Those Dodgers, spending all that money. Of all the gall. Just who in the name of George Steinbrenner do they think they are?
They have money to spend and, if you can believe it, actually are. They just dropped $208.7 million over the weekend on two starting pitchers. They are looking at a payroll of more than $220 million for next season. They are negotiating to buy Cuba.
Money, of course, absolutely does not guarantee success, though it can give you an awful nice start.
Having mega-millionaires throughout your lineup and rotation is not a ticket punched for the World Series. Particularly when the current World Series champions (shhh, it’s the Giants) are in your division.
So all those stars are nice, but the trophy resides in San Francisco. The Giants have gotten it done. The Dodgers are simply set up to try to get it done.
Which hopefully will have all their players showing up in February determined to capture what has avoided the Dodgers for the last 24 years. They’re not going to win because they’re assembling an All-Star team (witness the Lakers). If subconsciously they allow a sense of entitlement to slip in, even for a nanosecond, they are in real trouble.
“It’s clear what our expectations are,” General Manager Ned Colletti said. “I’m not concerned with that. But I do know the team that won the World Series is sitting in our division, like it or not. They’ve won two of the last three of them. We have work to do.”
It might help hone the Dodgers focus simply knowing the Giants are the defending champions, that they will have to beat them to capture the pennant. Despite all the additions, they are not the team out in front.
“They get it. They understand it,” Colletti said. “They know what team won the World Series and how they play. And they know they don’t care what anybody’s payroll is. They’re going to take it to you.
“Payroll doesn’t add up to anything, except that you’ve signed players with great track records and players who have a huge upside to them. It doesn’t guarantee anything after that.
“It’s still about winning the game. I can’t say it enough. You still have to play the game. You still have to care about winning that day’s game.”
This collection of great players still has to morph into a great team. Have to develop chemistry, learn to battle, build confidence. There’s no price on that.
The New York Yankees have had the major league’s highest payroll since they put Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill. It should be noted, however, that the Yankees have won one World Series since 2000.
“It’s not lost on me,” Colletti said.