Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario kicked off winter ball team

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Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, who was suspended for the entire 2011 season following a positive cocaine test, has been kicked off his winter ball team in Venezuela.

Belisario has been removed from the roster due to undisclosed disciplinary reasons and will not play for the remainder of the winter ball season, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.

Ultimas Noticias in Venezuela reports that Belisario asked for a personal leave of absence from the team and then did not return when scheduled, at which point they booted him. Belisario claims he returned when scheduled, but still got kicked off the team because he’d been having issues with the general manager.

Belisario was very effective for the Dodgers this past season, throwing 71 innings with a 2.54 ERA, but he was terrible in 2010 and missed all of 2011 on suspension. None of this should effect his status with the Dodgers.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.