More evidence of Dodgers’ decline: SI poll of major league players finds they would rather be Angels

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Ah, the love that once was.

Back when the Dodgers were the jewel of the National League. A winning and respected franchise. The one NL team other players wanted to play for.

No more. Gone with yesterday’s divorce news and shrinking payroll.

The Dodgers are no longer the destination of choice for players, according to a poll of 284 major leaguers conducted by Sports Illustrated.

Players were asked: Which other team would you most like to play for?


The top five included two National League teams: the Braves at No. 1 and the Cubs at No. 5. Coming in at No. 4 was one Los Angeles team: the Angels.

But no Dodgers. Not the team in the second-biggest market in the country. Not Hollywood’s team.

Players would rather play for the Cubs, a team that hasn’t won a World Series since Henry Ford introduced the Model T, than for the chaotic organizational mess that is Frank McCourt’s Dodgers. Or Frank and Jamie McCourts’ Dodgers.

Would rather play not only for the Yankees (No. 2) or Red Sox (No. 3), but the team that has traditionally been the No. 2 in the L.A. market.

This should be disturbing news to the Dodgers, though in reality, not really news at all.

Players want to be paid properly and have a chance to win. Which L.A.-area team now gives a free agent that best chance?

-- Steve Dilbeck