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw is the best young pitcher in baseball, and the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to keep him in blue for the rest of his career. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Dodgers offered Kershaw essentially a lifetime contract in the range of $300 million this season that the pitcher turned down.

Kershaw is entering his final season of team control and will be eligible for arbitration next season. The Dodgers want to lock him up long term and approached him with the contract offer during the season. Olney says the deal was not signed because Kershaw may have been hesitant to essentially make a lifetime commitment to the team, and because he did not want to negotiate during the season. But the word is that the two sides should be able to reach an agreement on a long-term deal this offseason for perhaps fewer years.

Whatever Kershaw signs for will almost certainly set a record for the largest contract ever for a pitcher. The Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to a 6-year, $147 million free agent deal in the offseason. He’s an excellent pitcher, but he’s not at Kershaw’s level. Kershaw won the Cy Young Award two years ago, should have won it last year, and will win it this season. Along with Justin Verlander and probably Felix Hernandez, he’s the best pitcher in baseball. Verlander signed an extension that schedules for him to make $180 million over a seven-year span. Hernandez signed an extension that calls for him to earn $175 million over seven years. Kershaw will almost certainly sign for over $200 million.

I really hate giving such a long-term contract to a pitcher and think it’s probably a good thing for the Dodgers Kershaw didn’t accept a $300 million lifetime deal. They’re different pitchers, but look at what happened with Tim Lincecum. The guy was set to sign a huge deal and passed on it, and now he’d be lucky to sign a two-year deal as a free agent. CC Sabathia was one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, and now his contract with the Yankees looks like a bad one.

Pitchers’ arms burn out. It’s inevitable. Long-term deals for them are not advised. The Dodgers should be happy Kershaw didn’t sign such a big contract. And if the Dodgers planned to make such a huge investment in the lefty, then you think they’d be protecting him more and not having him throw high-stress innings in the playoffs on short rest and have him stay out against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 when he already has a high pitch count. They are really burning out his arm.

Magic Johnson: Los Angeles Dodgers will not go after Robinson Cano

New York Yankees slugger Robinson Cano is reportedly seeking a record-setting payday this winter. If he is going to get it, the 30-year-old will likely need more than one team to step up and drive up the price on New York. According to Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not planning to be one of those teams.

“I can’t talk about the other guy,” Johnson said Thursday when asked about Cano, via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “But you already know that guy in New York is going to be paid. Not by us. But he’s going to get paid.”

Cano’s camp has to be as concerned as a group of people who are about to get a piece of at least a $200 million contract can be. We use the term “concerned” loosely because we’re not saying Cano is going to be hurting. He’s going to make upwards of $25 million per season into his late 30s, but the suitors appear to be dwindling.

Earlier this season, the Boston Red Sox signed 30-year-old second baseman Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year, $100 million contract extension. That takes one team with incredibly deep pockets out of the running. The Los Angeles Angels signed Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols to monster deals last winter, and their front office already has to be panicking about those contracts. I highly doubt they’ll be in the running for Cano.

The Dodgers have made it a point to prove that they will spare no expense since Magic and company bought the team. They have acquired huge names like Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and have yet to sign 25-year-old Clayton Kershaw, a three-time NL All-Star, to an extension. Could Magic be bluffing? Sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if LA isn’t interested in Cano at the dollar amount he is reportedly seeking.

Of course, things can change in a hurry when the winter meetings get under way. The Yankees certainly won’t be the only team interested in Cano, but the free agent market does not seem ideal for Jay-Z’s biggest client at the moment.