On June 21st, the Los Angeles Dodgers were sitting in last place in the NL West with a 30-42 record and 9 1/2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Thursday afternoon in Phoenix, the Dodgers raced out for a celebratory dip in the Diamondback's Chase Field swimming pool. From last place to an NL West title in less than three months, the Dodgers were powered by Hanley Ramirez on Thursday with two home runs. Making just his second start in the last week due to an irritated nerve in his back, Ramirez went 4-for-5 and drilled two home runs in the Dodgers' 7-6, National League West-clinching victory over the Diamondbacks. Ramirez was 5-for-7 with three walks, four RBI and five runs scored in those two games. The Dodgers can still end with the National League's best record with a strong finish, which means Ramirez will be in the lineup before the season is over. But those in weekly leagues should consider starting a shortstop with a more defined situation if you are playing for anything important in your league.
We have all been waiting for the arrival of Billy Hamilton and with his performance on Wednesday night in Houston, its safe to say Hamilton has landed safely. Last night, Hamilton showed what he could do with the opportunity to play in a full game. Hamilton responded to his first major league start by going 3-for-4 and reaching base five times and he had four stolen bases in the 13-inning game, and eventually scored the game-winning run after drawing a walk, stealing second -- on a pitch out-- and scoring on Jay Bruce's third double of the game. Hamilton now has nine stolen bases in nine attempts since being recalled from Triple-A. If your a fantasy owner that stashed this speedster, you can sit back and enjoy the ride. If your in a keeper league, Hamilton must be kept for as long as your league rules allow you to keep him because he may just win you the stolen base category all by himself.