Blame management, not the vets or the kids
September 25, 2007
Here is a big-market team with a huge payroll, yet their fans seem content with a youth movement.
With a growing payroll, most of a roster back from last year’s playoff team, and a theoretically great farm system, how are the Dodgers in fourth place? And how are their fans not up in arms about this? The Dodgers have to be the biggest disappointment in baseball this year.
Last week, Jeff Kent spoke up against the organization for entering a youth movement, and since, there has been reaction against the veterans and against the youth movement. But I haven’t seen many fingers pointed at management by prominent media members or bloggers, with the exception of T.J. Simers, who as much as I love his work, few seem to ever listen to what he says.
The real issue is not whether the veterans or the kids are the better players for the Dodgers right now, it’s why the Dodgers had to go to a youth movement in the first place. If they spent their money wisely, and hadn’t signed Juan Pierre to that monster contract, hadn’t signed Nomar Garciaparra to a multi-year deal, hadn’t given Jason Schmidt a multi-year deal, hadn’t trusted Randy Wolf to be healthy this season and hadn’t given Rafael Furcal that huge contract, not playing the young guys wouldn’t even be an issue.
Even if they hadn’t signed any one at all, at least they’d have a true youth movement, letting the kids develop all year long without this bickering in the clubhouse. Instead the Dodgers did neither, and wasted a season in the process.
Few are questioning the owners, general manager Ned Colletti or manager Grady Little for this debacle of a season.
It’s not like the Dodgers are a franchise that never does anything — owner Frank McCourt fired Paul DePodesta after the 2005 season in which the Dodgers didn’t make the playoffs, even though they had made it there in 2004. The same sort of scenario exists for Colletti this year, but there have been no grumblings about his imminent firing, or even that he is on the hot seat.
Thank God I grew up an Angels fan and didn’t get suckered into following the Dodgers like so many friends and family did.