Here’s a recent quote from Stan Kasten, Dodgers President:

“I always say that smart beats rich.  But it’s better to be smart and rich. We’re trying to incorporate the right elements beyond money. Look at Boston. The Yankees for about the last 15 years or so have done it being smart and rich. Smart is good, like Oakland, Tampa Bay. But smart and rich? Well, that’s a tough combination to beat.”

Stan, I have some bad news for you.  Smart and Rich are usually mutually exclusive.  Of course there are exceptions, but it is firmly established that the Dodgers aren’t one of those exceptions.  Some people are smart before they get rich and then the money clouds their judgement.  It’s rare to find someone who gets rich and doesn’t get stupider.  Warren Buffet is a guy who is smart and rich.  So is Bill Gates, but then there are guys like Steve Jobs who was extremely smart but then thought he was so smart that he could do whatever he believed and he believed he could beat liver cancer by non-conventional means… and it cost him his life.

How many players after signing huge deals continue to get better?  In most cases it’s just the opposite – they sign a big deal and get satisfied and regress.  It’s human nature.  Smart and rich would be great, but it hasn’t happened to the Dodgers.

As I look at the team, the way it is constructed, and it appears that a kid in  a candy store put it together “Oh look at this.”  “I want one of these.”  “I like that.”  Give me two of these.”  This team looks like it was constructed by a dope-fiend (no names will be mentioned but his initials are Ned Colletti).

Now, for the record, I have no problem with Matt Kemp’s deal.  At the time he was an elite player and I believe that deal was warranted.  His injuries have robbed him of his opposite field power, but it’s his failure to adapt that has really hobbled him.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  “Matt Kemp sees himself as a Centerfielder.  It’s part of his DNA.”  He has not been able to successfully  transition to LF because he still thinks he’s a centerfielder and it’s messing with his head.  As soon as Matt Kemp can change his thinking, bloom where he is planted and become a leftfielder he can go back to being a very good player this year and maybe an elite player next year.

I was for the deal for Hanley Ramirez, but always cautioned that he was/is a head case.  He’s not a SS, not a 3B either – but he thinks he’s a SS.  He wants a big deal and it is messing with him.  He has to be traded…. and soon.  I don’t care that he got two hits last night.  He has no future in LA unless someone who is delusional enough to think they are rich and smart signs him.

I was against the deal for Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett and so far the deal looks really bad.  A-Gon insists on hitting to the right side even in the face of a huge shift and he is barely hitting his weight.  Another case of a guy getting rich and stupid!  Signing Andre Ethier was also a dope-fiend move – he can’t hit lefties to save his life, so the Dodgers are saddled with another really bad deal.

Smart and rich?  Not so far!  It’s still not too late…

Admissions:

  • Corey Seager is a man among men at RC where hew is hitting .348 with  11 HR and 44 RBI – Time to move to Chatt!
  • I was worried that Yasiel Puig would be a knucklehead, but I was wrong.  I always said he had more talent than any player I have ever seen, but I was worried about the area between the ears.  He is now on his way to becoming the best player in baseball.
  • Dee Gordon has earned the right to play every day.  He should be at 2B the rest of the season… NO MATTER WHAT!  He has shown me the ability to adapt and grow.  Maybe in the off-season he gets converted to CF?  Maybe Guerrero plays 2B next year with Gordon in CF?

Greenwave-Info

  1. Badger says:

    Rich. Then you can surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. (Including accountants and security)

    Buffet, Gates and Jobs. You left out Addelson, Koch and about a half dozen Waltons.

    And you have yet to explain to us how exactly the deal for Gonzalez et al is ” really bad”. Since that deal was consummated the Dodgers lead all of baseball in b.i.s. revenue and came within a Clayton Kershaw meltdown of a World Series. (btw, you like his deal?)

    I find it interesting you keep bringing up the money thing. As long as we keep winning, and the owners keep the team out of bankruptcy, I have no problem with ownership being wealthy. It beats what we had before.

  2. Anonymous says:

    2 things….

    I have felt for sometime that we may be better off not resigning Hanley. If he stayed healthy and hit like he did last year for the rest of this year, maybe I would reconsider. I think we just have to wait and see, at least until the deadline.

    I think that Bills replacing Haren in the rotation could be a boost which (if Bills pitches well) could help to lead to a run. I know this team is capable of putting together a solid winning streak. The Giants will not go through the season without having their own rough patches.

  3. jerry says:

    i agree with you mark…most rich people get dummer..they still stay rich.. thanks mark for being back on line..no matter if i agree with you..your the best…thanks again.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Things till now haven’t exactly worked out, but despite some bumps in the road, I still believe that the Dodgers are moving in the right direction. The deal with the Red Sox put the Dodgers back on the map, and got them within a Hanley cracked rib of the World Series. And yes, the Kemp signing made perfect sense at the time. But remember also that it was part of the Dodgers overall plan to win now, while at the same time reinvest in player development. Kemp’s injuries were not something that could be foreseen, and had they not occurred, I have little doubt that we may well have seen a World Championship last year, and a vastly better team this year. The plan was OK, just cluttered by too many monkey wrenches thrown into the mix.

