The Arizona Diamondbacks took a big one from the Dodgers tonight, and I'm not talking about their 7-2 victory on the field.
Dodger communications vice president Josh Rawitch is leaving the Dodgers after this season to become senior VP of communications for the Diamondbacks, whose organization and fans are sure to benefit from his presence.
It may seem strange to praise someone entrusted with helping craft public relations for Dodger fans' Public Enemy No. 1 (with apologies to Clayton Kershaw's curveball). But despite working at the behest of Frank McCourt (whose merits would often be touted to my skeptical eyes), Rawitch was a major asset for the franchise. He worked tirelessly not only to put the Dodgers' best foot forward but to make the fans' experience the best he possibly could, often going well beyond the call of duty.
Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall certainly knows this well – he was a Dodger predecessor of Rawitch as head of communications.
There is no shortage of bias toward Rawitch on my end, but it was well-earned. To this site, Rawitch was an early friend, one of the first in all of professional sports to accept that a place outside the mainstream media might still be worthy of being treated with respect. Professionally and personally, he treated me as well as anyone ever has.
I'm going to miss him, but despite how he might spin it in his final days on the job, I couldn't be happier for him to get a fresh start – with the 2011 National League West champions, no less.
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Matt Kemp (2 for 4) hit his 33rd homer in the first inning tonight and Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the fifth, but things fell apart for the Dodgers in the sixth with Arizona tallying five runs. Lilly failed to complete six innings for the 14th time in 30 starts this season.
Unfortunately for Kemp's pursuit of the NL Triple Crown, Albert Pujols hit his league-leading 35th homer tonight.
Jerry Sands went 3 for 4 with an RBI in his best major-league performance since going 4 for 4 on May 22.
Nathan Eovaldi, making his first career relief appearance, retired the side in order in the ninth inning.
Kirk Gibson used three relievers in the ninth inning to protect Arizona's five-run lead from the Dodgers, who loaded the bases but didn't score. Dee Gordon, in a 1-for-18 slump, made the final out.
San Francisco beat San Diego, meaning that the Giants are 4 1/2 games ahead of the 72-74 Dodgers.
Manny Ramirez "was arrested and charged with battery Monday after a domestic dispute at his South Florida home, police said."
Jonathan Broxton has officially been ruled out from returning this season, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, meaning that he has most likely pitched his last game for the Dodgers. Nothing but best wishes, Jonathan.