The ironic thing about baseball’s winter meetings being held next week in Washington, D.C. is that it’s symbolic of Dodgers fans to their team.
Sports fans are like the electorate: Win for me. And in doing so, keep it simple because I’m a little drunk.
The Dodgers front office is like Hillary Clinton’s campaign: Making things so much about process they get lapped by a guy with a catchy slogan.
Which is why you shouldn’t expect much from the Dodgers other than directionless complex rumors that will involve dozens of names, multiteam deals and discussions of mind-blowing salaries. It will be a week of sound and fury. It will signify nothing.
It’s highly unlikely they will get the stars you’ve heard about online: Ian Kinsler? Nope. Chris Sale? Chris Archer? Ryan Braun? Hell, even Brian Dozier? Naw.
Here is what the Dodgers need: a second baseman, a third baseman, better starting pitching, a closer. Hopefully, the incoming infielders can hit left-handed pitching better.
You, the fan, shrug and say, “OK, resign Justin Turner, Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and try to upgrade at second base. Simple.”
But the Dodgers have six former general managers in the front office. Much like last season, too many cooks will complicate this broth. Consider the first offseason with team president Andrew Friedman two years ago. One of his first “moves” was a three-team deal that involved eight players. The Marlins got a leadoff hitter in Dee Gordon. The Angels got a starting pitching in Andrew Heaney (who admittedly got injured in Anaheim, but he’s only 24).
The Dodgers? All they have left on the roster from that deal is backup outfielder in Keke Hernandez and situational relief pitcher Chris Hatcher. Sound. Fury. Nothing.
The Cubs are still the world champs and there’s no reason to believe the Dodgers will close the gap despite having a vault of money that would make Scrooge McDuck jealous and a farm system that is the envy of the rest of professional baseball.
The Dodgers front office is everything that makes people break relationships: Sure, they’ve got sweet digs up in the hills. They’re also processors, addicted to admiring their own intellect, micro-managers and even worse, hoarders.
The Dodgers new philosophy for starting pitching was summed up by … Which of their six GMs said it?… Farhan Zaidi. You know how most teams want five guys they can rely on in the rotation? Well…
“We always talk about building a 162-game rotation, not necessarily a five-man rotation,” Zaidi said. “I think we have the guys to get through 162 games. Now it’s just a question of whether we can improve the quality and target some high-end guys that would really change the configuration of where guys slot in.”
Fascinating. Here’s the problem. To win the world championship, you have to play more than 162 games and that’s why the Dodgers got their asses kicked by Chicago in the National League Championship Series.
Because Chicago kept it simple while the Dodgers patted themselves on the back marching out 31 pitchers.
Sound and fury to earn a playoff berth. Nothing in the playoffs.
Sure, the Dodgers will likely make some deal happen. But after hearing a flurry of big-time stars that will give you hope that the team will break its 29-year World Series drought, you’re going to be left with a trade for more injury-prone pitching and a hack reserve minor-leaguer who will make Trayce Thompson look like Andrew McCutcheon.
They are more likely to lose Hill, Jansen and Turner than to upgrade.
But hey, six GMs think they’re stronger together.