MLB investigating links between Melky’s agents and steroid dealer Kirk Radomski

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This is interesting. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports:

Major League Baseball is investigating whether four-time All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca’s relationship with steroid distributor Kirk Radomski was arranged by his former agents, three people with knowledge of the investigation told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.

And it’s not just old news simply because it involves an old player like Lo Duca. Because the agents in question — Seth and Sam Levinson — are also Melky Cabrera’s agents. And the information about the Lo Duca-Radomski relationship has arisen in the context of MLB’s investigation into the Melky Cabrera fake website craziness.

Nightengale lays out the relationship between Lo Duca, Radomski and the Levinsons. Some of this was in the Mitchell Report — we know Lo Duca was a total genius and wrote personal checks to Radomski for his HGH — but Nightengale reports that the checking account was in both Lo Duca’s and the Levinsons’ names.  That’s news. The Levinsons strongly deny any relationship to Radomski or any involvement in procuring PEDs for their clients, Lo Duca and Melky Cabrera included.

Obviously it’s too early to tell what this may mean. But it certainly puts that whole Melky website thing in a new light. Remember, the guy who created it worked for the Levinsons. He claimed to be a lone gunman, but one wonders if Major League Baseball isn’t playing Jim Garrison here and looking to see if there were any agents on the grassy knoll.

If so: bye-bye agents livelihood, as they will be drummed out of the player representation business permanently, one assumes.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.