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LA Dodgers – “Fantasy” Draft Edition

June 6, 2016



The problems with everyone getting excited by the draft are:

  • If last June is any indication, the genius of Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Gabe Kapler and friends shows they know as much about prospects as they do big league talent. Last June’s draft was pretty embarrassing and fruitless.
  • The Dodgers are focused on relying on kids – foreign and domestic – and ignoring the big league roster which is thin and riddled with holes. In most cases, any kids added will not help against good pitching and good teams. I love prospects, but the focus only on cheap and young – and usually less than spectacular cheap and young – is ridiculous.
  • After 30 years of being screwed first by Fox, then by Frank McCourt and now by a billionaire finance company like Guggenheim, the fans deserve better than kids. Kids are good to have but what most fans – especially Moneyball lovers – don’t get is most kids never make it and of those that do, oftentimes they develop into 4th starters, long relievers and bench players. Not every kid is a scary talent. Some are just scary.

I’d also add that prospects, especially by data loving morons, are hoarded like the crown jewels. The purpose of a good farm is developing players that can help the big league club, as well as providing currency to be used to acquire players of need for the big league club. It isn’t necessary – and actually foolish – to consider every kid pitcher, for example, untouchable. As I already said, many will never make it at all; others will be mediocre at best. To refuse to deal and wait for this windfall of cheap young talent to develop at the same time and magically fill your big league roster with superstars is a pipe dream. Also, it’s a dream of teams like Tampa and Oakland, not ironically where the Dodgers resident boy geniuses herald from.

The Dodgers fans have been dragged through the mud for decades and now can’t watch the games on TV. The team is a hodge podge of who are theys and never weres and the Guggenheim partners are asking the fans to keep coming out loyally, cash in hand, as if the mess constructed by Friedman and Zaidi was actually worth their hard earned dollars.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, get a clue. The team has 2.5 solid pitchers, a talented rookie, a game vet or two and that’s it. The farm system has young arms in the pipeline but to assume they will become the 2-5 starters behind Clayton Kershaw and carry the team to their first World Series since 1988 is unrealistic. If Julio Urias becomes “Kershaw lite” that would be an amazing thing. To think the other arms will be anywhere near that level, and healthy, is optimism to the umpteenth degree.

The lineup is aging, brittle and unimpressive save for any night’s heroics by Corey Seager and maybe one or two others. Are there kids down there ready to fill the lineup full of strong every day bats, speedsters, run producers, etc.? I don’t see it.

The con is of epic proportion. First, pay $2B for a team worth $1B or less, knowing an $8.5B TV deal lays in the weeds. Take that, disregard most of the fans can’t get the games, and bring in bean counters to decimate the roster, focus on mostly international players of marginal worth and simultaneously save money while blowing money ineffectively.

The fans quarrel with one another, citing their loyalty over anyone who disagrees with them, while the front office continues to stick it to everyone courtesy of Guggenheim ownership and Magic Johnson’s charming smile.

I’m not sure how “fans” can take it. I can only guess they are young and have no concept what a good Dodgers team looks like. They were born here, or moved here, and since a winner hasn’t hoisted a trophy since 1988, it’s understandable why they don’t get the criticism.

As someone old enough to remember what greatness was, let me tell you, this isn’t it. Waiting for Brandon McCarthy or Brett Anderson is sad. Tim Belcher laughs. Burt Hooten cries. Ramon Martinez throws up. And the list goes on.

To think the June draft means something more than a few more kids slotting into the system is a bad mistake. Fans should be pissed that the front office is so incompetent, so small market minded, that they are playing big stakes Saber ball with the team in the second largest market in the U.S.

I hope the fans of the Dodgers rise up and get these idiots tossed out of the front office. Paul DePodesta was served up when the fans were pissed at McCourt. Maybe it takes another uprising and boycott to get the word across to Guggenheim. Of course they’re financial folks, they know next to nothing about baseball. Plus they got their $8.5B (that’s $6.5B above the price they paid McCourt, if math is not your strong suit). I don’t think they care a bit about what the fans say or think.

They don’t have to. The fans are young, uninformed and sniping at one another on social media. If you have nothing to compare it to, I can see why you’d think this is normal. Tip from the wise – it’s not. You’re being conned.

  1. June 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Great piece, and I agree with every sentiment.

  2. Scorpion
    June 8, 2016 at 1:13 am

    No weak offense here. You hit another one out

  3. Freudy
    June 8, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Thanks! I think the next piece needs to be about why Dodgers fans are fans of this. I have a feeling it’s strictly the age of most fans. If you’re under 30-35, you never really saw a great Dodgers team. At best you saw some competent Ned or Evans teams, but not truly great ones. And a sense of history is probably lost on the younger fans, so… they get mad if anyone comes into their house (#DodgerFam) and criticize their team. These people love the Lakers as well, and the Lakers have been bad for awhile. Meantime, old shits like myself recall fondly not only the great teams of Brooklyn but the strong LA teams of the 60s and 70s. Even Nomo, Piazza and all that. Youth is wasted on the young, as they root for laundry.

    I’d like to believe only the most extreme and clueless Moneyball fans support Friedman. The others are just happy about anything wearing blue and white.

  4. June 8, 2016 at 5:05 am

    This blogster is telling it as it is. What if I told you from a very reliable source what this front office really does — if you REALLY want to be sick to your stomach? Ask, and I will tell!

    • Freudy
      September 2, 2016 at 1:23 am

      I have insiders too who back up what I comment on. It’s not a random idea. But feel free to share your thoughts as well. It’s a free country and anyone against what is happening to our beloved Dodgers is ok with me.

  5. Jeff KEVAN
    June 8, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Spot on with that article. It’s too bad that most people won’t either get it or don’t understand where you are coming from. Most of them as you say aren’t old enough to remember what a great franchise the Dodgers were back in the day. 28 years and counting.

    • Freudy
      September 2, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Yep, I can’t convert the young and/or ignorant. Let them cheer a bunch of bullshit. With age comes wisdom and perspective. The majority of Dodgers fans nowadays have neither.

  6. June 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I must confess, having been a Dodgers fan since ’59, I’m losing interest in this, the Moneyball version of the game I grew up loving, and playing for decades. I think I understand what it is they are doing (looks like a target date of ’18 and beyond to me) but trying to discuss all of this in what I know to be baseball terms has become impossible in the various chat rooms that abound. The debates have turned into ego driven 8th grade name calling and frankly it’s just not worth it anymore.

    I appreciate your writing, and what I find to be spot on analytic skills. Please, keep up the good work. I will to continue reading here. More importantly for me at this time in my life I will continue listening to the one voice that brings me back home to the game I grew up with – bless you Vin Scully. And thank you. When it comes to the beautiful game of baseball – you are the voice in my head.

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