Monday, February 16, 2004
Sayonara, Farewell, Adieu, &c.
I have been visiting this message board frequently over the past two-plus years, and have enjoyed meeting and talking with many of you during my time as the Dodgers' General Manager.So there you have it, Evans-haters. Straight from the horse's mouth. Vlad was in the bag, but for McCourt's ill-timed, poorly-conceived, underfunded bid.
First off, I want to thank Fox, Bob Daly, Bob Graziano, and Dave Wallace for the tremendous opportunity two and one-half years ago. I was honored to have had the chance to be the Dodgers' GM, and I wish we would have had the opportunity to complete our job here.
My staff deserves a huge compliment for their work, especially during this very difficult transition process. I know it has been a stressful offseason, and I wish them the very best and thank them for their support throughout.
I want to thank Dodger fans, because I have seen and felt your passion for your favorite team. My good friend Don Drysdale used to tell me great things about the Dodgers and their fans, and he was so right. You have been great, and while I know the past few months have been frustrating, the organization will benefit from the work our staff accomplished.
I feel good about what we had done in only two seasons -- we inherited the oldest roster, an inflexible one with over $200 million committed, and an organization rated 28th in talent -- near the bottom for the fifth consecutive year when we started.
After only two years, the Dodgers are now in the top four in talent as a result of great work by the amateur, international, and professional scouting staffs, along with an excellent, innovative player development staff. As a result, the Dodgers are on the right track for long-term success and you the fans will be the real winners.
This entire offseason has been extremely frustrating for everyone in the Dodger organization. The offseason is the worst possible time for an organization to go through an ownership change, since nearly all of the key personnel and financial decisions are made during that period. It has been very difficult and the entire organization was affected during the long process.
Everyone in our baseball decision-making group, including Bob Daly and Bob Graziano, knew that we needed to use the increased flexibility obtained in the Kevin Brown trade to the Yankees to improve our offense, and there is no question that we would have accomplished our goal of acquiring a prolific offensive player in his prime -- without giving up any of our prospects -- had it not been for the circumstances surrounding the ownership transition [emphasis mine].
We always took into account the best interests of the Dodgers, both short and long-term, whenever we made a baseball decision. The fans and the organization deserved that. I knew it was our responsibility to make the unpopular decisions which were actually in the best long-term interests of the Dodgers. We developed a gameplan and adhered to it in order to achieve our goal, and our philosophy had the complete support of upper management.
Lastly, I never realized that one pink shirt would cause so much discussion!
Best wishes to all of you and thanks.
Mr. DePodesta -- welcome to the furnace.