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The Statistics of Divorce…


This is about the Casualties of Divorce… And the Statistics of Baseball.

It’s not just affecting the kids…

Quietly, Lou Pinella announced that this is his last season..  Even more quietly, Joe Torre didn’t re-up with the Dodgers.  These seemingly unrelated events are may soon be tied together like link sausage .

Joe Torre mentioned earlier this year that he was running out of patience with the Dodgers’ “kids.”  What he’s really saying is that this team needs veteran leadership… and what that really means is that they need drop some mad cash on free agency.

Keep in mind, Joe Torre hails from the Yankees who just assume buy their championships as earn them.  Yankee’s payroll in has been over $200 million since 2005.  Conversely, the Dodger’s payroll hasn’t been under $100 million since 2005.  So not only are L.A. home prices at 2004 levels, so is the Los Angeles payroll.  You have to pay to play in MLB, and the McCorts simply are not.

There is a direct correlation.  Take my word for it, but if you don’t want to, feel free to geek out statistically on this Baseball Biz’s Final Payrolls article.

The only significant free agent the Dodgers have added in the last three years?  Manny Ramirez, and Boston paid for his salary in ’08 year.  Manny actually pays for himself with what he does at the gate (when not injured or suspended).  But for the Dodgers to drop cash on a starter that only plays every 5 days, that’s not going to happen.  The best starters in baseball have changed teams in free agency over the last 3 years.  Yohan Santana, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Roy Halliday, and even John Lackey. The Dodgers weren’t players for any of these aces.  It’s not because they didn’t want to come to Hollywood.  It’s because McCourt did not want to pay. CC built a house in L.A. for heck’s sake.

McCourt/Colletti wouldn’t even make moderate upgrades at the corners.  Casey Blake is serviceable, but nobody except his parents come to see him play, and no pitcher is pitching around him.  Beltre could have been had back for a song, albeit one in Spanglish.  The Dodgers top 4 players (Kershaw, Billingsley, Ethier and Kemp) combined make less than the Yankees 5th starter, AJ Burnett.  But my point is not that the Yankees are bad for baseball (they are).  My point is the McCorts are even worse.  They have a core of young talent on short-term contracts and a window to win that is not only closing, but is preparing for gale force winds in the form of fan backlash.

The Cubs have newish owners and a curse that’s yet to be broken.  I assure you, they also have their bloodshot eyes on one Joe Torre.  He will be gone, and it’s not just the kids who will suffer during this bitter Dodger divorce.  We fans will too, and it is too bad.  The Blue Crew was on the precipice of greatness.  I still love the Dodgers, but I just probably won’t spend as much time with them after the fallout.  Maybe they’ll get me every other weekend and for two weeks in the summer…  At this rate, it won’t be long before the Angels have full-custody of this kid.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/22/2010 8:10 pm

    They are all over paid.
    I said it.

    I think if we paid scientists this well as these athletes we would have a cure for cancer, aids and the flu.

    These people hit a little white ball with a stick. Sure they are the absolute best at performing that skill…but I am shocked at these salaries and how it reflects on our societies values.

  2. Jenelyn Russo permalink
    07/22/2010 11:09 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of the Yankees “throw all the money at it and it will win” method. It took them a long time to get that 27th ring. But, the difference here is that they were committed to winning. Every year. And if that means you have to plunk down the cash to get some really good players, then so be it. A winning attitude needs to start from the top and permeate throughout the organization–minor leagues, scouting, all of it. It requires more than just picking up the best FA. It’s why the Angels have never been the same since Scioscia came on board. Every year they must be contenders. He and Arte see eye-to-eye on this. And thankfully, Arte has the cash. You can be winners without it (the Angels had a very low payroll the year they won), but you can’t sustain the playoff appearances year after year without the commitment. Just look at the Florida Marlins. Championship one year and fire sale the next. Pressure is on the Angels right now. It will be interesting to see what they and the Dodgers do at the trade deadline this year.

    • 07/22/2010 11:18 pm

      So true. I hope I have to post a retraction… but I won’t, ’cause the Dodgers are not committed to winning. “Why would [McCourt] spend $150 million to win 98 games when [McCourt] can spend half that to win 90…?”

  3. 07/23/2010 12:58 pm

    Duh. I know you weren’t going ‘there’ with this. But it needed to be said. And I may or may not have been in a really really bad mood when I wrote that comment. 😉

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