What we're watching: Red Sox aim for sweep

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– After one minor league start, Vicente Padilla makes his Dodger debut tonight in Colorado. The 31-year-old right-hander went 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA for the Rangers before being released early this month. He’ll be facing off against the surging Jorge De La Rosa, who has gone 10-1 in his last 12 starts. De La Rosa, though, is 0-4 with a 7.89 ERA lifetime versus the Dodgers. He’s allowed seven runs in 8 2/3 innings in his two starts against the club this year. The Dodgers bounced back from a tough loss Tuesday to win 6-1 last night and push their NL West lead back to three games.
– The Braves will turn to Javier Vazquez as they attempt to bounce back from a pair of disastrous home losses to the Padres. Vazquez has been an exceptional fantasy starter all year with his 3.14 ERA and 186 strikeouts, but as is his reputation, he often pitches just well enough to lose. He’s dropped his last two starts to fall to 10-9. The Padres will start Clayton Richard, who is 3-0 with a 3.67 ERA in five starts since coming over in the Jake Peavy deal.
Game of the Night
Chicago vs. Boston – The Red Sox go for a four-game sweep of the White Sox behind Junichi Tazawa, who shut out the Yankees for six innings last time out. Tazawa has a nice 3.57 ERA despite giving up 26 hits and seven walks in 17 2/3 innings since his callup this month. The White Sox will use John Danks, who has been the team’s most reliable pitcher lately. He’s 7-3 with a 2.99 ERA in his last 13 starts. However, he has lost all three of his career starts against the Red Sox, racking up a 6.06 ERA in the process. With four losses in a row, the White Sox have fallen into a tie with the Twins for second place in the AL Central, 4 1/2 games back for the Tigers.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner had his left leg amputated

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Mark Lerner, son of Ted Lerner and a co-owner of the Washington Nationals, had his left leg amputated earlier this month. He was diagnosed earlier this year for a rare form of cancer that a attacks connective tissue and treatment had been ineffective, so doctors removed the limb.

The news was revealed in the form of a letter Lerner wrote to Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga, who had inquired about Lerner’s uncharacteristic absence from the ballpark of late. Lerner:

“With my doctors and medical team, we decided that amputation of that leg was my best choice to maintain the active and busy lifestyle that I have always enjoyed. The limb was removed in early August and I’m healing well, cancer-free, and looking forward to my eventual new prosthetic.”

Lerner, 63, has been known to dress up in a Nats uniform and shag fly balls with the team during batting practice. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and, if his prosthetic allows, some more BP shagging at some point in the future.

New Marlins owners are going to dump David Samson, keep the home run sculpture

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The Miami Herald reports that the future Miami Marlins owners, Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, have informed Major League Baseball that they do not intend to retain current team president David Samson. Derek Jeter will replace him as the person in charge of baseball and business operations.

Samson has been a polarizing figure in Miami and has been seen as Jeff Loria’s front-facing presence in many ways. He led the effort for the team to get its new stadium, which led to political scandal and outrage in Miami (not that he didn’t get his stadium). In 2014, he appeared on “Survivor.” He did not survive.

What will survive, however, is the famous home run sculpture in the outfield at Marlins Park. You’ll recall some reports earlier this week that Sherman and Jeter were thinking about removing it. If so, they’ll have a lot of hurdles to jump, because yesterday the Miami-Dade County government reminded them that it was paid for by its Art in Public Places program, it is thus owned by the county and that it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.

I know a lot of people hate that thing, but it has grown on me over the years. Not for its own aesthetic sake as much for its uniqueness and whimsy, which are two things that are in extraordinarily short supply across the Major League Baseball landscape. Like a lot of new and different bits of art and architecture over the course of history, I suspect its initial loathing will increasingly come to be replaced by respect and even pride. Especially if the Marlins ever make another World Series run, in which case everything associated with the club will be elevated in the eyes of fans.

On this score, Sherman and Jeter will thank Miami-Dade for saving themselves from themselves one day.