Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Putting On Airs, Just Passing Gas
Q (New owner) Frank McCourt said he wanted to keep the payroll around $100 million this year. Can you take on money beyond that?Ah, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.
A We haven't gotten into that. My sense is Frank's definitely committed to putting together a winning team, so it's probably a case-by-case basis. He set an area where he feels the payroll needs to be, but he hasn't said this is an absolute ceiling. [No, in the same sense that a 757 can't go into low earth orbit.] He's committed to finding a way to put the best team out there possible. If that means going over budget, I'm sure he'll be open to discussion.
Q A lot of the players here have below average on-base percentages. Do you feel given how bad the on-base percentage was collectively and individually, you'd be comfortable starting the season with that this year?Oops. Sorry 'bout that one, Paul.
A I'll say this. The good thing about having the pitching staff that we had here last year is this doesn't have to be the best offensive team in the league to win a lot of games. ... The one thing we have over last year is we have a healthy Shawn Green.
Coda (2/19): I claim DePodesta knows the oft-repeated $100M payroll figure is purely fictional and meant as a balm to the wounded pride of the typical Dodger fan, who -- rightly -- imagines his team should compete with the likes of the Yankees for both fiscal clout and star-studdedness. But imagine McCourt is lying even unto his general manager. Well: there is no honor among thieves. Would we expect less?