Jayson Werth Has Wrist Surgery

Jayson Werth was drilled by a 95-mph A.J. Burnett fastball in his first exhibition game last spring, suffering a fracture of the wrist. He missed the rest of the spring and the first 44 games of the regular season, then had a decidedly subpar season, playing with pain the rest of the way.

Following the season he had a bursa sac removed from his left knee. When he began offseason workouts three weeks ago, the pain returned. A visit to a ligament specialist at the University of Iowa, revealed a torn ligament.

The injury required a specialized surgical procedure to repair the tear in his wrist. He is now wearing a splint with pins inserted to hold a ligament in place.

Werth told MLB.com that stitches will be removed on Monday and he will wear a cast for six additional weeks, at which time the pins will be removed and his status will be re-evaluated before baseball activities can resume. That would be mid-January.

Werth, 26, had an eye-opening half-season in 2004, hitting .262 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI in 290 at-bats after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays. He was penciled in as the starting left fielder when spring training opened, but wound up hitting .234 with seven homers and 43 RBI in 337 at-bats, striking out a team-leading 114 times.

Black says no -- again-- Angels coach Bud Black said no the second time to an interview for the Dodgers vacant managerial position. He orientally said no, then said he would think it over, then said no again.

That leaves Atlanta special assistant Jim Fregosi as the single available candidate, although GM Ned Colletti will apparently interview two or three more candidates before making a decision.

Fire sale continues-- Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is a huge sale day across the country but the Florida Marlins jumped the gun, cutting their payroll in half trading four key players away in a four-hour span.

Slugger Carlos Delgado was traded to the New York Mets for first baseman Mike Jacobs and two minor leaguers. Josh Beckett, third baseman Mike Lowell and reliever Guillermo Mota went to the Boston Red Sox for four prospects.

The moves cut the Marlins payroll from $60 million to $27 million. Marlins president David Samson called it a "market correction."

The Dodgers were reportedly interested in Delgado and perhaps Juan Pierre. It is not known if the centerfielder is still among the marked-down items on the sale table are still available.

A holiday story-- It's not about the Dodgers, but the story is so compelling that it was worth adding to the site as the holiday season approaches.

Matt LaChappa, 20, a second-round 1993 draft choice out of nearby El Capitan High who was considered the best pitching prospect in the Padres' organization in April of 1996.

While warming up in the bullpen at Rancho Cucamonga, preparing to enter the game in relief, clutched his chest and fell to the ground.

The trainer administered CPR for 20 minutes until the emergency arrived on the scene and took him to the hospital, where he suffered a second heart attack.

He was diagnosed with a virus around his heart and his career was over and his future in doubt.

But the Padres' organization wouldn't allow it.

Even though LaChappa would never throw another pitch, even though he could never fulfill the contract he had signed or repay the bonus he'd received, it didn't matter. The Padres continued to pay him.

Each year.

They have re-signed him to a basic minor-league contract each of the past 10 years, not only providing him with some much-needed cash but, more important, allowing him to maintain his insurance so he can continue to receive quality care.

The team doesn't have to do this. It wanted to do this said Priscilla Oppenheimer, the Padres' director of minor-league operations. "It's our way of saying to Matt that you're a Padre for life,

"It's my privilege to be able to do this," she says. "And I hope if I leave here, someone else will think it worthy to keep going."

The Padres have renamed a Little League Park they helped renovate in Lakeside. It's now called Matt LaChappa Field.

They've invited him to be honored at Petco Park, where they wheeled him out to the mound and he could watch his brother throw out the first pitch.

At Rancho Cucamonga, they retired Matt's uniform and invited his dad to throw out the first pitch on opening night a few years back.

In a year when we all seem to need it more than ever, one major-league organization and, especially, one compassionate, caring employee, have combined to provide us with hope and encouragement, taking the act of giving to a whole new level.