MLB podcast with Charlie O: Big payroll Padres continue to struggle; Brewers Adames out of hospital on 10 day IL for concussion; plus more

San Diego Padres Michael Wacha pitches during first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York on Sat May 27, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the MLB podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The San Diego Padres (24-28) who took another loss on Saturday to the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium, the Padres had big expectations this year but even with Fernando Tatis Jr, Juan Soto, and Manny Machado the Padres are holding down fourth place in the NL West still there a lot of the season to make that payroll payoff.

#2 During a game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at American Family Park the Milwaukee Brewers Willy Adames just avoided suffering fractures when he was sitting the dugout and was struck by teammate Brian Anderson that struck him in the head. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said that was a scary moment. Adames has been released from the hospital is in good spirits and is on the 10 IL for concussion protocols.

#3 Yankees manager Aaron Boone who has been kicked out of three of the last ten games said the last ejection was a weird experience. Last Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles Boone was arguing a third strike call and lost it when umpire Edwin Moscoso turned his back to him. It got heated and Crew chief Chris Guccione had to step in between them. Boone who had spittle came out of his mouth towards Moscoso’s direction ended up being suspended by MLB Sr Supervisor VP of on field operations Michael Hill after reviewing it Thursday night.

#4 There was damage control for the Los Angeles Dodgers who uninvited the Sisters of Perpetual who are a drag group who serve as a charity, protest and satirical performance were reinvited on Jun 16th after being disinvited. The Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tweeted out that the Dodgers will be hosting a “Christian and Faith Night” at Dodger Stadium on Jul 30th. Can you talk a little about the politics of this situation.

#5 Charlie the Nevada State Legislature will have a chance to vote on the Oakland A’s Tropicana ballpark. Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo said that the ballpark tax credits in the neighborhood of $180 million won’t pass unless their a is budget passed for the state. State Legislature Democrats say they won’t for the resolution for the ballpark because that puts taxpayers at risk if the A’s fail to profit once the park is complete. But as you know what’s said up front is different than what’s negotiated behind closed doors.

Join Charlie O for the MLB podcast Sundays at

MLB podcast with Charlie O: Was Scherzer suspension too excessive?; Mad Bum out at Arizona but LA might be interested; plus more

New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer pleads his case that has clean hands in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wed Apr 19, 2023, but umpires ruled he had a sticky substance on his hands after he was ordered to wash his hands and was suspended for ten days by MLB (AP News photo)

On the MLB podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Charlie O, Last Wednesday at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, New York Mets Max Scherzer said that he was supervised by an MLB official when he was ordered to wash his hands during his last start to remove what the umpiring crew termed as “sticky substance” apparently that didn’t work he was tossed from the game and hit with a ten day suspension in your view Charlie O was this a justified ejection and suspension?

#2 Scherzer sat on the MLB Players Association representatives during the last contract negotiations and he’s been active with the players union is it a conspiracy to say that their might be some retribution from baseball for his union activity?

#3 The Arizona Diamondbacks released pitcher Madison Bumgarner on Friday. Bumgarner had been struggling going 0-3 ERA 10.26. The Dodgers might be interested in his services. The Diamondbacks are on the hook for $34 million remaining on his five year contract. There is this and next season remaining on the deal.

#4 Can you believe how the Chicago Cubs Drew Smyly’s no hit perfect game ended when Smyly went to field a grounder in between home and the mound hit by the Los Angeles Dodgers David Peralta Cubs catcher Yan Gomes flipped over Smyly’s back. Smyly lost his balance and ended up on the ground holding the ball but it was too late as Peralta was on base and the perfect game was no more.

#5 Can’t leave out the toughest story of the week the announcement of Oakland A’s team president David Kaval announcing the moving of the team to Las Vegas. Kaval announcing on Wednesday night the A’s have a binding agreement at the old Wild Wild West location at Tropicana and I 15 to build a new A’s park. First Charlie how heartbreaking is this for Oakland and the Bay Area?

Charlie O does the MLB podcasts each Sunday at

Giants Look Ahead to Three-Game Series With Struggling Tigers

San Francisco Giants shortstop Thairo Estrada, right, throws to first after forcing out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith at second during the first inning  at Oracle Park in San Francisco Wed Apr 12, 2023 (AP News photo)

Giants Look Ahead to Three-Game Series With Struggling Tigers

By Barbara Mason

The San Francisco Giants (6-7) had a day off Thursday after dropping a series to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers last night at Oracle. San Francisco had a three nothing lead going into the fourth inning in last nights game but the Dodgers Max Muncy hit a couple of home runs along with another long ball off the bat of Trayce Thompson to give the Dodgers a 10-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning.

