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Monday, November 07, 2005

Pickoff Moves

First Impressions Are Everything

No peeking: which Times writer penned these two grafs?
On the eve of baseball's general manager meetings, I was wondering what Frank McCourt would say to an employee who changed the course of the family franchise, had no alternate plan, and then hid behind the PR people.

After, "Get out," I mean.

If you said, Tim Brown, you either read this column before I did, or you're a sharper man than I ... my guess would have been T.J. Simers. But such is the Dodgers' estate that his jape takes on the cast of the old hacker ha-ha-only-serious half joke, half muttered truth. Proof of this decline -- or for some, just a convenient hitching post for a bundle of complaints, some legitimate, some not -- comes in the form of AGM Kim Ng interviewing for the GM's job. What are the Dodgers doing even looking for a GM? In the old days, a Dodgers GM was immobile, like Farscape's Pilot character, symbiotically and organically attached, and inseparable, seemingly, except through death.

These days, it's more like Harry & David, the fruit-of-the-month club.

Today's fruit, er, GM candidate, is John Hart. Despite earlier reports that Hart would stay in Texas, the Times today reports that he's still in the running. Further, we now know that --

More fruits, more instability.

Two Paragraphs With Punch

Here come two paragraphs that tickle my concerns about the McCourts' finances, buried at the end of Sunday's Times story on Kim Ng interviewing for the Dodgers GM job:
The Dodgers have cut the number of teams at their academy in the Dominican Republic from two to one. They plan to lease half of the complex, which includes fields, offices and living quarters, to another team.

Rene Francisco, who resigned as Dodger director of international scouting, has taken the same job with Atlanta.

Another day, another defection. And more importantly, another "cost-cutting" measure that looks, at least on the surface, like Frank's starting to shave pennies in places where he can ill-afford to do so. The team might miss out on the next Adrian Beltre... oh, wait...

Comedy Isn't Pretty

With the McCourt situation having metastasized, we can usually count on Dodger Blues for a good dose of comedy to go along with whatever damage Hurricane Frank imparts on the team. Not this time:
Truth be told, our problem is not with Sabermetrics itself—it's with the Sabermetricians who think it's the be all and end all. While there's definite legitimacy to OPS and WHIP, you simply can't build a successful, fan-friendly team with statistics alone. Unfortunately, these people are too smart for their own good. They discount the intangibles of sports, believing instead that the solution is purely in the numbers. Forgive our lack of sophistication, but that's bullshit. If it were purely in the numbers, Scott Posednik and Geoff Blum wouldn't have hit game-winning home runs that brought the White Sox a World Championship.
Are you kidding me? The Dodgers have done nothing but run out Scott Podsedniks and Geoff Blums this year -- and lost 91 games because of it. Screw intangibles, screw "fan-friendly", I want this team to win, and so, I think, does the nameless author of Dodger Blues. The reserve clause is dead. Get used to it.

Update: for real comedy, go to Yard Work and their uproarious spin on the Lasorda chronicles...


Comments:
I would have guessed Plaschke, as each sentence is its own paragraph.
 

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