Categorized | Mark Timmons

Don’t Rush to Judgement

2011 was an aberration for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  For those of you who think the 2012 version of the Dodgers is not a very good team, I say:  “I beg to differ.  In fact, I will go as far as saying you are crazy if you think this is a bad team.” It’s popular to beat up on McCourt and the Dodgers – after all, most people are, right?  I’m going to again say that conventional wisdom is very frequently wrong. 

In case you have forgotten, here is what happened on the field in 2011 (and I’m not even going to discuss the divorce, the bankruptcy and the fact that some players wondered if they would get paid):

  • In 2011, the energy level was very low during Spring Training – it was noticeable.  I chalked it up to just the “spring training blues” but it was a malaise that hung over the team until late July;
  • Three-fourths of the starting infield (Blake, Furcal and Uribe) were lost for very significant parts of the season;
  • James Loney slumped until well after the All-Star break and was about as bad as nothing in first half;
  • Andre Ethier was robbed of his power by a knee injury that took him from 30 HR to 11 HR; and
  •  The bullpen just never really got it together, although they had their moments.

Here’s some reasons to be excited over this season’s version of the Dodgers:

  • The 2011 Dodgers were one of the best teams in baseball the last two months of the season;
  • This year, Juan Uribe is healthy, and while he is not an All-Star, if he he can hit .250 with 20 HR (kind of his average season), that would be huge upgrade at 3B;
  • Dee Gordon will make rookie mistakes, but his speed will cause lots of problems for NL pitchers;
  • Everyone rags on Mark Ellis, but I think he’s a huge upgrade over 2B this year (yeah, Chase Utley is better, but Ellis is our guy, and I think you will be surprised);
  • James Loney is showing that he’s at least back to his normal season (.288/15 HR/90 RBI) and maybe even more;
  • Andre Ethier looks to be poised for a monster season in the field and at the plate;
  • Juan Rivera has made a difference since he came to LA, and while not an All-Star he is a solid piece and makes people around him better;
  • Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw will just keep getting better;
  • I think Harang and Capuano will surprise everyone;
  • Ted Lilly looks really serious this year and he was really, really tough the last two months of 2011;
  • Chad Billingsley is looking like he wants to be a real #2;
  • The bullpen has lots of arms with lots of options; and
  • As maligned as the bench is (Sellers, Gwynn, Sullivan, Fields, Hariston, Treanor, Kennedy, et al), they are a bunch of junkyard dogs who have been there, done that.

The team has a lot to prove and has an attitude that I can see is very different this year.  Of course, there could be injuries and issues we don’t know about, but I doubt that will will see as many problems as the Dodgers had last year, and that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the reason for my optimism!

Finally, in the I TOLD YOU SO Department:

According to Bill Shaikin of The LA Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the richest man in Los Angeles, has joined the Dodgers bid group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen.  Shaikin reported this:

The alliance is the strongest indication yet of Cohen’s intention to present outgoing owner Frank McCourt with a final bid that reflects prominent local support rather than just overwhelming East Coast money.

If McCourt were to accept the Cohen bid, he would be rejecting one led by local icon Magic Johnson. Soon-Shiong has held several meetings with McCourt since the Dodgers were put up for sale in November, according to people familiar with the process.

Soon-Shiong had been widely expected to join the bid group led by Johnson, from whom he bought a minority share in the Lakers two years ago. Soon-Shiong’s decision to join Cohen was confirmed Sunday by two people familiar with the sale process but not authorized to comment.

Soon-Shiong would be the owner of an undetermined minority share of the Dodgers, the people said. Cohen had submitted a bid under which he would own 100% of the team.

The new bid, if successful, would put the Dodgers in the hands of primary investors worth more than $15 billion.

Soon-Shiong, 60, is a doctor, biotech investor and philanthropist. Forbes this month estimated the net worth of Cohen at $8.3 billion and Soon-Shiong at $7.2 billion.

