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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The McCourts, The Dodgers, And 6-4-2

I have been taking a bit of a break from the blog of late, but I wanted to return briefly and review the situation with the McCourt divorce, and how it's affecting the Dodgers. Jon today links to a Bill Shaikin piece in the Times that ultimately shows what's perilously wrong with the Dodgers, and in particular, the McCourts' stewardship of that team: they're busy accumulating mansions while the Dodgers' talent pipeline languishes.
The Dodgers have paid $8.5 million in signing bonuses for draft picks over the last two years -- the lowest figure among all major league teams, according to Baseball America.

The Dodgers, so proud of their heritage in Asia and Latin America, today are a non-factor in bidding for top amateur players abroad. In 2008, according to Baseball America, major league clubs combined to sign 115 such players for bonuses of more than $100,000. The Dodgers did not sign one.

"They're definitely not the pioneering team they were," Baseball America editor John Manuel said. "They've squandered that advantage."

When I started this blog in 2004, the question before the house was whether the McCourts would prove sufficiently solvent to put a good team on the field. The results there have been surprisingly strong to date, but the direction they're headed now appears to be a huge question mark. With the Moores divorce in San Diego wrecking the Padres franchise for the past season and the immediate future, the results there can only serve as a warning. Part of me feels like saying "told you so" about the McCourts, who have, in the end, proven as selfish, vain, and brittle as they appeared in their first press conference. But the story has proven to take a different turn than I forecast, and I expect this next episode will do the same.

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