Dodgers are poor bastards

24 01 2010

Most sports fans would prefer that the owner of their favorite team spend money like Mark Cuban on a weekend Vegas blitz. Me? I’ve set my expectations far lower. I just want the Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to prove that his wallet still has some signs of life.

If you haven’t heard, the Dodgers are running their team as if they had all their cash invested with Madoff. Despite leading Major League Baseball in home attendance in 2009 with 3.76 million fans, the sixth time in as many seasons during McCourt’s ownership that the Dodgers have ranked at least third, the franchise somehow doesn’t have the funds to spend like a normal big market team. Worst of all, McCourt and the rest of management refuse to acknowledge that they’re operating like a small market lot.

The fact they avoided arbitration with their best young players is optimistic. Of course, they had to do something with their season, and it’s not as if they signed Kemp, Ethier, Broxton or anyone else to a long-term deal. That’s a side story to what’s really important for this team, which is surrounding those young players with veterans who can raise the level of the Dodgers’ World Series contention. Instead, all us Dodgers fans have received is move after move demonstrating an unwillingness to spend despite management’s shallow excuses.

  • They inexcusably refused to offer arbitration to Type A free agents Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf, neither of whom would have likely accepted the one-year deals. Offering them arbitration would have resulted in a first-round draft pick and a supplemental pick between rounds one and two for each player. Failure to do so ended up costing the Dodgers four possible high-level picks at a time when they’ve traded many of their best prospects the past two years to compensate teams for veteran players in trades — all because the Dodgers didn’t want to pick up the veterans’ salaries.
  • Jamey Carroll — JAMEY CARROLL — signed with the Dodgers for two years at $3.85 million.
  • Vincente Padilla re-signed for one year at $5 mil.

So that’s nearly $9 million for the Dodgers’ two biggest free agent signings plus a refusal to offer roughly $15 million in combined arbitration to two players in order to secure four high-level draft picks in the likely event the arbitration was turned down.

And yet the McCourt, president Dennis Mannion and the rest of management promise Dodgers fans that their ability to spend dough hasn’t changed. Like I always say, thank goodness for Dr. Jerry Buss! L.A. fans know what I mean.

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