The Dodgers went on to extend that lead winning the game 10-5. The biggest culprit in last nights loss was the Giants bullpen which did the team no favors. Too many walks and loading the bases with Dodger runners was their downfall in this game.

After the day off today, the Giants will be off to Detroit to take on the Tigers in a three game series at Comerica Park. The Giants will be looking to get their bullpen back on track sending Sean Manaea to the mound. The Giants offense will be facing Tiger pitcher Joey Wentz who will start for Detroit.

Wentz has not won a game this season and Manaea has not pitched a regular season game yet. His pre-season stats come in with one win and one loss. The Giants went through five pitchers in the loss last night and hope to right the ship in that respect.

They will need to get more innings from their starting pitcher Manaea on Friday night. The Tigers have been struggling this season with a record of 2-9 and the Giants are just below .500 with a 5-7 record coming into this game.

The Giants offense will lean heavily on Michael Conforto, should he be able to play, who has a batting average of .225 but is the home run leader on the team so far this season with three homers and six RBI’s. Thairo Estrada is the heavy hitter for the team with a .341 batting average which comes in at 23rd in the league.

The Giants will be without CF Bryce Johson who is out with a concussion after making a spectacular catch, saving multiple runs last night , but also crashing into the wall. He did remain on the ground for several minutes after the collision. He may hit the IL for the Giants but they await confirmation from the medical staff. Michael Conforto is also Day-To-Day. First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 3:40 PM.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants open three game series in Detroit on Friday

San Francisco Giants’ Darin Ruf hits an RBI double against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Wed Apr 12, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers took two out of three from the San Francisco Giants winning Monday 9-1, losing 5-0 on Tuesday, and taking the rubber game 10-5 won Wednesday night. Your evaluation of the Giants in this series is there anything that Gabe Kapler should be concerned about.

#2 The Giants faced Dodger ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw who pitched six innings giving up five hits and improved his record to 2-1.

#3 San Francisco sent Alex Cobb to the mound who lasted 3.2 innings and gave up eight hits and two runs but was not the pitcher of record in Wednesday’s loss. Lots of hits from what you could observe how much did he struggle in this one?

#4 On Monday Giants starter Logan Webb had a tough time pitching to the Max Muncy a grand slam and home run and seven RBIs, was 0-1 on Tuesday, but came back on Wednesday and hit two home runs off Giant pitching. If you can keep him off the bases all he needs is one swing of the bat to touch them all.

#5 The Giants are headed for Detroit with Thursday off, the Giants will start Sean Manaea (0-0 ERA 4.50) and the Tigers have not announced a starter for Friday yet. Do you see the Giants gaining some ground in the Detroit series.

Join Michael Duca for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at

Giants Drop Series to Rival Dodgers 10-5; LA’s Muncy takes SF deep twice

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy hits a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning  at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Wed Apr 12, 2023 (AP News photo)

Giants Drop Series to Rival Dodgers 10-5

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday evening the San Francisco Giants (5-7) played the rival Los Angeles Dodgers (7-6) in the rubber game of their three game series. The Dodgers won the first game of this series by a landslide 9-1 on Monday but the Giants came roaring back in game two winning a 5-0 shut out on Tuesday. Wednesday night San Francisco couldn’t get to .500 in this series losing to Los Angeles 10-5.

The Giants faced Dodger ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw who pitched six innings giving up five hits and improved his record to 2-1. San Francisco sent Alex Cobb to the mound who lasted 3.2 innings and gave up eight hits and two runs but was not the pitcher of record in Wednesday’s loss.

Game recap: The Giants got on the scoreboard early 2-0. J.D. Davis hit a sacrifice fly driving Thairo Estrada home for the first run of the game. The Giants would score a second run in the first inning when Darin Ruf doubled and Michael Conforto scored for the 2-0 lead.

Wilmer Flores singled in the second inning extending the Giants lead 3-0 when Joey Bart scored from third base. Alex Cobb had three good innings but ran into some trouble in the fourth inning.

The Dodgers had a couple of hits that got them up on the scoreboard. James Outman singled driving in J.D. Martinez for their first run.

Their second run came when Mookie Betts doubled and David Peralta scored. The Dodgers had snuck right back into this game trailing by a single run 3-2. At this point Cobb was pulled after allowing eight hits and two runs. Scott Alexander took over on the mound relieving Cobb.

