HOW DODGER FANS ARE LIKING THE OFF-SEASON SO FAR
Yesterday the Orange and Black scourge signed free agent pitcher, Johnny Cueto for six years and $130 M smackaroos. Earlier this off-season they signed free agent pitcher, Jeff Samardjzia for $90 more of those same smackaroos. Division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, may have upgraded their starting rotation a tad by snatching Zack Greinke from Dodgers and trading for a top o’the rotation youngster named Shelby Miller. The Dodgers? Well, we got a nice 3 or 4 in Hiroshi Iwakuma and, praise be!, we grabbed Chase Utley just moments before he fell into the free agent abyss that ends in Colorado, Milwaukee or some other such nondescript location.
Yay, Andrew and Farhan!!!
Now, I gotta come clean, I am among those who actually believe that a front office consisting of Stan Kasten, Josh Byrnes and wunderkinds, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi ranks as one of the best ever assembled in any sport. I do. But, those who share my opinion do not seem to make up the majority of fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, I’m not sure the names Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt, Frank McCourt or Ned Coletti could conjure the horrific sounds of wailing, ripping of clothing and gnashing of teeth echoing throughout Dodgertown at this particular moment. The natives are, indeed, restless.
But before I grab my pitchfork and Bic-up my torch, I’m going to consider a few things.
Did we want Jeff Samardzjia? After all, statistically, he was the worst starter in baseball last year. He was awful. He led the AL in runs allowed. He led the AL in home runs allowed. His ERA was higher than Yasiel Puig’s IQ. Let the Giants roll the dice with the guy. I don’t think the Dodgers were ever serious about him anyway.
Did we want Johnny Cueto? Well, maybe. Sorta. Just not $130M and six years worth. If he pitches well, he opts out after two years in search of the Greinke Grail at which point the Jints will have already had to pay him $42M. Besides, he’s been consistently inconsistent and actually stunk for a good stretch with the Royals last year. Did the Dodgers want him? I guess not.
Did we want Zack Greinke? Yes. I believe we did. Did the front office lose him? I don’t think so. I would assume ownership looked at the long term effect of what he would cost and the age at which they would be paying him and thought better of that kind of investment. I think if the D-Backs had not swooped in, the Dodgers might have done more to keep him out of the Giants’ evil clutches. As it turned out, let’s see how well Arizona can absorb a quarter of a billion dollar commitment.
Did we want Shelby Miller? Yes. We sure did. But, I wonder how Dodger fans would be reacting if we had traded Seager, Urias and Pederson to get him? The Braves asking price was exorbitant and the Dodgers have said all along Seager and Urias were untouchable. So, is it a surprise he went elsewhere? The D-Backs paid a VERY heavy price … players like Darby Swanson don’t grow on trees.
David Price? Should David Price make more money than Clayton Kershaw? Can ANY team, even the Dodgers, justify over $400M for two roster spots? Dodger fans say they could and maybe they’re right. The problem is, we’re customers, not owners. Or are we?
Is a team with the resources the Dodgers have wise in passing on big ticket names in the current market? After all, most Dodger fans can’t even watch the games on TV, not to mention that attending a game in person will be even more costly in 2016 thanks to the bump in ticket prices. I’m not sure Iwakuma and Utley are enough of a reward for fan’s patience.
I’ve been buying tickets to Dodger games since 1958. I have Dodger hats, jerseys and bobbleheads. I eat Farmer John bacon exclusively. I worship at the feet of Lasorda and am soothed by the voice of Scully. Do I have the right to ask what the heck in going on in the mind of Andrew Friedman? I think so.
Note to Andy and Farhan, look I trust you guys, at least for another few minutes, but you’re new to Dodgertown. We expect championships. Now. We expect to be SERIOUS contenders every year. We don’t do “re-builds,” we’re the freaking Dodgers for crying out loud! We haven’t won since 1988 while Giants fans are prancing around with THREE recent trophies. This is totally unacceptable. We don’t have patience. We’ve used it ALL up during the Fox/McCourt reign. We were glad to see you … at first. But unless this 2016 team makes a deep playoff run, the drums you hear now in the distance will become much closer.
You’re Dodgers now, act like it.