At a time when most Dodger fans are overjoyed and elated at the Dodgers’ prospects, I find myself very underwhelmed, even sad.
By all accounts the Dodgers are in excellent financial shape. A huge TV contract will soon be a reality and the team has spent like no other team in the history of the game. Unlike some of you, I never admired the Yankees. To me, they were the poster child of what is wrong with the pay disparity in baseball and I don’t feel any different about the Dodgers. I cannot admire management that overpays so grossly for players like Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett. In business, throwing money at a problem rarely solves it. Frequently, it exacerbates it!
For the record, I am not trying to tell you how to feel – I am just telling you how I feel and I am somewhat embarrassed by the Dodgers unapologetic spending. If it buys them a World Series this year, I think I’ll be able to overcome how I feel, but anything less and the Dodgers will be the Laughingstock of Baseball and as a fan, I do not relish that! I don’t like bullies – I’ve spent most of my life standing up to them and now it feels like the Dodgers are that bully. I dislike the feeling that a spoiled-brat rich kid can buy anything he wants… and we all know that things for those spoiled brats don’t usually end up well.
Having more money that anyone in baseball brought the Dodgers Crawford, Gonzo, Beckett, Ramirez, Puig, Greinke, Ryu, League and others. There are snickers behind the scenes that the Dodgers just overpaid to make some moves. Ask any team in baseball if they would want any of those contacts and I think you would have a hard time getting anyone to take ANY of those players for free except for Gonzalez, IF THEY HAD TO ASSUME THEIR CONTRACTS. The Dodgers were forced to take or give contracts no one else would.
Maybe the end will justify the means – a World Series Championship would shut everyone up. Any thing less and the Dodgers might really be the Laughingstocks, I fear. If these guys can come together and just have their average years, all will be well, but here’s my concerns:
- Clayton Kershaw – Do hip problems miraculously just go away? I don’t think we know the whole story… and that worries me.
- Carl Crawford - I have to wonder about a few things with Carl: (1) Saying that Boston was a “toxic” environment makes me question his intestinal fortitude (A-Gon was there and delivered) and I don’t like excuses; (2) Will his arthritic wrist hold up: and (3) Can he even come close to being the player he once was (I have my doubts).
- Hanley Ramirez – Where do I start? He could be MVP or a train wreck.
- Matt Kemp – How long before he regains his power from shoulder surgery?
- Will Cad Billingsley be the pitcher we all think he can be or will his arm blow out?
- Who will lead-off?
- Can the personalities gel and who will be the team leader(s)?
My lack of enthusiasm is apparent. I currently now have no plans to go to Spring Training – I am simply unmotivated. Maybe that will change or maybe I’m just getting old and grouchy. If the above-mentioned players get it together and play up to their abilities, this team can win it all. That’s the Kool-Aid I need to drink. Maybe I have been doing this too long…