In the fifth inning the Giants lead evaporated when slugger Max Muncy homered to center field and this game was tied 3-3. Scott Alexander was relieved by Taylor Rogers.

After walking two runners in the sixth inning Rogers had loaded the bases with no outs. He then faced Freddie Freeman in a pitching battle that ended with a walk after 15 pitches. Trayce Thompson scored and Los Angels had taken the lead 4-3.

It was back to the bullpen and Rogers was out; John Brebbia was in. It was a tough inning for the relief pitcher. Will Smith sacrificed, Chris Taylor scored and this game had turned around 5-3.

San Francisco was struggling to get out of the sixth inning but Dodger Max Muncy had other plans hitting his second home run of the game with two runners on base. Los Angeles had an 8-3 lead after six innings.

Relief pitcher Ross Stripling would take the mound in the seventh inning. More struggles for the Giant’s pitchers as Stripling walked the first at bat and gave up another Dodger home run. The Trayce Thompson homer gave the Dodgers a 10-3 lead.

The Giants got a rally going in the bottom of the seventh. Wilmer Flores singled in a run with a lot of work still for San Francisco. The Giants had two runners on base and two outs but left those runners stranded going into the eighth inning.

The Giants Thairo Estrada knocked one out of the park in the ninth inning. It was just too little too late as San Francisco lost this game and the series.

Stripling closed out this game. The Giants bullpen struggled mightily in this loss. The Giants had ten hits to the Dodgers 13 but they left runners on base and the pitching did the team no favors tonight. The home runs from Los Angles really hurt especially the second Muncy bullet with two runners on base.

This will be the last time these two teams will meet in San Francisco until the final three games of the 2023 season.

Thursday the Giants will have a day off before heading to Detroit for a three game series with the Tigers on Friday starting for San Francisco Sean Manaea (0-0, 4.50) and Detroit no starter has been announced. First pitch is scheduled for 3:40 PM at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Giants Wood gets three hit 5-0 shutout on Dodgers at Oracle Park

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Wood, middle, hands the ball over to manager Gabe Kapler, left, as he exits during the fifth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Tue Apr 11, 2023 (AP News photo)

Los Angeles. 000 000 000 – 0 3 0

San Francisco 200 000 03x – 5 7 1

Time: 2:38

Attendance: 30,768

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–Hoping to reverse their dismal start that left them 4-6 for the nascent 2023 season, San Francisco’s Gentle Giants sent southpaw Alex Wood to the mound against their long-time arch rival Los Angeles Dodgers this evening.

Wood, who brought a record of 0-0, 3.00 with him, could boast of the second best ERA in San Francisco’s starting rotation, trailing only the other Alex on the front five, Cobb. Wood was up against a formidable opponent. Dustin May pitched 18-1/3 innings in spring training this year, going 5-4, 2,95 with 20 strike outs.

Between opening day and game time, the 25 year old righty had started two games, winning one, and compiled an ERA 0.69 over 13 frames.

When hostilities ceased (if you can ssay that about a Giants-Dodgers game), the Giants had burst open a close glame with a three run eighth inniing to defeat the visitors, 5-0, in a combined three hitter.

May’s impressive showings this year didn’t keep the Giants from jumping on him for an early 2-0 lead. Back to back walks to LaMonte Wade, Jr. and Michael Conforto set the stage for a productive ground out to third by JD Davis that moved both runners up 90 feet.

Joc Pederson’s resounding double to right brought both of them home. Wood held the Dodgers at Bay forr 4-2/3 innings, but his control wavered in the top of the fifth. Walks to James Outman and Mookie Betts allowed right handed number three batter Will Smith to come to the plate.

SF needed a right handed pitcher to counter him. Enter Jakob Junis. Outman launched a tremendous drive to deep right field, sending Conforto to the back of the warning track to haul in the blast. Wood had thrown 75 pitches during his tenure; 42 of them considered strikes.

No runs were scored against him, and he surrendered but one hit. He walked three batters and hit another two. Wood’s performance brought his ERA down to 1,17.

Junis had escaped by the skin of his teeth in the fifth. He had enough trouble in the sixth to require his replacement by Scott Alexander. Junis issued a leadoff single to center off the bat of JD Martíhez, followed by a Texas League single to right by Trayce Thompson.

Miguel Vargas stuffed the sacks with Dodgers when a catcher’s interference error was called on Blake Sabol, who still is learning that position. Alexander pulled a Houdini, getting a force 0ut at home on Outman’s nubber in front of the plate and fanning Miguel Rojas.

