MLB

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Famous 2013 couples involving at least one athlete Famous 2013 couples involving at least one athlete /mlb/gallery/famous-2013-sports-couples-involving-at-least-one-athlete-010714 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2014/01/07/010714-FAMOUS-ATHLETE-COUPLES-DC-PI_20140107170136136_136_102.JPG
Shocking and tragic sports deaths Shocking and tragic sports deaths /mlb/gallery/Shocking-and-tragic-sports-deaths http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/09/27/092710-MLB-Nick-Adenhart-PI_20100927155701_136_102.JPG
Notable sports deaths of 2013 Notable sports deaths of 2013 /mlb/gallery/sports-deaths-2013-013113 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/31/013113-Sports-Deaths-Gallery-SW-PI_20130131161224454_136_102.JPG
Top free agents Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are among the top free agents in the 2013-14 offseason. /mlb/gallery/top-free-agents-2014-mlb-offseason-robinson-cano-shin-soo-choo-carlos-betrlan-jacoby-ellsbury-110213 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/08/14/canojayz_20130814145650528_136_102.JPG
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MLB 49 8 How they got there 31910943 NL West champions! NL+West+champions%21 MLB

No one would have predicted this in late June when the Dodgers were in last place and 12 games under .500 (30-42) on June 21. Heck, back in May, FOXSports.com senior MLB writer Ken Rosenthal expected manager Don Mattingly to lose his job. But all of a sudden, things turned around. So how did they do it? Was it the arrival of rookie phenom Yasiel Puig (pictured), who is a top candidate for NL Rookie of the Year? What about the play of Hanley Ramirez, who has been mentioned in NL MVP talk? Here are five key reasons the Los Angeles Dodgers are NL West champs and playoff-bound.

 

The clincher: LA edges Arizona 7-6
Celebration videos
Partying in D-backs' pool
Puig dances in clubhouse

Lisa Blumenfeld - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/18/Yasiel-Puig_20130918175312724_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/18/Yasiel-Puig_20130918175312724_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 8 How they got there 31911617 The Brawl The+Brawl MLB

On June 11, the Dodgers and then-NL West Division-leading Diamondbacks ended up in a bench-clearing brawl, which included manager/coaches Kirk Gibson, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Matt Williams and Alan Trammell. LA would eventually win 5-3, but still sat in last place at 28-36; Arizona was 36-29 with a one-game lead over Colorado. Did the skirmish spark the Dodgers into their amazing summer run? It didn't start right away as the Dodgers lost six of their next eight, but they went 21-5 from June 21 to July 22, while the D-backs went 11-15. The Dodgers were in first with a lead they would never relinquish.

Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/05_20130917195856287_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/05_20130917195856287_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 8 How they got there 31911613 Pocket aces Pocket+aces MLB

The one-two punch of Clayton Kershaw and a resurgent Zack Greinke gives the Dodgers the overpowering arms necessary to make a postseason run. Kershaw is turning in another fantastic year and is the favorite to win his second NL Cy Young Award. He is 14-9, leads the majors in ERA (1.94) and WHIP (0.93) and is tops in the NL with 214 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Greinke is 15-3 and has his best ERA (2.75) and WHIP (1.146) since winning the AL Cy Young in 2009 with the Royals. With these two, it's no surprise LA's rotation leads the majors with a 3.14 ERA. — Statistics through Sept. 18.

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/03_20130917195856285_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/03_20130917195856285_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 8 How they got there 31911614 Ramirez and Puig Ramirez+and+Puig MLB

Though Hanley Ramirez (left) and Yasiel Puig haven't been in the starting lineup together as much as Dodgers fans would like, three-time All-Star shortstop Ramirez (.351, 20 HR, 57 RBI, 10 SB) and rookie phenom outfielder Puig (.332, 17 HR, 39 RBI, 11 SB) have carried the Dodgers offense. From June 14 to July 30, Ramirez reached base in 37 consecutive games, hitting .410 with 10 homers and 32 RBI as the Dodgers went 28-9. As for Puig, he has taken the baseball world by storm since his June 3 debut. The club is 60-29 when Puig starts and he has 11 go-ahead hits. — Stats through Sept. 19

Lisa Blumenfeld - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/01_20130917195855283_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/01_20130917195855283_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 8 How they got there 31911616 Tons of money Tons+of+money MLB

One of only two major league clubs with a $200 million-plus payroll, the Dodgers rank second behind perennial spendthrifts the New York Yankees. Spending like Steinbrenners, Los Angeles compiled a star-studded roster. Zack Greinke (left) and Adrian Gonzalez (right) make up nearly $42 million of those Dodger bucks for this year alone. So you can imagine LA fans weren't too pleased after play on June 21 when the club was 12 games under .500 (30-42) and in the cellar of the NL West, 9½ games back.

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/04_20130917195856286_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/04_20130917195856286_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 8 How they got there 31911615 The Magic sale The+Magic+sale MLB

When Frank McCourt finally had ownership of the Dodgers ripped away — for a reported $2.15 billion purchase price — it signaled a sea change throughout the organization. Magic Johnson, along with some other faceless billionaires, took over and revamped a team in need of a face-lift.

