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Will the Dodgers Front Office Log Jam Help Them Field a Better Team?

November 6, 2014


Stan Kasten
Andrew Friedman
Farhan Zaidi
Josh Byrnes
Gabe Kapler
Ned Colletti

Is it just me or is the new collection of executives the Dodgers are collecting puzzling? In many ways, this front office bloat is indicative of the bloat on the field. Have they ever heard the expression “too many cooks?”

It’s too early to say whether this gangbang of suits will lead to a tougher, more fundamentally sound Dodgers team, but it is comedic. It reminds me of the clusterfuck going on in Congress, or the needless levels of management in most top corporations nowadays. More millionaires, this time in boardrooms.

Its possible Kasten is assembling his brain trust and they will dismantle the soft, bubble dancing party boys parading around in blue, but as we’re not even near the winter meetings yet, who can say? I will stick a pin in this situation with merely a “WTF?!” for the time being.

The bottom line is if I don’t see this gaggle of “geniuses” completely revamp the roster, tossing out popular but suspect current Dodgers and replacing them with smarter, harder working and sound ballplayers, 2015 will be another debacle.

I want to see the roster broken up with the big names I’m frequent to call out sent packing. You know who they are. Pretty much half or more of the outfield, the shortstop and anyone else not focused on winning baseball games.

This week the Dodgers trumpeted Clayton Kershaw winning three player voted awards. Meantime, Madison Bumgarner was posing with the World Series trophy on Jimmy Fallon. Something has to be done.

Then the Dodgers announced Zack Greinke and Adrian Gonzalez won Gold Gloves. I’m all for it, but those are secondary tokens while the Giants make the rounds talking about their third title in five years.

I’m hoping that all these geniuses in the front office will look at each current player under a prism and ask “Can this guy help us win a World Series?” And “Is this guy mentally tough?” Or “Is this guy a hardnosed player both sides of the game?”

I’m of the belief (I have to be, there’s no other hope) that this committee of highly paid one percenters will evaluate, take notes and go into the winter meetings without sentimentality, dealing those that need to be dealt in order to make room for and acquire players better suited to the task.

Softness and enabling by the front office and on field manager and coaches made 2014’s ouster more humiliating that 2013’s. The guy with three player chosen awards was bitch slapped off the mound in his own park, and again in the enemy’s.

Having a “happy clubhouse” sounds nice, but the Dodgers need to remake themselves with more rules and less tolerance. If players want to wear their hats cocked and dance to pre-game musical acts and celebrate a la Lawrence Welk every time they score a run, they should do so in another town.

The Dodgers used to be one of baseball’s crown jewels. They were essentially the National League equivalent of the Yankees. But so many painful years have transpired since the Dodgers have won a title, and more years between that one and the one previous, the Dodgers are now just another team.

Sure they have a chance each year, and ok, they lead everyone in attendance. So what? The bottom line is the Dodgers rarely play smart baseball and it’s been some time since the farm really produced the Dodgers Way. It may be why Logan White was sent packing. Perhaps he left, or maybe the new guard of geniuses knew the players White got to LA weren’t the best and brightest.

This off-season will tell everything. If the roster is pretty much what it has been, save for a tweak here and there, the Dodgers will be in trouble. The fans, those who don’t want to blow the players, will be reaching for the Advil again.

The sickness is organization wide – from the top rungs through the apathetic coaching staff and to the players. The farm is questionable, though there’s reason to believe a few gems are ready or very close and perhaps they have more sack than those who came before them.

My gut is to be ill over Kasten needing Friedman and Friedman needing Zaidi and Byrnes and maybe Kapler (Kapler? For the front office?!), but things are do dire, I will see what happens. Perhaps it just takes all these executives to do what Dan Evans was capable of pretty much by himself, with an assist to Kim Ng.

Bring on the winter meetings – I will be watching very closely what the Dodgers do and decide if the 2015 season is worth following at all. Kasten, Friedman & Associates… you’re on the clock.

  1. November 6, 2014 at 4:05 am

    The outfield problem must be assessed. I know a team like the A’s would love a player like Van Slyke, yet you probably wouldn’t receive much for him. It would also be a shame if Joc Pederson had to languish in the minors for another year. Should be an interesting off-season.

  2. Freudy
    November 14, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Well, I think SVS is the ideal right-handed complement to CC or Ethier, if either is still here in 2015. Also, if they moved Kemp, and with Hanley gone, you’d covet that right-handed power. That said, I certainly wouldn’t give SVS away – he’s a very solid hitter. But while he earned a lot of my respect for losing weight and playing himself onto the Dodgers bench in recent years, he’s lost some of my respect for his idiotic championship game stand off in St. Louis and for his shenanigans with his facial hair. I just want guys who focus on baseball when they show up at the stadium. Is that too much to ask?

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