May was removed prophylatically after retiring Davis, the Giants’ leadoff batter in their half of the sixth, yielding to Caleb Ferguson, who closed out the frame, giving up[ a harmless single to Mike Yastrzemski.

It was the on again, off again John Brebbia on the hill for SF in the top of the seventh, facing the top of the Angelino order. He held them scoreless in spite of a leadoff walk to Betts.

Shelby Miller hopped on the reief merry-go-round after the seventh inning stretch. He managed to retire a couple of Giants but also surrendered a single too Sabol, who stole second, and a two out wak to Wade.

So it was Briusdar Graterol who walked Conforto to clog the basepaths FOG, Full of Goats. He also got Davis to ground out to second to end the inning.

Submariner Tyler Rogers came on to torpedo the Dodgers in the eighthh on, setting them down in order on 15 pitches (11 strikes).

Another inning, another pitcher. Evan Phillips on the mound for Los Angeles. With one down, Yastremzski whacked a two bagger into the right field corner and trotted home on Villar’s booming round tripper 403 into right field that left his bat at 102.9 mph. Not to be out done, Crawford sent a splash hit 366 feet into McCovey Cove off of a 93.7 mph cutter. In the twinkling of an eye, San Francisco was ahead, 5-0. Sabol’s and Johnson’s striking out was anticlimactic.

Camilo Duval, with a little help from a great play at second by Thairo Estrada, who entered the game in the top of the eight, closed the book on LA, allowing only a walk in the ninth.

Alexander got the win; May, the loss.

It will be the mighty Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 3.75) will start for the Dodgers against the formidable Alex Cobb (0-1, 2.53) for the Giants Wednesday, evening at 6:45.

Dodgers crush Giants 9-1 to open three game series at Oracle

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy (13) hits a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Mon Apr 10, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The Los Angeles Dodgers Max Muncy had himself quite an evening against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle park slugging a grand slam and driving in three runs off Giants starter Logan Webb. This was Muncy’s first multiple hit game since Jul 1, 2021.

In that last multiple hit game against the Washington Nationals Muncy hit for a career high seven RBIs and did it even better three times last season on Jun 9th. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was considering resting Muncy for Tuesday’s game but he realizes anyone whose hitting three home runs you don’t want to rest him while he’s on a tear in which contributing to defeating the Giants 9-1.

The grand slam for Muncy was his career third and Roberts said it’s fun seeing a player do all those things to be successful at the plate on an evening like Monday night in an eight run slugfest, “It’s a lot of fun,” Roberts said. “Success in general is fun. But it does a little bit more for me when it’s here.”

Los Angeles pitcher Julio Urias picked up his third win against no loses, striking out eight Giant hitters, Urias walked two hitters and gave up four hits in the contest over six innings. The Dodgers backed Urias with nine runs including a huge five run rally in the top of the seventh inning.

Before Sunday’s game the Dodgers had homered at least once in the first nine games. The Dodgers weren’t able to hit a homer on Sunday in their 11-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Wilmer Flores provided the Giants the only offense they’d see all night with a lead off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Urias had a 13 inning scoreless streak going before Flores’ home run. The last time Urias had given up any kind of scoring was on opening day when he gave up two runs and three hits. Urias is pitching his kind of game throwing shutout innings and he nearly did it again on Monday night against the Giants.

Dodgers-Giants gather again at Oracle Park the Dodgers will be going with Dustin May (0-1 ERA 0.69) facing the Giants Alex Wood 0-0 ERA 3.00 first pitch 6:45 pm PDT at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Dusty’s Dream Astros Win World Series

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker after managing his third World Series wins his first World Series as the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in game 6 at Minute Maid Field on Sat Nov 5, 2022 (AP News photo)

Dusty’s Dream: Astros Win World Series

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Manager Dusty Baker has done it! His Houston Astros have won the 2022 World Series beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in 6 games. This title, his first as a manager, should cinch his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, among managers, adding to the over 2,000 wins.

This was his ultimate dream since he became a manager, a very good player as we remember, for 19 years who also won a ring in 1981 as a member of the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

A career that began with the Atlanta Braves, where he was a teammate of the real home run holder Hank Aaron. Dusty had a front row at history, in Atlanta, Dusty was in the on-deck circle when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, passing Babe Ruth.

Winning a World Series as a player is one thing, but as a manager is totally different. A manager carries the frustration of his team. As a manager, Dusty’s frustrations were as recently as 2020 when he was coaching for the Astros he lost to the Tampa Bay Rays and was eliminated in game 7 during the American League Championship Series.

