Even after watching their road streak come to an end in St. Louis, the Dodgers remain one of the hottest teams in baseball. [But] manager Don Mattingly said he came very close to being fired after his team's 30-42 start. The 52-year-old Mattingly said Tuesday night that Dodgers president Stan Kasten met with him in late May and told him that he would be forced to make a change if the team didn't turn their season around. "Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,'" Mattingly said. "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice. If they're not listening and it's not going good, you got to be make a change just to make a change." (ESPN Los Angeles) Comment
At first, lining Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson up on offense seemed like a novelty. But it's happened daily since then, and not just for a snap or two, an indication that Peterson playing offense in 2013 is going to be more than a gimmick. The more coach Bruce Arians sees of Peterson on offense, the more he likes. During training camp, the "package" that includes Peterson has grown from a handful of plays to about 15. Arians might cap it there. "I had hopes that he could be something special, in a package a week," Arians said, "but after you see the athlete he is, it's like the guy could be one of the top five receivers in the league. So, you say, 'Hmmm, that's a lot of weapons sitting over here next to me.'" (The Arizona Republic) Comment
The Clippers may be considered Chris Paul's team, but he views teammate Blake Griffin as the key to the franchise's title hopes. "Blake is one of those guys, where his age has nothing to do with anything," Paul said in a wide-ranging phone interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com this week. "People may say he's a young guy, but he's been special in this league, he's been an All-Star. His voice carries a lot of weight and I think our team will definitely go as Blake goes. He's our guy, and he's good enough to do so." Griffin made his third straight All-Star team this season, but his season averages in scoring (18.0) and rebounding (8.3) fell off slightly from his career averages (20.4 points, 10.4 rebounds) as he played nearly three fewer minutes per game during the regular season, at 32.5, in an attempt to stay healthier for the playoffs. (ESPN Los Angeles) Comment
Bryce Harper reacts after being hit by Julio Teheran during the Braves-Nats game. The plunking caused the benches to clear. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Six-year-old hits five straight home runs on five straight pitches.