I guess it is me against the world on this one, but as long as Frank McCourt is owner of the Dodgers, I am on his side. I don’t know Frank McCourt and I probably wouldn’t like him if I did. I have shook his hand and that is about it. He doesn’t know me from Adam and I am fine with that. Many Dodger fans have been begging for new ownership for a long time, but unless Judge Gordon does something way off the wall, JamieMcCourt is going to walk away with something around a hundred million, or less, and Frank McCourt will be the sole owner of the Dodgers. The Dodgers are not broke. $400 to $500 million is a lot of debt, but you are all thinking “in the box.” You need to step outside the box and see what can be, not what is.
I don’t wish for new ownership because that is like wishing for a new President RIGHT NOW! It ain’t happening! I deal with reality and the reality of the situation is that Frank McCourt is the owner of the Dodgers and probably will continue to be. Get used to it! It ain’t that bad! Face reality – this isn’t fantasy baseball!
We all know about the TV rights that will kick in for the Dodgers in 2013, but no one can really put a dollar number to that – is it $100 million or $50 million, or is it a lot more? I am convinced that Frank McCourt put his “Dodgertown as a Destination” (maybe year ’round) on hold due to the economy, but also because of the divorce. I look for him to partner with someone on that after the divorce is final. There are so many other revenue streams available as well, including Stadium naming rights. The Dodgers currently have about $250 million of income and that makes the $500 million of debt look bad, but what if that income improves to $500 mil a year? Think about that.
I still maintain that Frank will keep a good product on the field. 2011 will be the toughest year, but I still think the payroll will be around $100 mil. They will just hire a lower cost manager (Tim Wallach) and operate with different values. The Weavers, Belliards, Blakes, Carrolls, Theriots, Furcals, Ramirezs, Andersons, Ortizs and other oldsters are not the way to go. Look at the Padres. The 2011 Dodgers could be better than the 2010 Padres… who were supposed to be the worst of the NL West! Next year, the bench could be half the age of the current bench!
The 2010 Dodgers are a much better team than the 2009 Padres. Look what difference a year can make. However, there are some tough choices to make. Here are the facts:
- The Dodgers are stuck with Raffy and Blake – Raffy will be playing for his “last contract” so maybe he can stay relatively healthy. That’s Dodger Fan’s only hope. They have to pray for that! Maybe the Dodgers could trade Casey Blake if they paid half his salary. I would consider that. Maybe KC or Minnesota would want him (close to his home)?
- The Dodgers are going to have to trade John Broxton and maybe James Loney. Beliasrio, Kuo, Jansen, Lindblom and others can do as well – probably better. Broxton costs too much (never mind I have an “irrational hatred” of the man). If Loney goes, the Dodgers could then afford 2 Free Agents.
- The Dodgers will have to non-tender Russ Martin, Scott Podsednik and Ryan Theriot. Ivan DeJesus is a cheaper in-house replacement for Theriot (whom I like) and Russ Martin is playing too bad and is too hurt. Keep Barajas and Ellis or add a journeyman. Podsednik is too old.
- Sign One, or Two (if Loney Goes): Crawford, Dunn or Beltre.
- Sign Lilly for no more than Wolf made last year – $30 mil/3 years.
This could be your lineup next year:
- Furcal SS (a wing and a prayer) – Carroll will be waiting in the wings
- DeJesus 2B
- Ethier RF
- Dunn 1B
- Kemp CF
- Beltre 3B (he would love to return to LA, but max would be $55 mil/5 years)
- Paul LF
By deleting Broxton, Kuroda, Loney, Martin, Theriot, Podsednik, Belliard, Anderson, Ramirez, Johnson, et al the Dodgers can afford to add Lilly, Dunn and Beltre and keep their payroll manageable.
I do agree with Jon Weisman on one thing: THIS IS CLAYTON KERSHAW’S TEAM!