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LAst Night's Action: Dodgers, Angels Win

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LA Dodgers defeat Colorado Rockies 9-7. It was up, down and all around for both teams with the Rockies needing a win to stay alive for one more day. Casey Blake denied them belting two homers in the game, his first multi homer game since April 24 in Washington DC. After the Dodgers jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third inning, the Rockies eventually came back tying the game 6-6 in the seventh inning. But thanks in part to Blake, the Dodgers pulled away with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth. Kenley Jansen also got his first four-out save of his short career.

LA Angels defeat Oakland Athletics 4-2. Down 2-1 in the sixth inning, the Angels scored twice on Mike Napoli’s single and Hideki Matsui’s grounder. Fernando Rodney, always up for an adventure, notched his 14th save of the season.

NOTABLE NOTES

Midnight Madness in DC. In an effort to repair their tarnished image, the Washington Wizards opened their training camp at the stroke of midnight Tuesday morning at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University. Taking a cue from college basketball, it had all of the accoutrements of what one expects from a midnight madness: over-hyped line up introductions, cheerleaders and an hour-long practice session including a scrimmage.

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And there in the middle of it all was embattled guard Gilbert Arenas coming off of a 50-game suspension and a month-long sentence in a halfway house stemming from a felony gun conviction. From the AP report, Arenas was heaped with adulation from the crowd of 4,000 who showed up. However he was reported to seem uncomfortable with the spotlight and determined to take a business-like approach to the proceedings.

But beyond that, it looks like the idea worked since 4,000 people attended the practice. New Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has been instrumental in getting people in the DC area to be stoked on seeing the Washington Capitals even as they flame out every year early in the playoffs. This is a good first step by the organization to help turn their image around. Plus, what more can they lose? Now to win some games.

Blood and Faeries. Hardcore wrestling legend Mick Foley aka Cactus Jack aka Mankind writes in his upcoming memoir Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal and excerpted in Slate how he would get ready for some of his more intense matches listening to Tori Amos. “Winter” specifically. He writes that he would listen to the song before matches where he had trepidation.

"When you gonna make up your mind?" Tori Amos asked me inside that frigid dressing room. "When you gonna love you as much as I do?" And then I realize I'm going to be all right. Head first, neck first, balls first—it really doesn't matter. By the fourth listen, I know I'm going to tear that place apart.

It made me happy (in a non-mocking manner mind you) that someone as improbable as Foley would be such a Tori fan. I admit that I was a fan during the Under the Pink and Boys for Pele days. I never was the popper-sniffing Cher poppin’ queer during high school, albeit in the closet. Also I tended to be a bit goth-y and industrial-y in my music preferences so I never fell into the regular heterosexual bunch. But Tori Amos was a blanket of solace for me and my weirdness. Thankfully I never wore any stupid faerie wings or shit like that, but I admit I was a bit obsessed there for a minute, if a minute equates to six years.

Dantonio To Coach on Saturday. Michigan State Spartans head football coach Mike Dantonio will return coaching the team from the press box on Saturday two weeks after suffering from a mild heart attack hours after his team’s improbable 34-31 overtime win over Notre Dame on September 18. The 54-year old had surgery to place a stent in the blocked blood vessel leading to the heart. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell guided the team in their 45-7 victory over Northern Colorado last Saturday.

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The No. 24 Spartans will host No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers in a battle of unbeaten Big Ten teams.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Dodgers (77-81) at Colorado Rockies (83-74). Clayton Kershaw (13-10, 2.91 ERA) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (9-10, 3.26 ERA). 12:10 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Oakland Athletics (77-80) at LA Angels (77-80). Bobby Cramer (2-1, 3.71 ERA) vs. Joel Pineiro (10-7, 3.96 ERA). 12:35 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.