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Dodgers

Stan Kasten says 90 wins, division title aren’t enough for Dodgers

Andrew Friedman and Stan Kasten

Andrew Friedman, left, and Stan Kasten answer questions during a news conference in 2014.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Stan Kasten has an active mind. A brilliant mind, many say. Zack Greinke was so impressed with the Dodgers president that when the right-hander signed with the team in 2012, he called him “the smartest guy I’ve ever talked to.”

Of course, that was before the Dodgers wouldn’t go a sixth year on Greinke’s new contract and he signed with the Diamondbacks. Maybe Greinke has a different review now.

Thus far, it has been a fairly disastrous off-season for the Dodgers, their new Geek Squad front office of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi failing to manage a single move of significance. Understandably, they have come under pointed criticism from fans and media.

And possibly they have not always handled it with the kind of cool restraint that Kasten at least promotes. Kasten had an interesting take on this with the New York Post’s Joel Sherman this weekend.

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“I remind the thin-skinned people in front offices of the smart words Hyman Roth gave Michael Corleone in that hotel room in Havana — ‘This is the business we have chosen,’ ” Kasten said by phone. “The criticism and fishbowl scrutiny is just part of the business. … I am really proud to represent a team that has won 90 games and the division title [each of the last three years]. Yet, that is not good enough for our fans, the media, ownership and me. That is the way it should be. We are the Dodgers, we represent Los Angeles. We should expect to compete for the top every year. Criticism is what goes along with that, which is just fine.”

ESPN’s Buster Olney was so impressed with the quote he said the statement “should be put on the walls of every front office in baseball, including that of the Dodgers.”

So if you see Kasten walking through the halls of Dodger Stadium and mumbling to himself, is he just trying to toughen up his outer layer? Remember, in the end things did not work out so well for Hyman Roth.

Generally in sports, you do well and people sing your praises. Mess up and you get criticized. Pretty basic. Titles are tough to come by, so there’s a lot more perceived messing up than doing well. It’s the business they’ve chosen.

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