Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dodgers Retrospective - Week 10

So ... that was an odd week.

If I were to tell you at the beginning of the week that the Dodgers would go 3-3 in three games sets versus the Cardinals and Angels, would you guess a sweep of the Cardinals and then a sweep by the Angels? Would you?! I think not. The results this week were not necessarily odd, just unexpected.

No, no. The odd this week seemed to come more from off the field than on it.

Draft Dodgers (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!)

The annual amateur draft was held this week, and the Dodgers made a couple picks that might be considered odd.

First, they drafted an 18 year old pitcher who almost everyone feels is "unsignable." You can read my thoughts here ... as if you didn't already.

But, here's just a couple other things I noticed.

Logan White seems to have something against the coaches at LSU because he's trying to steal all their players.

First he drafts Zach Lee in the 1st round, who has a strong commitment to LSU.

Later, in the sixth round, White drafted Kevin Gausman, another high schooler with who seems committed to LSU.

But White didn't stop there. Before he drafted Gausman, he drafted LSU's center fielder Leon Landry in the 3rd round, and after, in the 8th round, he drafted LSU's 1st baseman Blake Dean.

In an ideal world, the Dodgers would take both of LSU's top pitching recruits, their center fielder, and their first baseman.

Lucky for LSU, the Dodgers will probably sign neither Lee nor Gausman, so at least their rotation will be ok next year.

The second thing I noticed was the Dodgers drafted (and signed) someone who already has my support because of his facial hair.

"What?" you ask. I'll tell you.

In the 28th round, the Dodgers drafted Mike Drowne out of Sacred Heart University. Now, I like to look up a little bit of info on the players the Dodgers draft so I went to Sacred Heart U's website and navigated my way to the athletics page and then to Drowne's page, where I found this amazing profile pic.

They look like vertical parenthesis for his mouth!

Immediately, I was intrigued. I mean, it's fantastic! He looks like a villain from the 1800s. A train magnate who wants to demolish a small town to build his railroad empire ... and yes, he's wearing a tophat in this scenario.

However ... I was disappointed when I visited the website a few days later to see an article talking about Drowne being drafted. Accompanying said story was this picture of Drowne.

Suddenly, heart-breakingly mustache-less.

Admittedly, this soured me on Drowne just a bit.

I later realized, though, it does take a certain kind of bravado (or stupidity) to take a profile picture of yourself with a crazy set of fake facial hair and allow it to go up on a website that's going to be visited by a good amount of people.

So, Mike Drowne, if you are reading this, and I'm sure you are, I'm not mad at you for the fake facial hair, and I'm telling you this: if you grow back that facial hair and keep it through your trip in the minors, and you have my full support.

The McCourts Did Something Crazy, Though Really, Not Totally Surprising

Ok, seriously, at this point, is there anyone left in the McCourt camp?

I mean, is there any Dodger fan who's been following the events of the past year or so who still fully supports either of the McCourts as owner of this team?

If so, this one is for you...

The McCourts hired and paid a six figure salary to an old Russian to send positive vibes, or "V Energy" to the Dodgers.

This has already been sufficiently discussed/made fun of on various blogs (like MSTI, MoKM, and SoSG) so I'll just add one thing, the thing that makes me most sad about all this.

Yes, this whole thing is impossibly stupid/incredibly insane/a tremendous waste of money ... pick your choice.

The real sad thing about all this is this question: were you really shocked? To be honest, I wasn't.

Sure, I was surprised. It's hard to see something like this coming. But at this point, did anyone read this article and react with disbelief. "Noooo ... the McCourts couldn't have done something so irrational ... they wouldn't have paid all this money to some crazy Russian guy who knows nothing about baseball! Impossible!"

I think, at least for Dodgers fans, the McCourts have entered the Tyson Zone. For those who don't know, the Tyson Zone (described here) was created by Bill Simmons as a way to describe an athlete (or in this case, team owner) whose behavior is so odd that any story you ready about them, no matter how bizarre, is believable.

For example, if you were to read tomorrow that the McCourts spent a million dollars two seasons ago to uproot the grass in the outfield and replant it with special Australian fertilizer that would bring good fortunes to the team, would you blink an eye? Oh, and by the way, to pay off the dirt, parking is being raised to $25 a car.

Or, say you read tomorrow that the McCourts were fighting for custody of Reed Johnson. Would you faint from surprise?

It's really unfortunate that it has come to this. The Dodgers are one of the most historic franchises in baseball, and right now the McCourts are making them a laughing stock. I mean, how many pre-season predictions did you read this Spring Training that had the Dodgers not finishing in first in the NL West because of distractions with ownership?

Luckily, at least so far, the Dodgers have been able to avoid front office issues. I mean, hey, they were in first place at one point this week before finishing the week a game behind the Padres.

But that's not to say the Dodgers haven't been affected. Just this week, the Dodgers most likely forfeited a first round pick on a player that was always going to be too expensive to sign. And this comes after they forfeited two other early picks when they didn't offer arbitration to Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson this offseason.

... What do you believe an owner's role should be with a team? I see it as this: First, the Owner should pony up the money. The Owner should never be afraid to put money into their team. If they don't want to spend, then they shouldn't be an Owner. Two, the Owner shouldn't embarrass the team. That doesn't mean they necessarily need to be the face of the team (see Arte Moreno), but if you aren't going to put on a good front, then just disappear into your Owner's box. Be a silent owner. Show up to hold up the Championship Trophy and then go away. The last thing you should be doing is filling newspaper headlines with your divorce hearings or doing things like hiring Rasputin for a six figure sum to send brain waves and advise you on team decisions.

Mike Drowne: this facial hair is also acceptable...

Look, McCourts, if you guys are fans of the game like you've always purported to be, then you should understand that you are making a mockery of one of the storied franchises.

If you were really fans of baseball, you'd sell the Dodgers or step down as owners.

Because at this point, you are not just embarrassing yourselves, you are embarrassing all of us.

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