I was so happy when the Dodgers were losing. Not because they were losing, but because once again, a team proved that buying does not mean winning. I left town for summer, confident that the Dodgers season would be a bust. Then some kid named Yasiel Puig came up.
I knew he would be a factor, but didn’t think he would ignite a miraculous flame. The Dodgers were then in last place, and looking like another sub-par team, for another year. Then, something clicked. After the all-star break, the team’s OBP, Batting Average and slugging all rose more than 20 points, minimum. But another thing clicked – they were a team, and they had an atmosphere. So it leaves me in quite the conundrum. Should I root for the dodgers, or should I keep them in the folder in my head that the Yankees are in?
One one hand, much of their talent was acquired through possibly one of the most unfair trades in MLB history. Not one player the Dodgers sent for blockbuster names including Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez is in the Red Sox lineup today – (although they’re doing just fine without them as it seems). They were basically bought for their remaining years, giving up what a General Manager would define as pretty much nothing. 2 out of 5 members of their pitching staff were signed to huge contracts over the winter, (Hello, Zach Greinke, Hello, Ryu-Hyun-Jin) but the ones who weren’t signed to megadeals have also performed very well. (Hello, Clayton Kershaw). Note: Clayton Kershaw is expected to sign a large contract extension w/ Dodgers or contract with another team this winter, as he is a free agent as of 2014.
On the other hand, while those players are there, their superstar, Matt Kemp, has been missing the entire season with injuries, plus without much other known talent, they were leaving 4 other spots for farm talent or rag-tag players. It’s a crime to root against those types of players. Yasiel Puig is farm, as well as Clayton Kershaw.
So it leaves me with this – are they the Yankees with their spending, or can we look at them like the Cardinals? The conclusion I’ve come to is to believe they aren’t like the Yankees, but they aren’t the Cardinals either. Even Yasiel Puig signed for 7 years and 42 million. They’ve spent a lot, there’s no doubt. But they’ve performed enough with other talent, that maybe they aren’t a crime to root against after all.