Sports Outside the Beltway

Matt White, Rock Magnate, Demoted to Minors

Matt White, a Dodgers pitcher best known for stumbling upon a possible billion dollar rock mine, has been demoted to his natural habitat, AAA.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who made more headlines for his rocks than his lobs during training camp this spring was reassigned to the team’s minor league camp Monday.

Matt White, a 29-year-old left-hander, discovered a valuable rock quarry behind a house he bought from an aunt three years ago in western Massachusetts. But while everyone else wanted to talk about his possible fortune, White wanted to stay focused on baseball.

The attention the quarry received wasn’t to blame for his reassignment, he said. Talk of the rock fortune was strange for a week, “but it settled down and I was able to do my job on the mound and that’s what they are looking at,” White said. “I don’t even want to talk about rocks right now, but it wasn’t a distraction to my pitching.”

The reliever allowed one earned run and two hits in 7 1-3 innings. He said he will be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he is likely to be a situational left-hander. “Just go down and get your work in, keep your focus on what you have been doing since you have been up here,” White said the team told him. “I will continue to work on my sidearm pitches and go down and get some innings to get ready to be called up.”

The Dodgers signed White as a free agent on Dec. 20. He has spent less than a year in the major leagues since his professional career began in 1998, and White entered camp competing for a job in a deep pitching staff.

The bullpen already includes Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Joe Beimel, Chad Billingsley and Elmer Dessens, and White also would have been competing with the losers in the fifth-starter competition that includes Hong-Chih Kuo, Brett Tomko and Mark Hendrickson.

It’s a harsh business. Certainly, it’s no shame to not quite be good enough to stick in the Bigs, especially on a team with that kind of rotation.

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