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Beimel arbitration panel sides with LA

Beimel loses salary arbitration case

LOS ANGELES -- Left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, whose breakthrough 2006 season ended in pain and embarrassment, lost his salary arbitration case when a panel on Saturday chose the Dodgers' figure of $912,500 instead of the $1.25 million he sought.

After listening to presentations from the player and club on Friday, the arbitration panel could only pick one number or the other, nothing in between, and does not issue any explanation about its decision. Beimel earned $425,000 last year.

Beimel, 30 in April, became a key bullpen component after spending the first month of the season at Triple-A Las Vegas. He appeared in 62 games, had a 2.96 ERA and was particularly tough on the heart of the opposition's batting order.

But Beimel also undermined the club's chances in the playoffs when he suffered a deep gash on his pitching hand in a New York bar accident two nights before the Division Series opener against the Mets.

Beimel lied to cover up the incident, initially telling club officials he suffered the cut in the bathroom of his hotel room. He later admitted the truth to officials and apologized to his teammates in a team meeting. Despite last year's mishap, Beimel is expected to resume his role as the situational left-hander.

Assistant general manager Kim Ng, who has developed a reputation as an arbitration master, headed the Dodgers' presentation, which included the postseason incident.

"Kim did a great job in preparing and putting together the case," said general manager Ned Colletti. "It was compelling and fair and not over the line and not to be disruptive. It was held in a classy way."

Colletti said he has been in hearings that got "nasty," but "this had none of that." The club officials indicated they did not anticipate any lingering bitterness as a result of the case. Colletti said the club attempted to settle with an offer the night before the hearing, but it was rejected.

The arbitration case is the Dodgers' first in three years, when Ng and the club beat Cy Young closer Eric Gagne with a $5 million submittal. Gagne had sought $8 million.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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