    This all comes under the category of the “best laid plans….”

    And let’s not get too down on spending money. Money is what brought us Yasiel Puig. Or do you think he would have been signed under the McCourt regime? Money has also brought us Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena. Those are more experienced pieces added to our player development system who could not have been acquired through the draft or through the current system of international signings, which involves mostly 16, 17 and 18 year olds that require several years of seasoning. And because of the current slotting system, teams are limited in what they can spend on international talent, which did not apply to Puig, Guerrero, and Arruebarrena.

    The Dodgers farm system is beginning to develop some pretty good prospects, and I believe there is more that will come to our attention as some of the younger international signings begin to mature over the next several years. I suspect that as long as it’s nececessary, the Dodgers will continue to add high priced talent where it makes sense. But overall, I believe that the long term plan is to mostly build this team from within. Of course, when the new ownership took over, building from within was impossible, given the decimated farm system that McCourt left behind. The Dodgers, the big market Los Angeles Dodgers ranked 30th out of 30 teams in the amount of money they spent on international talent in McCourt’s last year of ownership in 2011. If there is any paucity of talent in the Dodgers organization it is certainly not the fault of new ownership, which is SMARTLY using all the resources it has at hand to keep the ship afloat. That involves paying for the big ticket items we have, and also involves a scouting staff that I believe has been tripled since Guggs took over.

    I am still confident that the Dodgers can still turn around this season. But if that doesn’t happen, I am very confident that the Dodgers are moving in the right direction.

  5. Mark_Timmons says:

    Yasiel Puig, Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena combined cost less than half of what Carl Crawford costs. I have no quarrel with those signings. They took on huge costs with the RedSox trade, and it was unnecessary. There were lots of players who were cheaper and outperformed the Boston trio. It was stupid move! Tell me A-Gon is worth $90 million more than Mike Napoli. We could have had 2 or 3 excellent players for we have tied up in Crawford. The same is true with Beckett and Ethier. The moves were just awful – there’s no other way to spin it. They overpaid when they did not have too, because they are rich and stupid! I am happy with the fact they are building the farm, but the players they bought are boat anchors.

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Matt Kemp needs to learn the concept of playing baseball with drive and completeness.

    His half running on plays cost him time after time. Last season it was dogging it around 3rd base and then rushing home that cause is leg/ankle problem. Again, last night his dogging it out of the box, 5ing it was the 1st base coach thinking he had hit a HR and then out a 2nd base (thus he was out twice) is not not smart baseball.

    Will he ever learn.

  7. Badger says:

    I think Brooklyn is right. We came very close last year and the interest in the Dodgers is back. They are NOT losing money anymore (hasta la penis mcRoach), we have great talent on the field and the minor league system is quickly being rebuilt. I said it then and I’ll say it now, the dumb part of that deal was including both de la Rosa and Webster.

    Matt Kemp needs a sports psychologist or maybe a hypnotist. That play yesterday was textbook bonehead. He has had enough time. Get it together Matt.

  8. Badger says:

    Xlnt start. Puig swings and misses on two ball 4′s, Kemp gets thrown out foolishly trying to stretch a routine single and two line drives find gloves.

  9. Bobby says:

    No need to rehash the Boston trade, but if we must:

    I don’t mind taking on the salary of an injured Crawford, but ONLY if we paid zero prospects in return. I don’t mind sending top prospects to Boston for Agone/Beckett/Crawford, but ONLY if Boston paid a big chunk of their salaries.

    We did neither. We overpaid in the deal because the combination of top prospects sent to Boston AND the little amount of money being returned to us. Basically, we lost the trade. Yes, we may have won the division last year. We still lost on that trade, and that’s the issue.

    Overall, a very good poor job by Ned, or a great job of bending over by Ned. A-web or RDLR should still be Dodgers, OR, $50 million in cash should be Dodgers.

    The funny thing is, once we ship out 2 of Kemp/Ethier/Crawford, we will have to pay a ton of their salaries for another team to take them. Ridiculous.

    • Badger says:

      Good take Bobby.

      Right now the highest avg in our lineup is .256. Kemp is orbiting a distant star system, somebody kidnapped Gonzalez’ bat and 2 more in sick bay.

      My confidence is high-ly loused up.

      A come from behind by the second string would be helpful.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m not so sure the Dodgers gave up too much in prospects in the Boston deal. Even when he was with the Dodgers, I never bought into the Allen Webster hype. And he’s done nothing to distinguish himself since. As for RDLR, I liked him a lot when he was with the Dodgers, and I’m sure he still has the potential. But he too hasn’t done much to distinguish himself since that deal. I know he recently pitched a nice game for the Red Sox, and I also know that he didn’t do too well his last time out.

    Whatever the Dodgers paid in contracts, I’m sure they’ve gotten back in revenue. Does anyone here believe the Dodgers would have gotten as far as they did last year without that deal? How much revenue was generated by the Dodgers advancing into the NLCS? And if I’m correct, I believe the Dodgers led the majors last year in both home and road attendance. And I believe they’re doing the same thing this year.

