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Dodgers owners in it for long haul

LOS ANGELES — Although the Southern California sun stayed behind the clouds, everything else about the Dodgers' introductory news conference for their new ownership group signaled the dawn of a new era for a beloved franchise.

Magic Johnson, Mark Walter and Stan Kasten stood on a stage Wednesday in centerfield at Dodger Stadium on what broadcaster Vin Scully called "a soft day," pulling on white jerseys and blue Dodgers caps for the club's third ownership change since 1998.

The new owners vowed to restore the Dodgers' dignity after Frank McCourt's stormy and sometimes questionable tenure. While outlining a long-term vision, they also offered an immediate carrot for their long-suffering fans: a $5 reduction in the $15 parking charges at the stadium.

"What we want to do is bring the pride back to this city and this organization," said Johnson, his voice echoing off thousands of empty seats in the iconic stadium. "It's going to take some time to get this franchise back to where Mr. O'Malley had it, but we're going to work, and we're going to do it. We're committed for the long haul."

CLEMENS Trial: In a blow to the government's federal perjury case against Roger Clemens, Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte testified that he might have misunderstood when he thought Clemens admitted to him that he had used human growth hormone. Clemens' lawyers moved to strike Pettitte's testimony about the 1999-2000 conversation as "insufficiently definitive."

BREWERS: 1B Mat Gamel tore the ACL in his right knee and likely will need season-ending surgery.

ORIOLES: Rookie LHP Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to have season-ending elbow ligament replacement surgery on May 11.

PADRES: LHP Cory Luebke went on the 15-day DL with a strained pitching elbow.

PHILLIES: 1B Jim Thome went on the 15-day DL with tightness in his lower back. C Erik Kratz was recalled from Triple-A.

RANGERS: OF Josh Hamilton sat out for a third straight game with a stiff back but is expected to return to the lineup Friday.

REDS: RH reliever Michael Wuertz, out much of last season with right thumb tendinitis, agreed to a minor-league deal.

RED SOX: 3B Kevin Youkilis went on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back. 3B Will Middlebrooks, one of the team's top prospects, was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. Also, RHP Aaron Cook was called up from Pawtucket and will start Saturday in place of RHP Josh Beckett, who has soreness in his right side.

YANKEES: LF Brett Gardner, out two weeks with a strained right elbow, is unlikely to come off the disabled list today, manager Joe Girardi said.

Dodgers owners in it for long haul 05/02/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:32pm]
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