Harry How - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/02_20130917195855284_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/17/02_20130917195855284_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2014/01/07/010714-FAMOUS-ATHLETE-COUPLES-DC-PI_20140107170136136_136_102.JPG Famous 2013 couples involving at least one athlete Famous 2013 couples involving at least one at... Famous 2013 couples involving at least one athlete Famously, Yankee great Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe grabbed the world's attention with their nine months of marriage. Who were this year's notorious duos? Jan 7, 2014 5:38 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/famous-2013-sports-couples-involving-at-least-one-athlete-010714
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/09/27/092710-MLB-Nick-Adenhart-PI_20100927155701_136_102.JPG Shocking and tragic sports deaths Shocking and tragic sports deaths Shocking and tragic sports deaths Sports has given us amazing triumphs, and also moments of tragedy. We pay tribute to the untimely deaths that have stunned the sports world. Nov 18, 2013 8:01 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/Shocking-and-tragic-sports-deaths
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/01/31/013113-Sports-Deaths-Gallery-SW-PI_20130131161224454_136_102.JPG Notable sports deaths of 2013 Notable sports deaths of 2013 Notable sports deaths of 2013 Notable sports deaths of 2013 Nov 18, 2013 8:01 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/sports-deaths-2013-013113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/08/14/canojayz_20130814145650528_136_102.JPG Top free agents Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are among the... Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are among the top free agents in the 2013-14 offseason. How much $$$ can Jay-Z bag for Robinson Cano? It should be interesting as the free-agent negotiating season is about to begin - and he's not the only big name out there. Nov 3, 2013 9:50 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/top-free-agents-2014-mlb-offseason-robinson-cano-shin-soo-choo-carlos-betrlan-jacoby-ellsbury-110213
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/02/Boston-Red-Sox-designated-hitter-David-Ortiz-_20131102162538858_136_102.JPG Boston Red Sox celebrate World Series with parade Boston Red Sox celebrate World Series with pa... Boston Red Sox celebrate World Series with parade The story of the 2013 Red Sox was more than a rare worst-to-first turnaround. It was a story about a team rallying around tragedy to galvanize and inspire its community. Nov 2, 2013 4:34 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/boston-red-sox-parade-world-series-celebration-marathon-tribute-110213
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/31/103013-MLB-St-Louis-Cardinals-Boston-Red-Sox-TV-Pi2_20131031004540602_136_102.JPG Boston celebrates World Series title Check out the sights after the Boston Red Sox... Check out the sights after the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park. There's nothing like winning a championship on your home turf ... and that's just what Boston did with its Game 6 win. Oct 31, 2013 9:52 AM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/boston-red-sox-world-series-celebration-gallery-game-6-103013
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/31/103013-MSN-Week-in-Photos-TV-Pi_20131031015612616_136_102.JPG The week's best sports photos The Boston Red Sox pulled off their third Wor... The Boston Red Sox pulled off their third World Series victory in nine years, this time clinching at home for the first time in 95 years, to cap a... The Boston Red Sox pulled off their third World Series victory in nine years, this time clinching at home for the first time in 95 years, to cap a wild week in the sports world. Oct 31, 2013 8:07 AM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/week-in-sports-photos-nfl-olympics-baseball-world-series-hockey-basketball-103113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/31/103013-MLB-St-Louis-Cardinals-Boston-Red-Sox-TV-Pi3_20131031004540601_136_102.JPG 2013 World Series photo gallery Check out the sights from the 2013 World Seri... Check out the sights from the 2013 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. Since the start of spring training, every team's goal was to be here, but it was Boston and St. Louis playing for the title. Oct 31, 2013 6:44 AM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/world-series-st-louis-cardinals-boston-red-sox-gallery-2013
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/23/102313-MSN-Photos-of-the-Week-DG-PI_20131023231718265_136_102.JPG The week's top sports photos The World Series kicks off on FOX and that's... The World Series kicks off on FOX and that's just the tip of the iceberg from a busy week in sports. See some of the most captivating images from the... The World Series kicks off on FOX and that's just the tip of the iceberg from a busy week in sports. See some of the most captivating images from the week that was. Oct 24, 2013 8:35 AM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/week-in-sports-photos-nfl-olympics-baseball-world-series-hockey-basketball-102413
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/23/Fall-Classic-storybook_20131023052451659_136_102.JPG The top five storylines for the 2013 World Series The top five storylines for the 2013 World Se... The top five storylines for the 2013 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. Both teams can hit, pitch and are really good at home. Will it come down to a rookie pitcher? A veteran who loves the center stage? It's time to find out. Oct 23, 2013 3:37 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/world-series-storylines-cardinals-red-sox-carlos-beltran-david-ortiz-michael-wacha-102213
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/20/102013-MLB-memorable-world-series-moments-OB-PI2_20131020200035569_136_102.JPG Top 15 most memorable moments in World Series history Top 15 most memorable moments in MLB World Se... Top 15 most memorable moments in MLB World Series history The World Series is here again and it's time to revisit some of the reasons this championship is so special. Spanning 79 years of baseball history, here's our top 15 moments. Oct 23, 2013 5:28 AM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/top-15-most-memorable-moments-in-world-series-history-102113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/15/101513-mlb-being-mariano-TV-Pi_20131015185904802_136_102.JPG BEING: Mariano FOX Sports celebrates Yankees legend Mariano... FOX Sports celebrates Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, who retired at the end of the 2013 regular season. FOX Sports Originals, in conjunction with MLB Productions, brings you 'BEING: Mariano,' an unprecedented look at the final season of baseball's greatest closer. Oct 17, 2013 6:32 PM ET 1 6 /mlb/gallery/being-mariano-rivera-new-york-yankees-101013