Dodgers get another crack at playoffs

Dodgers clinchAfter taking a year off, the Dodgers slipped back into the playoffs with a win at San Francisco. Greg Maddux scattered three hits in giving them seven innings, and ends the regular season a 15-game winner. During the clubhouse champagne and beer frenzy, he sought out general manager Ned Colletti to say thanks for bringing him to L.A. It's good they will keep playing, but look at how baseball has devalued the once-magical concept of first place. All the Dodgers clinched was a spot in the post-season. With a win today they could actually finish first in the National League West — and with it get home field advantage in a series against the Cardinals or Astros. If they lose today (or the Padres win), the Dodgers open in New York against the more fearsome Mets and would play fewer games at Dodger Stadium. But manager Grady Little started a second-tier lineup today to rest the regulars, and the club's position seems to be they don't much care about a win today.

The other local baseball story today: The Times' Lance Pugmire breaks the news that not-quite-retired pitching great Roger Clemens was fingered as a user of human growth hormone by former Yankees teammate Jason Grimsley. No comment from Clemens. If Houston squeaks into the playoffs today, Clemens and fellow Astro Andy Pettitte, also named, will be asked about it a lot.

Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

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