Dodgers get Hendrickson for Seo, Navarro

As rumored, the Dodgers have acquired left-handed pitcher Mark Hendrickson and catcher Toby Hall from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, along with cash considerations for right-handed pitcher Jae Seo, minor league catcher Dioner Navarro and a player to be named later, according to Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.

Hendrickson, 4-8 after 13 starts with a 3.81 ERA, joins a rotation that has featured only two consistent starters, right-handers Derek Lowe and Brad Penny. The 31-year-old Hall gives the team protection in the event of an injury to rookie Russell Martin or veteran backup Sandy Alomar.

"He's a great fifth starter," a scout says of Hendrickson, 32, who is 6 foot 9, 230 pounds. "He's durable. He's tall. He's very deceptive. Guys get bad swings on him. His stuff isn't great, but at the end of the day you look up and say, "He's not that bad."

Hendrickson, who turned 32 on Friday, is a finesse type, mixing a fastball that usually sits in the high 80s with a decent changeup, curveball and a cutter that he can run in on batters.

Righthanded batters can still give him trouble but he is improving. He gets too concerned about throwing strikes, and in an effort to get ahead in the count gets hit hard on first pitches.

The DRays have worked with him to get him to be more aggressive outside the strike zone and move the ball around. Hendrickson is also working on getting better control of the running game, reducing the number of bases stolen against him from 20 in 2003 to 11.

Seo, 2-4 with a 5.78 ERA, was dropped from the Dodgers' rotation in May and has been pitching out of the bullpen. The Devil Rays could keep Seo -- he is not be eligible for arbitration until after this season -- or spin him to another club.

The Mets have shown interest in re-acquiring Seo, 29, whom they traded to the Dodgers along with reliever Tim Hamulack last January for relievers Duaner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll.

"Mark will add some depth to our starting rotation as we head into the second half of the season," said Colletti. "Toby is an experienced catcher who will serve us well both behind the plate and off the bench."

Hendrickson has been among the top left-handers in the American League this season, posting a 2.20 ERA on the road, the lowest mark in the league. He has also held AL batters to a .241 batting average which ranks eighth. He has gone six or more innings in 11 of his 13 outings while receiving only 3.1 runs per start from his offense.

Hendrickson began his professional baseball career in 2000 following a four-year career in the National Basketball Association. He was a second-round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 and spent four season with Philadelphia (1996-7), Sacramento (1997-8), New Jersey (1998-99) and Cleveland (1999-2000), averaging 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in his 114-game career and became the 10th player in Major League history to also appear in the NBA.

He will become the tallest player in Dodger history and joins teammate Derek Lowe as two of the 12 players in franchise history to top six-feet, six-inches in height.

The Washington native played baseball and basketball at Washington State University and was drafted six times in baseball from 1992-97. He made his big league debut in 2002 and has won 37 games in the Majors, including team-high totals of 11 victories in 2005 and 10 wins in 2004. This season, most of his success has come on natural grass, where he has a 2.09 ERA in six starts, compared to a 5.40 mark on artificial turf.

Hall is hitting .231 with eight homers and 23 RBI in 64 games this season. In seven Major League campaigns with the Devil Rays, he has a lifetime average of .262 with 44 homers and 251 RBI, including career-highs of .287 in 2005, 12 homers in 2003 and 60 RBI in 2004. He has thrown out 35 percent of runners attempting to steal off him in his career (145-for-412).

Inventor of Dodger Dogs Dies-- Thomas G. Arthur, whose idea to sell a foot-long hot dog to baseball fans led to the creation of the immortal Dodger Dog, died of a heart attack June 8 in St. Louis. He was 84.

Arthur ran the food concessions at Dodger Stadium for 29 years, beginning when the venue opened in 1962. When the stadium was full, his staff could sell as many as 50,000 of the extra-long frankfurters during a game.

The meaty Dodger Dog was the centerpiece of the stadium menu that Arthur believed meant basically four things: soda, peanuts, beer and the super-sized hot dog in a super-sized bun.

"The Dodger Dog was Tom's idea," said Peter O'Malley, whose family owned the Dodgers for 40 years.

"He called it the foot-long dog, but it was actually only 10 inches," recalled Steve Arthur, one of four children who survive the former ballpark food supplier, along with 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. "He got a few comments from people that it was really not a foot long. That's when he got the idea to call it a Dodger Dog."

He retired from the business, and in 1991 a large food service corporation became Dodger Stadium's concessionaire.

O'Malley said he had no doubt that Arthur's inspiration -- the Dodger Dog -- is the reason Dodger Stadium has for years topped the charts in at least one category: the number of hot dogs eaten annually at major league ballparks. In 2005, it was No. 1 with nearly 1.7 million hot dogs consumed. Wrigley Field and Denver's Coors Field trailed with about 1.5 million.

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