Cohen last fall retained Populous, a prominent sports architecture firm, to recommend improvements to Dodger Stadium. Cohen is prepared to commit close to $2 billion to buy the Dodgers and renovate their stadium without financing any of that amount, according to a person familiar with the sale process.

Successful people tend to gravitate towards successful people.  Magic Johnson, while not a fraud like Josh Maccellio, is not financially qualified to own the Dodgers.  Cohen and Soon-Shiong will form a financial powerhouse.

Ladies and Gentlemen:  meet your new Dodger Owners.

Forget what all the rest of the blogs tell you – I give you the truth… and I told you that months ago!

This just in:

  • Hong Chih-Kuo cut by the Mariners – maybe the end of the Road?
  • Peyton Manning to sign with the Broncos
  • Tim Tebow to the Jaguars?


About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

25 Responses to “Don’t Rush to Judgement”

  1. RogerCraig says:

    I do have to give you credit, Mark. From the day Cohen was in the ownership race, you said he was the guy. Now it really seems like he is the only choice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Screw you. You just made a lucky guess you pompass ass.

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I guess I can say “I told you so”, sort of. After being reminded of Soon-Shiong by MSTI, I recently posted as to his whereabouts in this process. Just didn’t have a clue that he would join forces with Cohen (like most everyone else, I was led to believe he had a strong relationship with Magic Johnson). If so, then it would appear that this is an extremely formidable group, so much so, I would imagine that they’re a shoo-in barring anything unforeseen.

    I never considered Magic Johnson to be financially qualified to purchase the Dodgers. I just viewed him as the face of a group backed by far stronger financial muscle than his own. The Johnson group also has a strong baseball man in Stan Kasten. So unless Stan Kroenke can bring along some of the Walmart money he married into, it looks to be Cohen-Shiong. I know very little about either man, so for now I will withhold judgment. But it appears that the Dodgers will be in a strong financial position from day one, even before what I expect to be a huge jump in attendance, and the onset of huge TV revenues beginning in 2014.

    I wonder if this sale also includes the parking lots. I’m guessing that McCourt would be perfectly willing to include the parking lots for a premium price. But really, it’s not something to worry about. I can’t believe that Cohen-Shiong haven’t thought this problem through, and have plans one way or the other. They didn’t get to where they are by being stupid.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way Mark, if Steve Cohen buys the Dodgers you might get your wish to acquire David Wright. Given that Cohen is a Met fan, it seems like a logical move. However, I wouldn’t give up a ton of talent to get him. I don’t watch the Mets much (too much time invested in watching the Dodgers), but Met fans tell me that he’s not a gold glove caliber third baseman, and they’re not too thrilled with his bat the last few years. Also, as far as I’m concerned, the Dodgers would be doing the Mets a favor just by picking up his contract. If I were the Dodgers I would play a Wright acquisition as a Met salary dump. There is no telling how Wright would do in the NL West with its less than homerun friendly ballparks in LA, San Diego and San Francisco. However, he would definitely be a vast improvement over Uribe, and would likely benefit from hitting in the same lineup with Kemp and Ethier. He might even benefit from the spacious ballparks if he could drive the ball into the gaps. Also has good speed.

    • RogerCraig says:

      I don’t think David Wright has been the player he once was since the beaning, but he is an upgrade over Uribe and could be a good #2 hitter.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      I feel like Roger does. David Wright would be an upgrade, but he\’s not what he once was. Nevertheless, if he his .290 with 15 HR/75 RBI and 25 SB\’s he\’d be very nice!

  5. El_Che says:

    So is it safe to bet Cohen will get the Dodgers??. I highly doubt they make a trade for him. Even tho he gets injured every other day it would be a huge upgrade over uribe . Mark how was Kemps spring last year ??

  6. Bobby says:

    April 1 is coming up soon! Gona be a fun next few weeks.

    Anyone here going to Opening Day April 10?? Be fun to grab a beer with some of you at the Stadium

  7. SpokaneBob says:

    What a gift it would be for us Dodger Fans to have ownership with that kind of money. Upgrade Dodger Statium and develope the land, add a Dodger Network and we may indeed become the Yankees of the west.