In 2021 his second season with the Astros, right after taking the helm from manager A.J Hinch and the much-publicized cheating scandal. He took that Astros team to the World Series only to lose to the Atlanta Braves in six games. At 73 years old, Dusty is now the oldest manager ever to win a World Series.

Before Dusty, it was Jack McKeon who managed the Marlins of 2003 and won the World Series at the age of 72. The Houston players are grateful and happy for Dusty Baker. He took them into a new era of Houston Astros baseball. José Altuve who was basically booed by fans all over the country, every time he came to the plate, for the cheating scandal that began in 2017.

There is the one player that was with the Astros during their bad years and then MLB conducted an investigation in 2019 after two Astros players claimed they were stealing signs. The Astros players and organization feel today like Dusty Baker was exactly the type of man they need at the helm to bring them to the ‘promised land’ and he did.

José Altuve currently has the longest tenure wearing an Astros uniform, he was with the team in 2012 when the team was in the National League Central division and they ended with a 55-107 record and the next season 2013 (the first year the Astros moved from the NL to the American League) as they ended with a dreadful record of 51-111.

After Dusty Baker, nobody enjoys this World Series Championship more than the veteran José Altuve, who called this title “a dream come true”. Altuve is the only player that was with the Astros during those very bad seasons in two different leagues. He was celebrating and happy for Dusty Baker who said “Houston is my town”.

Like many managers, Dusty had to endure all the criticism for his decisions. Dusty who was an excellent player in the majors for 19 seasons, was facing a different type of criticism as a manager. Some were brutal commentaries by prominent baseball writers of national acclaim, especially during the 2002 World Series, where Dusty’s Giants lost to the Anaheim Angels. I remember reading one; “Dusty cannot manage a bullpen”.

Today Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker, who was born in 1949 and in 1967 was selected in the 26th round of the MLB Draft. He has been involved in baseball for the majority of his 73 years on this planet, as a player and as a manager, and is rejoicing with his players and having all the fun in the world.

Sometimes we sarcastically say “this could not have happened to a better person”, but in Dusty Baker’s case, it is true “this could not have happened to a better person”. I have been privileged to cover his career as a player and a manager. One word comes to mind that best describes the essence of this man….honesty. No wonder every player wants to play for Dusty.

Bravo Dusty!

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary at

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Astros Alvarez beats M’s with one swing of the bat in walk homer; Yanks Cole and Rizzo provide help in 4-1 win over Cleveland; plus more

The Houston Astros Yordan Alvarez watches flight of his home run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Field in Houston on Tue Oct 11, 2022 (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Jessica:

#1 Jessica lets look at the MLB playoffs from Tuesday night. The Houston Astros took the first game of the ALDS getting by the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Field in Houston 7-5. The Astros Yordan Alvarez crushed a three run walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth for the win.

#2 The New York Yankees got a 4-1 win past the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium. Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole pitched 6.1 innings, four hits, one earned run, one walk, and eight strikeouts for the win. Anthony Rizzo hit a home run and had two RBIs in the win.

#3 The Philadelphia Phillies just got by the Atlanta Braves 7-6 at Truist Park in Cobb County. The Phils held onto to the win despite the Braves scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in a last attempt to come back.

#4 The Los Angles Dodgers drew first blood in game one of the NLDS defeating the San Diego Padres 5-3 at Dodgers Stadium. The Dodgers scored early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and three runs in the bottom of third inning.

#5 Lastly Jessica the Guardians pitcher Nick Sandlin will miss the rest of the 2022 post season after going through an MRI that showed he has a major muscle injury in the right shoulder. How will Sandlin’s absence impact the Guardians pitching in the post season?

Join Jessica Kwong for Headline Sports Wednesday night at

The Way-Too-Early 2023 NL West Power Rankings: The Giants need to retool

By Morris Phillips

At 27-40 with all nine remaining games to be played, the Giants’ answer to the question, “How the West was lost?” lies squarely with divisional play.

The first-place Dodgers lit up the Giants, winning 15 of 19, the first time LA has beaten the Giants as many as 15 times in a season. The second-place Padres have won 11 of 16, with a couple of the losses delivered in excruciating fashion. And Arizona leads the season series between the clubs 9-7 with three games remaining.

Only the Rockies have felt the Giants impose their will, dropping 11 of 16 to San Francisco with three games left to play. The .402 winning percentage in divisional play, if it stands, will be one of its worst since divisional play commenced in 1969.

