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Dodgers Season Preview

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Clayton Kershaw will have a breakout season for the Dodgers. AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their 51st season in Los Angeles with a team that flies in the face of tradition. When you think about the all-time Dodgers you think Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser and Eric Gagne - all pitchers. However this year the Dodgers' strength is in their bats with their arms being questionable.

When the last out was made in Game Five of the NLCS, the Dodgers suddenly had a lot of gaps to fill. With Jeff Kent retiring at second base, Manny Ramirez a big question at left field, dumping the waste that was Andruw Jones and Casey Blake's and Rafael Furcal's expired contracts at third and shortstop (not to mention all the pitchers who left), the Dodgers resembled swiss cheese. But Ned Colletti to his credit re-signed Blake, Furcal and Manny and brought in Orlando Hudson at second along with backups Mark Loretta and Brad Ausmus. Look at this line up:

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1. Rafael Furcal (SS)
2. Orlando Hudson (2B)
3. Manny Ramirez (LF)
4. Andre Ethier (RF)
5. Russell Martin (C)
6. James Loney (1B)
7. Matt Kemp (CF)
8. Casey Blake (3B)