“Dodgers-Smart & Rich & Stupid”
They have a world of baseball experience, and they have a world of money.
And they are no closer getting to the World Series, or winning it, than they were in 1988, the last time they won.
You look at the organizational directory of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and you see 7-members of the staff, who are or were General Managers at the major league level.
Andrew Friedman calls all the baseball shots, coming from Tampa Bay, where scouting, signing an developing, was his strength.
His hire as acting GM is Farhan Zaidi, a first timer at that position, surrounded by plenty of guys with past decision making powers.
The roster includes former Dodgers GM-Ned Colletti…ex-Padres and Arizona GM-Josh Byrnes…Toronto Blue Jays phenom GM-Alex Anthopolous…and longtime exec Gerry Hunsinger, amongst others.
So with an unlimited check book to acquire and draft talent, the Dodgers find themselves trying to stay in a pennant race with what’s left of burning embers of a pitching staff.
None of those execs are to blame for what has befallen Clayton Kershaw, the ongoing struggles with a herniated disc in his back.
Somebody on that directory made the decision to let Zack Greinke leave as a free agent, and a mega payday in Arizona.
The top 1-2 starters in baseball, both gone.
Somewhere along the way, this front office group came out of a think tank and decided to give multi-year big money contracts to starters Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy. Both had elbow ligament transplant surgery, both had shoulder issues, one had suffered a fractured skull. Both have missed more starts while on the DL, than they have made in the starting rotation.
They traded for Braves pitcher Alex Wood, who had arm problems in Atlanta and broke down again, this time in LA.
The cruel history of injuries took out Hyun Jin-Ryu, shoulder surgery last year, a struggle to rehab, then elbow problems, likely done for the 2nd year in a row. Reliver Chris Hatcher broke down this year and is done for the season.
And then there were the prospects.
Mike Bolsinger, traded after two frustrating seasons. Zach Lee, a former first round pick, dispatched after numerous opportunities to make the roster and stay on the roster. Hot young prospect Frankie Montas, whom they traded for, was traded away in less than 6-months in the organization.
Joe Wieland came in a Padres trade, and was moved on to Seattle. Mat Latos arrived and exited, falling apart on the mound.
Carlos Frias was released, as was once impressive releiver Joel Peralta, journeyman starter Juan Nicosia and aging Jamey Wright.
LA even went the rehab route with hopes guys like Brandon Beachy, an ex-Brave, could come back from surgery, and ditto for Chin Tsao, who came back from abroad.
It’s been a nightmare.
They gambled on ex Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir, who has been competitive, but who does not have a long time record of consistency. Japanese free agent Kenta Maeda has been superb, but the transition means pitching once every six days or so. The 19-year old Julio Urias has great upside, but is so young, all his starts have been four to five innings in length to protect his arm.
Thank goodness for Kenly Jansen the closer, and the surprise season of home run-plagued Joe Blanton.
They probably don’t make the post season again. The failure of Yasiel Puig, the money eaten with the release of Carl Crawford, the season long injury to Andre Ethier, are all reasons why this is not a complete ballclub.
Add this item to the discussion points. Since 1999, the Dodgers have had only 2-first round pitchers, make and contribute to this roster. Kershaw, with likely Hall of Fame credentials, and Chad Billingsley, whose career was sidetracked by arm problems after early success. Two pitchers in 17-drafts.
But in the end, the brain trust has to be blamed for whom they signed to pitch, whom they gave money to, whom they shunned, whom they gambled on and failed with.
With all that experience in the front office, a bunch of guys who have had great success other places, and this is the best they could come up with a near unlimited budget?.
The leadership, the Dodgers brass, “Smart & Rich & Stupid”.