So what does this mean for next season, one in which divisional play will be reduced by 24 games, and interleague play expanded?

Who knows? But we’ll pretend to know anyways with our Way-To-Early 2023 NL West power rankings.

1) Los Angeles Dodgers: Count on it, the Dodgers unprecedented divisional dominance will extend into a second decade as they again finish first in the NL West in 2023. Start with the imposing top of the lineup trio of Trea Turner, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman and go from there. The Dodgers undoubtedly will open the bank account for Turner, the 29-year old free agent to be, who will be their foremost, off-season priority. Max Muncy will also likely return on the team’s option to retain him. That leaves Justin Turner as the guy who status is up in the air.

Add in the youthful crew of Gavin Lux, Trayce Thompson, James Outman along with pitchers Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Dustin May and just know the Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches.

2) San Diego Padres: San Diego’s biggest nightmare–the PED suspension of Fernando Tatis Jr.–will negatively impact next season as well, with the ban stretching across the first 30 games of 2023.

Along with that, the Padres have played losing baseball since June 23 (34-39) dating well before the trade deadline acquisition of Juan Soto and Tatis’ suspension. The Dodgers have had their way with their Southern California rivals, beating them 12 times, nine of those by five runs or more.

The Padres look set for the 2022 playoffs barring a collapse, but they could face the Braves in the opening round without the benefit of a home game to energize their fans, who have filled Petco Park this season in record numbers.

So what’s next?

The Padres don’t seem likely to unleash another round of spending heading into next season, but they will face tough decisions in regards to how to improve a rotation that has seen Mike Clevinger and Blake Snell regress. Also their bullpen with Josh Hader’s arrival hasn’t been as good as they were in 2021. Still, the Padres should be a second place, playoff contender in 2023.

3) San Francisco Giants: The Giants will undoubtedly make the most personnel decisions among NL West teams in the off-season. Will they also make the biggest decisions?

The Giants are one of the teams that will be involved in the Aaron Judge sweepstakes, a big money game if there ever was one. Can they win it? The odds have to be as little as 20 percent that they can, but if so, they’ll lean heavily on Judge’s ties to Northern California and his opportunity to play in low scoring, competitive games where home runs are essential.

Regardless of Judge’s decision the Giants must first decide on Carlos Rodon’s future and the wisdom of handing the strikeout king a four-year extension that would bring the total of his deal near $100 million. If so, the Giants would be set in their rotation with a 1-2 punch of Rodon and Logan Webb.

Beyond that the team has intriguing decisions regarding Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt (UFA), Mike Yastrzemski and Lamonte Wade Jr. But the biggest choices will be to improve the bullpen that fell dramatically from the top of the 2021 NL rankings.

Whatever transpires, the goal is getting the Giants back into the postseason mix.

4) Arizona Diamondbacks: The D’Backs keep spending money, the D’Backs keep adding pieces, and they have stability in manager Torey Luvullo.

When will it add up?

Arizona’s last playoff appearance was in 2017. The last time they won a playoff game was in 2011. Since winning the World Series in 2001, they’ve won two playoff games while cycling through five, different managers. What they have done in the last 20 years is make a number of splashy free agent signings (Shelby Miller, Madison Bumgarner, Justin Upton) and not seen much in terms of results.

Ok, what’s next?

Stay the course. Christian Walker’s elevated his game, becoming one of the NL’s premiere sluggers in 2022 with 36 homers thus far, Daulton Varsho’s come up with 50 extra-base hits this season, and Ketel Marte (56 extra-base hits) was good, and could easily regain the form of his previous, two seasons. Stone Garrett, a promising prospect that got stuck in the minors, could be ready to become an every day outfielder. They have a core offensively.

Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen–a pair of starting pitchers that the Giants know all too well–are frontline starters and the centerpieces of a plus, starting rotation. Both Kelly and Gallen are signed through the next, couple of seasons.

The Diamondbacks have to get younger, and better in their bullpen and make a tough decision regarding the future of 32-year old Nick Ahmed.

Do they go out and spend a pricey addition again? Maybe not, and if not, that’s the good news.

5) Colorado Rockies: Will the Rox say adieu to manager Bud Black? Will they realize the production they sought by signing free agent slugger Kris Bryant? Can heralded starter German Marquez regain his form, and get his ERA under five?

That’s a lot of questions, and there are more in Denver. Until some or all are answered, the Rockies will carry up the rear in a very, demanding division.