In a MLB game where baseball front offices skimp on interior decoration, live and die through the art of the deal and don’t plan for a future beyond the next team chemistry trade fix, the idea that the Los Angeles Dodgers have crucial decision-making employees who are still around after the meandering Frank McCourt era mess is an irony if not an aberration.
Dodgers GM Ned Coletti has managed to survive some lean mean years in LA. At worst, he’s an innocent bystander not to blame for the rogue watch of an unqualified owner rumored to have been sent to sabotage blue crew opposition out of some east coast market bias. At best, Coletti must step up his game in this the first season of the GBM takeover. And to do so he should scrutinize mistakes of the past for insight into how to ghostbust cursed trades gone bad.
2013 marks 15 years since the infamous franchise-gutting trade of Mike Piazza, and 25 years since LA’s last trip to the MLB champ show. Newly entrenched owners with the billfolds to play hardball won’t settle for any more mediocrity. Unless LA makes the right moves for a change, further shortcomings will take their toll and front office heads will roll.
Dodgertown has always put more emphasis on pitching and defense since its old school mini dynasty heyday of the mid 60s when Sandy Koufax was league MVP. But there comes a time in this new age of ping pong power offense that you have to compensate by acquiring big men who can put up the big numbers to compete.
Outside of signing Manny Ramirez for a parting cameo in the twilight burnout phase of his PED-tainted career, LA hasn’t done that in recent years. But now to test the market for more prolific batsmen, LA has a surplus of pitching talent that could become a valuable trade factor in later season negotiations should the need arise for more juggling of a roster that hasn’t lately seen balanced across the board RBI production to be a fall playoff contender.
Pundits say that with anyone predicted to be available, further free agent/trade recruitment can’t be done. Yet if the off season was any hint, the deal making is just getting started and the LA baseball musical chair soap opera has just begun.