Dodgers sign unpopular pitcher *

How desperate are the Dodgers for pitchers? They have signed a righthander named Vicente Padilla who was cut this month by the Texas Rangers, a team trying to make the playoffs. Padilla was so unpopular there his Texas teammates actually thanked the front office for getting rid of him. He throws excessively at opposing players, putting his own hitters at risk, and also is the proverbial "clubhouse cancer," according to a Texas newspaper story that cited "a laundry list of behavioral issues."

The decision on Padilla had as much to do with what he did in the clubhouse as it did with his on-field antics. Teammates said Padilla was often late for meetings, or didn’t attend them at all, and he would escape to the clubhouse during games to check e-mail and surf the Internet.

Rangers brass didn’t want that type of influence around young players anymore.

angelsbox.jpgMeanwhile, in Anaheim: You don't see this every day — or at all since 1930, the LAT says. Check out the box score. Every hitter in yesterday's Angels lineup was batting .300 or better. The Anaheimies are hot and have a better record, and a safer lead over second place, than the stumbling Dodgers.

* Update: The Dodgers position, as it has to be, is that Padilla somehow won't be a problem here. Padilla says "If I caused so much trouble, I wouldn't be here."

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