Scully Named All-Time Top Sportscaster

Something that most Dodgers fans already knew, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully has been selected as the Top Sportscaster of All-Time by the American Sportscasters Association. The announcement was made by ASA President Lou Schwartz. The ASA had previously voted Scully as the "Sportscaster of the Century" in 2000.

The 2009 season will be Scully's 60th with the Dodgers, which is the longest tenure of any sports broadcaster with one team in all of sports. Scully last month was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and has been named California Sportscaster of the Year a record 28 times. 

In 2005, USA Today ranked the Dodgers' radio broadcast team as Major League Baseball's best, based on a technical rating, a fan rating, and an entertainment rating. Scully and his colleagues, Rick Monday and Charley Steiner, earned 28.5 points out of a possible 30. 

The New York native was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. In 2001, the press box at Dodger Stadium was named in his honor. Throughout his career, Scully has called 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games.

Scully headlines the ASA's list of the Top 50 Sportscasters of All-Time, followed in the top 10 by Mel Allen, Red Barber, Curt Gowdy, Howard Cosell, Bob Costas, Jim McKay, Keith Jackson, Al Michaels and Dick Enberg.  Lou Schwartz presented Scully with a bronze microphone at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2000.

Notes and Quotes
--The Dodgers might have given themselves a mulligan on the notorious Andruw Jones deal. But only to a certain extent. The ill-fated signing of Jones last winter to a two-year, $36.2 million contract won't take nearly as big a bite out of this year's payroll now that Jones has agreed to a radical restructuring of his deal that will pay him just $5 million this season and defer the remaining $12.1 million over the following six years.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton appears to have sewn up the closer role a month before spring training. The Dodgers' effort to sign free-agent closer Trevor Hoffman fell through when Hoffman agreed to terms with Milwaukee. Even if the Dodgers re-sign Takashi Saito, which appears to be a long shot at this point, the job probably is Broxton's to lose because of Saito's health woes.

Broxton, 24, has been inconsistent as a fill-in closer, a role he held for most of the second half last season while Saito was on the disabled list. Broxton has 19 career saves, 14 of which came in 2008. That is, of course, 535 fewer saves than Hoffman, to whom the Dodgers made a competitive offer before losing out to the Brewers for his services.

--LHP Shawn Estes, who missed much of last season with a fractured left thumb, agreed to a minor league deal with the Dodgers, according to multiple media reports. He reportedly would earn $1.55 million this year if he is on the opening-day roster and makes 30 big-league starts. Estes went 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA in eight starts for San Diego last year.

--INF Tony Abreu, who missed all of last season while recovering from surgery for a sports hernia more than a year ago, is expected to participate in the Dodgers' second annual winter development program. The program is primarily designed for rookies and prospects to work out at Dodger Stadium and be educated on life in the majors. Abreu is expected to compete with veterans Juan Castro and Hector Luna and longtime prospect Chin-lung Hu for a utility role.

--RHP Yhency Brazoban, who was non-tendered last month because the club didn't want to go through the arbitration process with him, has agreed to terms on a minor league contract. Brazoban has appeared in just 11 major league games over the past three seasons after posting 21 saves in 2005. He could compete for a bullpen spot in spring training, but club officials have long been concerned about his inability to shed excess weight.

--INF Luis Maza re-signed with the Dodgers, getting a minor league contract. Maza finally made his big-league debut last season after nine years in the minors and batted .228, playing 16 games at shortstop and 35 at second base. He will enter spring training as a dark-horse candidate for a utility role, but he has little shot of beating out Juan Castro, Hector Luna and Chin-lung Hu.

--RHP Scott Strickland, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2005, will try to end that drought with the Dodgers. He signed a minor league deal and will compete for a bullpen slot, but he probably is headed to Class AAA Albuquerque. Strickland made his major league debut with Montreal back in 1999 and has a 3.34 ERA in 236 career big-league appearances.

By the Numb3rs: 10 -- Weeks since the Dodgers rescinded their two-year, $45 million offer to LF Manny Ramirez. Since then, no other club, including the Dodgers, is known to have made an official offer to Ramirez, who entered the winter as arguably the top offensive player on the market. The Red Sox, at Ramirez's request, declined $20 million options they held on Ramirez for each of the next two seasons when they traded him to the Dodgers on July 31.

Quote to Note: "Starting in the winter of '05-'06, we tried to be patient with our younger players (in Class AA) and move slowly toward a time when the team was comprised more of younger players than veterans. Little by little, our younger players have become veteran players. Now, rather than sprinkling them in, it is more the (veterans) who are sprinkled in." -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, on the gradual growth of the club's stable of young talent.

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