As I watch baseball’s top free agents sign long-term contracts with clubs other than the one playing at Chavez Ravine, I’ve come to realize that the “aversion to risk” strategy of the Dodgers is working.
They have successfully averted the risk of winning a World Series.
Following each failure to win a World Series the Dodgers tease their fans by announcing they are speaking with the big ticket free agents. That’s all it is: a tease. They’re really looking for the next A.J. Pollock.
So no new elite players, no TV coverage, higher prices ... again! It’s time for real Dodgers fans to stay home in 2020 and listen to the radio. Let’s show Andrew, Mark and Co. that small-market baseball won’t cut it here in the only way they will hear us — boycott the games — because they seem deaf to everything else.
After 31 years without a World Series win, what a relief it was to hear Dave Roberts state the Dodgers were going to be aggressive in the free agent market with Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon available. After leading the majors in attendance for the past seven years you would think they have the upper hand in any bidding war. Apparently not, as Dodgers management whiffed again. But I’m sure they’re proud of signing a relief pitcher who had an ERA of 4.91 in 2019.
With their commitment to excellence I for one will forgo the expensive trips to Dodger Stadium this year to see a team whose management is satisfied with winning a weak NL West.
Dylan Hernandez is off base and I am picking him off. To sign Gerrit Cole to go into the season as World Series favorite is errant in meaninglessness. Cole was not even the best pitcher in last year’s World Series. Let the Yankees take the chance on a nine-year deal on one right arm. We have enjoyed great seasons recently due to not being that chancy (read: dumb).
Thank you, Dodgers, for the great entertainment of last year and the previous seasons too.
As a passionate Dodgers fan (and part of a season-ticket-holding family since 1962), to see how inept the Dodgers ownership and management have squandered through this first and very important round of free agency is akin to the feeling of losing in the World Series once again.
A team with a surplus of $8 billion from a rights fee that negates 80% of the city from watching the team, so we can be driven to a stadium to pay the rising parking costs courtesy of our old friend Frank McCourt, is beginning to collect the same negative sentiment of that previous ownership group.
The third option
The Angels haven’t had a decent, regular, power-hitting third baseman since the days of Troy Glaus. So, the mega-deal with Anthony Rendon fills a weakness in their lineup.
Let’s see what else they do, before judging. The team needs starting pitching, not offense, and they certainly need catching as well. Team management certainly knows a division championship, let alone a World Series, isn’t happening any time soon when Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney and Shohei Ohtani are your three best starters.
Mike Trout and Rendon are great players, but Oakland and Tampa Bay compete at higher levels with 50% of the Angels payroll, and those disparities will only be greater after this offseason. Unless quality and durable starting pitching is acquired, even Joe Maddon will tell you, he can’t make chicken salad out of well, you know, chicken poop.
So the Angels strike out on the top free-agent pitchers and they sign a position player coming off a career year. If you adjust Tommy La Stella’s statistics from 2019 to the number of at-bats by Anthony Rendon, I’m not sure the incremental production is worth the $33.65-million difference in salaries.
2020 salaries: $35 million - $1.35 million
Hits: 174 - 160
HRs: 34 - 30
RBIs: 126 - 82 (largely a function of team and place in batting order)
Can you say Josh Hamilton? Mo Vaughn? Vernon Wells? New general manager?
On the grid
Instead of another disappointing season winning only four games, UCLA could have easily been 7-5 and heading to a bowl game had the Bruins played weaker teams like so many bowl-bound programs do. The Bruins started 0-3 by playing Cincinnati, San Diego State and Oklahoma. These three schools are a combined 31-7 and one is in the College Football Playoff. I would be surprised if there was any other program with a more difficult schedule to start a season.
Well, certainly, the Pac-12 championship game didn’t impress the L.A. Times sports staff much: minimal Page 7 coverage. What gives? Oregon played a good, all-around game, both offense and defense. These teams battled all year to get to that championship game, certainly, it warranted a little more attention.
Out of the mouth of LSU championship quarterback and likely Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow: “Everyone loves playing for that guy [Ed Orgeron]. He has given so much to us, this university and this state.”
We’re all still waiting to hear the same from any top USC player. Crickets ...
It seems to me that if the L.A. Times sports columnists are so convinced that Alabama will blow out USC next season, it is not going to matter who coaches the team.
I really do not understand why there are so many USC fans complaining that Clay Helton was not fired. After all, with the help from actress Lori Loughlin, I hear USC is going to have a dynamite crew team this year!
Lane Kiffin is the poster child for the Peter Principle, continually failing upward to his highest level of incompetence. It is hard to fathom how desperate Ole Miss must be to pay this career underachiever $21 million to coach their woeful team. Guess that is how much you need to pay for someone, other than John Grisham, to live in Oxford, Miss.
Mark S. Roth
A million words?
With one picture, Wally Skalij’s front-page photograph captured the essence of Bill Plaschke’s fine article about the Paradise High football team. Photographers don’t get much recognition, but this photo deserves an award.
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Letters: Dodgers continue pattern of no-signs of the times