The Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles have responded to the loss of Greg Maddux in their starting rotation with the signing of free agent P Jason Schmidt (3 years, $47 million). Schmidt and Chavez Ravine oughta be a good fit, though Chris Russo is beside himself over the rumor his San Francisco Giants are in the Barry Zito mix.

(UPDATE : wait just a minute, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz is reporting the Cardinals say there’s no deal and they’re still talking with Schmidt.)

Mike Lieberthal is the Dodgers’ new backup backstop. I’ve not heard the details, but I’m presuming he signed for less than $47 million dollars.

There’s some hillarious footage on ESPN today of Steve Phillips running alongside the Sultan Of Surly through the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel. Phillips made an honest effort of shoving a microphone in Bonds’ face, but it would not be an exaggeration to say he was blown off.

Howard Johnson is the Mets’ new first base coach, with Sandy Alomar moving to third.

Various yack radio outlets are claiming Ted Lilly has narrowed his choices to the Cubs and Yankees. No word yet on how Lilly might take the news that Kerry Wood is expected to be the Cubs’ closer.