    That deal was a statement by the Dodgers that they were relevant again. But Mark I do agree that the Ethier signing was stupid. Not only can’t he hit lefties if his life depended on it, but he appears to have lost all of his power. Even when he gets hits, they’re weak. And of course, Badger and Bobby hit it on the head regarding that play to end today’s game in CF. I am sure there are lots of CF’s who would have caught that ball, or at least would have given a better effort.

    And Mark, let me remind you that even you thought Agon was going to have a good year this year, predicting he would hit 35 HRs. And he started this year strong enough. Maybe this is just his inevitable slump and he’ll come out of it. Seems to me that he’s swinging at and missing a lot of pitches outside the strike zone this year, and hitting too many balls into that shift, especially given his history of being a very good opposite field hitter.

    Yeah, Crawford cost a lot, but overall that deal has probably been a revenue producer for the Dodgers. I still think Crawford can be useful going forward, but if he isn’t, that deal won’t hamstring the Dodgers. Don’t even begin to think that the Dodgers sunk their last nickel in these players. And after this season Beckett comes off the books and so probably does Hanley. And after next season it’s probably bye bye to Uribe. Maybe the Dodgers will dip into the free agent market or pick up a contract or two from another team. But increasingly, I believe we’re going to see some of our high priced players replaced by the Joc Pederson’s and Cory Seager’s of the world.

    This team is moving in the right direction, and has the resources to pay for any excesses they may have taken on. The Guggs group is not in the top 1%, but more like the top 0.1%. They can afford to invest large of amounts of money in the short term for greater gain in the long term.

  11. Idaho Al says:

    There is no heart in this team. No sacrifice by Eithier to catch the ball. This tells you that most of the players are not willing to sacrifice and do what is necessary to win games.

    We talk about the farm getting better and I do think it is improving. However, there is one problem. Colletti does not believe in the young kids. Look at the old players he signed this year. Look at the young players he sent down because of the old players. Look at the young pitchers St. Louis keeps in their bull pen. Look at the money we could of saved. I know money is not a problem. I agree with Mark, weath has made Colleti stupid. I think he was stupid before the new deal.

  12. SpokaneBob says:

    Tell me A-Gon is worth $90 million more than Mike Napoli.

    He may be. The Dodgers wanted Gonzales at just about ANY cost because it gave them a Hispanic Star who was an everyday player. He was already well known in Southern California from his time in San Diego. No other player could have excited the Latino community in L A more than Adrian did.

  13. Badger says:

    “Tell me A-Gon is worth $90 million more than Mike Napoli.”

    Who said he was? AGon makes 21 this year, Napoli makes 16. And I would take AGon any freakin day.

    Brooklyn, about the Ethier signing being stupid. I take it you don’t agree with $/WAR figures that I have posted several times. The sabermatricians that put that together all say Ethier is actually underpaid if he plays 142+ games a year. He has 6.8 WAR the last two years combined meaning he is worth somewhere around 40 mil for that time period. What is positive about that contract is the fact it would be a bargain for some team like Texas where, if he played every day, he could put up 6.8+ easy. What’s stupid is we have him playing out of position and playing part time.

    • Badger says:

      PS – the point about Webster and de la Rosa isn’t so much that they were going to pitch for us, in my mind it’s the fact we could have used them to get depth at other needs – like catching for example.

  14. Watford Dodger says:

    That was another hard watch. When FedEx came up with the HR I got my hopes up but I should have known better. 2 injuries & Agon totally shot. Bench empty. Send for the cavalry. Quick.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, maybe you’re right about Ethier. But that’s not the player I’ve been seeing lately. Not only doesn’t he hit lefthanders, but no longer hits for any power. Looks like a shell of the Ethier from the past.

    This year his WAR is -0.1, and his dWar is -0.3. And historically, the 6.8 over 2012-13 was higher than anything he had achieved previously over any two year period. And his dWar numbers are consistently negative.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/ethiean01.shtml

    • Badger says:

      True. But the last two years are recent history. A guy that has 6.8 over two is not one that deserves to put in a reserve role. We have Crawford/SVS for platooning. Ethier needs to be gone and the time to do it is coming off that 6.8 number. If he can do that in the NL West, imagine what he could do in the AL East or in either Texas stadiums. I have a bad feeling that the Dodgers are waiting to long to move him.

  16. Badger says:

    9.5 back.

    Another unearned run o throwing error by a backup forced into starting lineup.

    Why doesn’t this team know how to slide?

    I see outfielders from other teams make leaping catches at the fence everyday. Heck, I saw it everyday playing in softball tournaments for years. Ethier gives up at the warning track on a game winner?

    This team misses Uribe.

    How close is Guerrero to coming back?

    Pederson anyone?

    Until Ramirez, AGon, and Kemp start hitting like they are paid to hit this team will not play any better than .500.

    Still plenty of time. But the energy level must improve.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Maybe yesterday’s game was a window of the entire season (so far).

    Dodger starting pitcher — get’s out pitched.

    Dodgers behind in the score — catch up — only to have the fielding and pen let the team down.

    Close to .500 again.

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