Dodgers fans, who are you gonna believe? Stan Kasten, or your lying eyes?
Stan Kasten personifies Dodger management’s hubris that they’re the smartest guys in the room. What the hubris of their underlying philosophy is can be summed up as, “In a city as large as Los Angeles, you can fool enough people every year to draw 4 million.”
What that hubris ignores is that no other major city has as many fans that actually do detest their home team for the arrogance of its leadership.
Stan Kasten sits in his office without any understanding of Los Angeles. Dodgers fans and people in general here do not hate him, they detest him.
Like most of us, I have a love-hate relationship with the Dodgers. I love how they bring L.A. together in a beautiful ballpark, but I hate they way they black out our team and collect billions from us.
And when I make my yearly trip to Dodger Stadium, I have to swallow bile when I fork over $20 to the carpetbagger from Boston.
Stan Kasten considers the Times’ questioning of the Dodger’s payroll — and their routine non-successful pursuit of free agent superstars, in the context of the team’s $8.5-billion television contract (let alone other revenue sources), “childish, superficial and wrong.” Meanwhile, Kasten’s response is, “I’m not going to discuss the TV deal with you.”
Why did Kasten agree to the interview then? Sure, sometimes teams spending less money win it all, though not often. But Kasten’s use of pejorative adjectives as self-evident conclusions is unpersuasive.
What I get from Bill Plaschke’s piece on Stan Kasten is Dodgers management knows what’s best for the team. Hey, you can’t argue with success. Winning seasons, pennant races, divisional titles, attendance, all good. But those who will accept only a World Series title as the measure of success probably don’t know much about baseball.
I don’t agree with most of what Bill Plaschke writes, especially when it comes to the Dodgers “lack of spending.” As Kasten points out, the Dodgers won 106 games and lost to the ultimate World Series winner. That is three years in a row that the Dodgers have lost to the Series winner and the two before cheated!
I wonder if Bill has ever pondered the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series win. It takes a little luck to go all the way in a short series, and the 1988 team had a lot of luck. But I have to give Plaschke credit for allowing Kasten to have his say.
I understand that the Dodgers are changing their name to the Bears. After all, isn’t that what they do in the winter, hibernate?
As of Jan. 7, this Dodgers roster clearly is not as good as the one that didn’t make it out of the first round last season.
Who replaces the NL ERA leader and No. 2 vote getter in the NL Cy Young race in Hyun-Jin Ryu? Dustin May? Julio Urias? Tony Gonsolin?
Who replaces one of the three or four top pinch-hitters in MLB as was David Freese last season?
Just scouting, just saying.
So the Dodgers have signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who has been injured for most of the past two seasons, for a guaranteed $1.25 million for one year. He can make $3 million if he’s healthy! If he’s healthy? He only pitched in 10 games last year, seven in relief, was 0-2 with an ERA of almost 7.00.
Just think about that for a second. That’s the kind of money most people will never see in their entire lifetime being tendered to someone who hasn’t had a steady job since 2017.
This is just another slap in the face to the fans who pay hefty prices for tickets and and food at Dodger Stadium on a team that never has that final pitch or punch.
The other guys
From the L.A. Times: “Angels general manager Billy Eppler’s energy this offseason has been spent on enhancing a pitching staff that posted a combined 5.64 ERA, the second-worst mark in the majors.”
Energy? What energy? I thought the man was in a coma.
The legacy of David Stern cannot ignore two major issues during his tenure as NBA commissioner. Certainly he was responsible for bringing the league to great financial heights under his leadership, however the fixing of point spreads by NBA referees under his watch will also be a part of his legacy.
Another issue was his veto on December 8, 2011 of a three-team trade that would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers, Lamar Odom to the Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Rockets. There was speculation that his friendship with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who objected to Paul going to the Lakers, was behind the veto.
Certainly Stern made the NBA relevant, but let’s not ignore some of the negative results as well.
Edward A. Sussman
Arash Markazi has made six suggestions about several sports organizations in L.A. that beg these questions:
Does he really think the Lakers would play an audio tape at their games to taunt the opponents and instruct the crowd to leave, and stop buying concessions?
Does he really think that Arte Moreno would change his team’s name, after working years to establish a Los Angeles marketing connection to his Angels?
Does he really think the Lakers or the Clippers would care to play a home game in a different, less desirable building?
Does he really think the NFL would allow a rival sports league, the NBA, to have the first event in their new $5-billion showcase football stadium?
Does Markazi really think that USC, with several troubling ethical scandals underway, would want anything to do with ending the exile of the disgraced Reggie Bush?
Does he really think Staples Center owners would approve a statue to honor a virtually unknown person that sports fans would not even recognize?
Is there anyone who thinks that there is one iota of fairness, reason or intelligence that says a tied playoff game can end with one team never even getting to touch the ball on offense?
Other than the Vikings and the geniuses in Roger Goodell’s office?
Arthur A. Fleisher II
When I saw The Times on Sunday morning lauding Drew Brees on the front page of the sports section, I sprang into action — I immediately bet all the money I could on the Vikings. Made a bundle. Works every time. Thanks, L.A. Times Sports!
UCLA basketball has not recovered since athletic director Peter Dalis fired Jim Harrick after he won the 1995 NCAA championship. A proven winner, Harrick, who is currently an assistant coach at Cal State Northridge, most likely would have stayed at Westwood until his retirement.
As for football, we need to go back to 1976 when Dick Vermeil was lured away to the pros right after defeating No. 1 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
We need to wait and see where Mick Cronin and Chip Kelly take these programs, but Harrick and Vermeil, had they stayed at UCLA, would have changed history.
As a Bruin alum and avid fan since the ’60s, I feel the despair of the transition from the Wooden/Donahue years to the current abysmal performance of the basketball/football programs. Now, sadly, the connotation of the letters “UCLA” is U CAN LOSE AGAIN.
Ben Bolch’s article includes optimistic quotes from Dan Guerrero, the AD directly responsible for the demise of UCLA’s major sports. I sincerely hope that the AD selection committee hires someone capable, who is not part of the dismal status quo of Guerrero’s current athletic department.
Palos Verdes Peninsula
It was great to see the UCLA basketball team finally make some adjustments last week at halftime after committing so many turnovers in the first half. They buckled down, showed great hustle, and got some outstanding play from their younger players in beating a ranked opponent.
Hopefully the men’s team can take a lesson from that and play as well as the women’s team did when they beat Arizona.
Every other day it seems we read about yet another UCLA football player using the dreaded transfer portal to escape the program. It’s like rats fleeing a sinking Chip.
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