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Los Angeles Dodgers
Todd Hollandsworth could teach the Nanny a thing or two about chutzpah. After winning the 1996 NL Rookie of the Year, he stunk last season, batting .247 with four home runs and 31 RBIs, a performance that got him a 16-day stint in the minors. So, what happened? Hollandsworth demanded a $600,000 raise during the off-season, to $1.15 million (he lost his arbitration and was awarded $700,000). For the Dodgers offense to reach maximum potency, Hollandsworth must return to rookie formmeaning a .291 average, 12 homers, 59 RBIs, 21 stolen bases ... and zero days in the minors.
What They Needed: A closer. A shortstop. Team harmony.
What They Got: Outfielders Trenidad Hubbard and Matt Luke. Shortstop-second baseman Jose Vizcaino. Pitcher Jim Bruske.
What it All Means: Every year the Dodgers add marginal talent with the hope that it'll be enough, and it rarely is. This year's no different. Vizcaino, a solid fielder with an effective bat, is an improvement over the retired Greg Gagne. Todd Worrell also hung up his uni, but Los Angeles thinks Antonio Osuna is ready to take over the closer's role. With the emerging Dennis Reyes, the departure of aging starter Tom Candiotti probably won't hurt.
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