  8. GoNzO says:

    I’ll give credit where credit is due. it seems your choice will prevail. But if I just may, I think I also called that the good Dr. would swoop in and seal the deal….for Magic…oops. I never knew the Doc could throw such a wicked curveball that made Magic’s knees buckle along with many people. Not that it matters but I think that the Doc fills that void of shadiness Cohen had without him. Wow! to realize that these two could present McCourt with a check to buy the dodgers CASH!!!! The only thing that worries me now is if LaRussa comes in and cleans too much house. How would he get along with Tommy? You know that Tommy will Brand Cohen and Shiong as the best owners to ever own the dodgers.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Magic just is not the billionaire owner this team needs. I don\’t know what Cohen will do, but when you have the money,, you can do a lot!

  9. Mark_Timmons says:

    New post up above!

    This just in:

    Hong Chih-Kuo cut by the Mariners – maybe the end of the Road?

    Peyton Manning to sign with the Broncos

    Tim Tebow to the Jaguars?

  10. DRomo says:

    I’ll give you credit Mark. You called Cohen. You didn’t give a reason then but you called it. You said it was just a hunch. Nice work.

  11. Ken says:

    Can we rush to “judgement” regarding how to spell judgment? Thought you went to LV not England :)

    Mark Ellis may have a better year than Utley.

    Kemp is too closed this spring – go watch some films from last year.

    Bills is the Key to the 2012 season.

    Cohen plus Soon can afford the parking lot, the creation of a TV network rather than settle for another Fox TV Contract, fix the stadium, develop the property, develop the minors and international system, and sign free agents.

  12. AnewBlueDay says:

    Saw part of the game today. Kershaw loses, Kemp 1 for 4 with a single. Matt looked great striking out.

    The starter for the Indians, really had the Dodgers number. Gomez: 4 innings, 1 hit 3 Ks. He looked great.

  13. Leroy says:

    If 2011 was an aberration, what was 2010?

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I too noticed the spelling of judgment, but double checked before making a comment. In other words, I didn’t rush to judgment. Turns out that Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition) has it as “judgment or judgement”.

    As I’ve noted before, I don’t have an ownership preference, because I know too little about any of these characters. For me, only time will tell. However, I don’t think it matters that Magic isn’t a billionaire. Neither was Joe Torre. What matters is the financial muscle behind them. And Magic’s group appears to have that, and would have had considerably more if Soon-Shiong had joined them.

    • Ken says:

      Yes Webster’s has succumbed to compromising and dumbing down in order to be politically correct and not offend the young people who have been taught by our lousy school teachers during the past 30 years.

      Judgment is an American word.

      Judgement is a word used in England.

      I always spell Judgment incorrectly with a second “e” and have to go back and correct my spelling. Judgement sure looks like the correct spelling. Maybe all Americans are wrong.

      Can’t anyone take a joke? Or is this place a cult were you have to toe the line lest you be verbally excommunicated or killed?

  15. AnewBlueDay says:

    I’m not rushing . . . but

    Matt Kemp, 2012

    How about 30 – 40 – 50 – 180

    30 doubles
    40 home runs
    50 stolen bases
    180 strike-outs

    All do-able.

  16. Dusto says:

    over/under on wins? More or less than last year.

    I take less. This is not a better team than last years.

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually I’ve always spelled it without the extra “e”, because that’s what I learned years ago in school. But I also live in Rockville Centre in Long Island, NY. Notice the English spelling “Centre” instead of “Center”. But I still get lots of mail with the latter spelling.

    It didn’t occur to me that I was excommunicating or killing anyone. But if that’s the way it came off, then I humbly apologize.

    Just checked a the 1971 edition of The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. They also have both spellings, but list “judgement” before “judgment”, the opposite of Webster’s. Could it be that The Oxford English Dictionary was guilty of “dumbing down” and political correctness way back in 1971?

    Guess I should make a “deposit” in the bank tomorrow, rather than “lodging” it there.


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