Before Guggs and Company took over the Dodgers, I think the Dodgers had one of the largest front office staffs in baseball composed of many former players and high-ranking scouts. Since then, they have added even more with Engle, Hunsicker and now, Pat Corrales. Pat is a highly respected former player and manager. He worked with Stan Kasten in his last two gigs, so this was a natural thing to happen. Pat has years of baseball experience and since he is of Mexican dissent, his expertise will be invaluable in Mexico, South America and even the Carribean as the Dodgers expand their presence into the international market.
In light of that, what if Ned had been dealt different cards? What if Guggs and Company had bought the team two years earlier? What if? Well, instead of trading for Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers could have signed Jose Reyes as a free agent. Instead of trading for Adrian Gonzalez and having to take Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, they could have signed Prince Fielder. Instead of signing Capuano and Harang they might have signed Cliff Lee and Hiroki Kuroda. Instead of signing Mark Ellis, they might have signed Adrian Beltre and Aaron Hill.
The Dodgers lineup could have looked like this:
- Reyes SS
- Hill 2B
- Kemp CF
- Fielder 1B
- Beltre 3B
- Ethier RF
- Pick one LF
- Ellis C
- Pick one of the below pitchers.
… and here’s the best part: Nate Eovaldi, Allen Webster, RDLR, Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, JamesLoney, Ivan DeJesus and Jerry Sands would still be Dodgers and could be traded for other parts or kept.
They could have done all that and still been at about the same payroll obligations.
My point is: Don’t be too hard on Ned. He was doing the best he could with what he had. With the cards he was dealt at the time.
To those of you who think Ned is going to be replaced: Put down the crack pipe and back away slowly! He is going nowhere. Kasten likes him. He likes him a lot!