Reading the post-DePodesta analysis today has me wondering what sort of man Dodger owner Frank McCourt really is. It’s been two years since the McCourts took the reigns of baseballs second-most storied franchise, and LA and their fans have nothing but chaos to show for it.
When DePodesta cleaned house last off-season, the moves made sense to me. It’s like he was saying that they couldn’t win the series as the team was comprised, and why not take a couple years to build it up into a World Series team? I am perhaps foolish enough to assume that he ran that plan by the owner, and that McCourt gave it his support. So why the change of heart less than one year later? First, McCourt is widely disliked by Dodger fans. He may just be insecure enough to try to take the easy way out and fire DePodesta. Or, he could be one of those guys who just wants to win, and win now. The problem is, after two years of following McCourt, I have no idea what scenario seems more likely.
In reading the LA Times today, Ross Newhan mentioned that Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News had written that Tommy Lasorda has been poisoning the relationship between McCourt and DePodesta. I stopped reading Rosenthal after this years preseason predictions that had him predict Barry Bonds would be the MVP, Felipe Alou would be the Manager of the Year, and that the Giants would cruise to a runaway win in the West. Newhan calls Rosenthal “respected”, but I call him a hack. Still, in this case I believe him (probably because I wrote the same thing yesterday.)
If that indeed is the case, I fear that McCourt is taking advice from a poor source. As a Dodger fan, I love what Tommy has meant to the franchise, but his time is past. Long past. And Lasorda strikes me as the baseball “old guard” type who would be personally insulted by the Beane/DePodesta types and would work hard to discredit them. Usually this is done out of ignorance, and the thought that these statistical-minded managers let their computers pick their rosters, even though nothing could be further from the truth.
My problem wih the DePodesta matter isn’t that he was fired, it’s that they let the coach go, and then the GM. It also stems from the fact that DePo wasn’t given an opportunity to shape his roster to his liking. All I know is that two years from now, some Dodger GM will be reaping the benefits of an outstanding farm system, one which was preserved under DePodesta as part of his rebuilding plan. As Newhan said in his article today: “At some point, the McCourts need to look in the mirror and let one of the people they have hired play out a blueprint.” I couldn’t agree more