Our word has spread
Our quest for the truth has taken root and now Sports Illustrated has joined the LA Times, LA Weekly, and of course this blog in getting the word out about the McCourts and their sinister plot to steal money while taking away the Dodgers from fans not just in LA, but around the world. It would seem that since the story has finally hit a national stage, the McCourts days are numbered. One can hope.
I am very happy this happening, but since justice is not swift, this divorce and the issue of the Dodgers future could draw out for months, and affect this off-season, which looks to be a significant one. Hopefully the judge forces a sale quick, or at worst Jamie McCourt (uggh) wins and the team has to be sold. Of course there is the threat of endless appeals, and so forth. FRANK MCCOURT HAS TO WIN IN ORDER TO MAKE THIS ENTIRE DEBACLE WORTHWHILE – MORE, IF HE LOSES, HE’S RUINED. The stakes are high for the botoxed sleaze-meister, moreso than his sea hag wife, since all she really is in this for is a payday – and like any good woman scorned (and full of her driver’s salami), revenge.
The Dodgers meantime are sputtering to a lifeless end of the 2010 season. Whatever fight they had in them this year died in July. The team went into a collective funk and never came out of it, which is frightening, especially in regard to the hitting, since batting coach Don Mattingly was yesterday named the new skipper. I am hoping that the reason for this lethargy and general suckiness has to do with a scheme the players have to make their owners look bad – yeah, that’s the ticket! If not, then our budding kids just all stopped budding at the same time, and since there is no money to buy our way out of this, their trade value has lessened to some extent (i.e. the winter shopping could be as hideous as this past winter’s, and this horrid season).
Is Mattingly deserving of the manager spot? Well, as a player the guy was a stud, and as Joe’s right hand, he paid his dues. He’s a smart guy and couldn’t be worse than an unmotivated Davey Johnson, or an overmatched Grady Little. Is he, however, better than Tim Wallach, who some think is the second coming of Mike Scioscia? That I’m not so sure about. I think either way it went, Mattingly or Wallach, whoever got the job, would be in for a wild ride. Ownership struggles, no money, little to shop or even trade with, and ultimately, probably, a new owner and a new guard. So, the winner of the new manager sweepstakes likely would have been canned, no matter how it went. Tip to Mattingly – don’t buy, rent.
The 2011 Dodgers, unless the judge orders a sale very soon, and I don’t think he will, look to be a team even more adrift than this year’s bunch. A lot of questions need to be answered, holes filled, and while even more free-agent money will be coming off the books, don’t look for Scrooge McCourt to reinvest. He’s been found out as a charlatan and con man now, so why even look like he’s trying? I suspect all that Manny money, Furcal money, Kuroda money, etc., will be put into his lawyers’ pockets, as divorce tends to do. So what will payroll look like in 2011? It’s around $80 million now – so next year what, $55 million? Disgusting, isn’t it? As it is, the Twins have a higher payroll than the Dodgers, maybe the Pirates will next!
What can Ned Colletti, assuming he keeps his job, do? After all, McCourt likes scape goats, ask Paul DePodesta, who certainly deserved to get fired, but in actuality was doing – albeit overzealously – what the owner asked him to do. Since it’s already been intimated that the change needed will come via trades, what does that mean? Obviously it would seem to cast a light on Rihanna-focused Matt Kemp, light-hitting James Loney, and maybe Andre Ethier, who’s apparently said he wouldn’t mind playing for Boston. A side note – friends and I have long joked McCourt’s Dodgers would be joining the other MLB teams who have become farm systems for the Red Sox and Yankees; our kid stars eventually ending up either in Beantown, or pinstripes. The gag went Ethier to Boston, Kemp to NY. It may be happening, folks!
Don’t disregard banished All-Star closer Jonathan Broxton, who would do well with a change of scenery, but “selling low” isn’t advised. Chad Billingsley? Perhaps. If anyone wants any of our vets, they’re up for grabs, of course too.
But what can all of this net? Ned, or whoever the GM is, will need to be shrewd. I have no problem rebuilding again, assuming we get quality for our top parts. Kemp needs to net at least TWO top blue chips, nothing less. Loney needs to get us something good, though obviously that one will take some work. Same thing with Andre, if he’s dealt, TWO or more top kids. In the end, maybe we end up with 5-6 very good prospects that all of the experts agree are can’t miss, and that will mean some waiting and stopgaps.
The Dodgers can perhaps play 1-2 of these new kids, but will need to fill in like the A’s do (haha, sad we’re somehow talking about the LA Dodgers buying cheap filler like the A’s), injured journeymen looking to reclaim past glory, not so decrepit older players with a little life left, etc. Ned will need to be very creative – but he’s done it before, finding diamonds in the rough, so he better be up for the task.
Maybe with all the money saved we can shop a bit, so hopefully we keep someone like Ted Lilly. We need a few healthy, reliable innings eaters to take the pressure off Clayton Kershaw, who no, I would not trade – unless we absolutely were overwhelmed somehow. Kershaw is pretty much an ace now, or close, but he’s a kid and needs some experienced help around him. I’d go back to the Dodgers philosophy of building from the rotation out. We’ve gotten away from that for many years. Once you have 5 strong to excellent pitchers in place, the rest will work out. If you have no rotation, which was the case this year, it’s going to be a painful season.
You always have a chance if you have pitching – ask Dan Evans who fielded a no-hit team in 2003 that was incredibly strong with arms and leather and almost won. Imagine if he had some bats that year? Again, more sadness, more pain. Is there any other way for Dodgers fans? Go with pitching, start there, and get smart, hard-nosed players who want to play, aren’t interested in tattoos or pop divas, and can be coached by a new manager and hopefully a few former Dodgers on the coaching staff (including Wallach!).
In all likelihood we will finish no better than 4th again next year, but perhaps we can take steps in the right direction so when the sale happens, we’ll have the nucleus for something good. That nucleus HAS to come from the starting rotation, in my most humble opinion.
So while the MLB season kicks into its October excitement, I’m focusing on football. And hockey. My love is the Dodgers, but there’s not much I, or any of us, can do right now. We’re all being held hostage, while the McCourts fight it out, spending their ill-gotten gains on superstar legal teams, and Bud Selig refuses to comment. Funny how Bud’s the one who allowed this to happen, now he has no comment. I haven’t forgotten, Bud – I wonder how long before Sports Illustrated and other media outlets draw the connection?
This winter should be interesting, but I honestly feel as if I’ve been beaten into submission. I can’t support the Dodgers under the current circumstances. I haven’t abandoned them. Much like when a loved one gets sent to prison, you still love them, you just can’t be there by their side. I’ll come back, and I’ll be paying attention as this nightmare continues to unfold, but it won’t be until a new owner, whether it’s Eli Broad, or Mark Cuban, or someone else, takes over.
It has been a long, long, bumpy ride – I pray it’s almost over. Joe Torre showed his true intelligence by jumping ship. I feel sorry for Vin Scully who is back in 2011. I hope he has a happier Dodger story to tell than the one he was forced to call this year.