Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

How to Fix the Dodgers

All-around baseball good guy Joe Torre is stepping down from his MLB front office position to pursue his interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers.  While this is bad news (I think) for those of us who hoped he might take over for King Bud once the reign of terror is over at the end of the year, I have to think that a group headed by Torre is probably a great way to save this storied franchise.

Of course, there are alternatives.  And yep, you guessed it.  The RSBS interns are ready to report:

1.  Go back in time, don’t trade Kevin Brown and instead have him break Frank McCourt’s hand so it won’t wander onto a woman who isn’t his wife.

2.  Stop making it mandatory that Alyssa Milano wear clothes to the ballpark.  (Holy Jackie Robinson, I’ve been in love with Alyssa for 20 years now; she just gets better looking!!!)

3.  Trade Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman for superstar Chris Paul.  Oh.  Wait.

4.  Get a mascot!  I know just the one!

Or… if none of the above works…

How about signing Prince Fielder?  Seriously.  Make him some crazy offer like $30 million a year for 6 years or something.  Wouldn’t that make the Dodgers a nice, EXPENSIVE and attractive purchase?  And besides, it’s L.A.  Just use somebody else’s money.

Hate me.  FINE.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Team Edward Rep, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins

Things are changing for me. Before I know it I’ll be wearing jeans and reading fiction. I don’t know where I am. My favorite color is rainbow. I’m giving in to wearing sandals over socks. I don’t need the therapy! I’m just mentally ill!

Tony Effing LaRussa is back in my world and I CAN’T STAND IT. He’s a throbbing, raging, @$$bag that I wish would go away but he won’t. And you can’t kill him. If you try, he just keeps coming back. And, with all my might, my baseball sensibilities consume me so much that I can’t not respect the man.

When I was a child I would squint and mistake him for Thundercats supervillain Mumm-Ra (Magician or sexual deviant?).  I wanted to lightsaber him over and over BECAUSE I AM A JEDI!  His steroid riddled teams have infuriated me to no end. I loved the Dodgers and Orel in the 80s, the Giants and their earthquake, my Cubs of the last decade. I’ve always respected the man and his managing abilities; but he really has outdone himself this year. WOW.

When the Cardinals beat the Tigers in their last World Series appearance with no pitching, that was quite a thing. What’s happening now is nothing short of spectacular managing. My Jeffy’s Cards are the hottest team in baseball and I will once again be rooting against Texas. Watching this series will be like being touched by a priest…

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Sovereign Default and the Dodgers

As the possibility of an US default on its sovereign debt draws agonizingly close, I’d like to try and put this in terms that baseball fans can understand.  The USA, the greatest country in the history of the world, is about to become to world finance what the Dodgers are to MLB.  Yeah, this is bad.

Basically the US is like a rich guy who can keep borrowing money as long as the bank keeps upping his credit limit.  He has enough money to pay the interest on the debt and as long as that continues, the bank will keep lending.  But when he misses a payment, the bank has to do something about it.

Think Frank McCourt.  Dude had money, that’s for sure.  But he mismanaged his cash flow and when he and Jamie went bust, the bank took notice when he couldn’t quite make the payments anymore.  Pretty soon after that, although maybe not soon enough, MLB took notice, too.  Now McCourt has no Jamie and no Dodgers.

The much publicized divorce between the tea fueled Republicans and the spineless Democrats has led the country to the brink of a similar epic failure.  There are still a few days left but at this point they’re looking more Frank and Jamie than Nestor and Kristina.

So, for anyone out there who still isn’t convinced that a sovereign default is a bad idea, let me ask you this.  Was allowing Frank McCourt to run the Dodgers into the ground a bad idea?  If your answer is yes, than it’s time for you to call your congressional representatives.  If no, well, you’re either a Giants fan or Michele Bachmann.

-A

The Filibuster

A bunch of teams are clustered right around .500 and above and no division is even close to being set at this point.  Does this mean baseball is starting to reach parity?

Sean
Caledonia, MI 
___________________________________

Beware, my friend.  I sense… something.  This… parity you speak of…

IT’S A TRAP!

It’s not real.

Just make-believe.

The truth is, the same old teams are still atop the same old divisions.  The Yankees.  The Red Sox.  The Phillies.  Okay, so the Mets and Dodgers may be out, but it’s not their faults!  They can blame poor ownership and mishandled funds!!!

I know that a quick glance at the standings may confuse the casual onlooker, that one could be easily misguided by the way the teams stack up.  But let’s face it: the NL and AL Centrals have been crapshoots for a decade, the NL West has been a contest in mediocrity for a long time.  The Angels’ dominance of the AL West was only usurped last year and in 2011 they have put themselves back in contention.

This is not parity.  This is, like our US American social ladder, a classic case of 99% of the wealth being in the hands of 1% of the population and everyone else is left to fend for himself.  The effect resembles something like parity.  But it ain’t.

It’s pitching.

I really believe that the Mitchell Report and its subsequent juicy fallout has forced teams to go back to what always works: good pitching.  With good pitching, you might have a decent shot at accumulating wins.  The Giants are a perfect example of a team that gets by on minimal offense and middle-of-the-pack payroll.  It’s not the stuff of dynasties… but when it works, it works, and that’s what teams are doing.

The Pirates are winning because of pitching (they can’t hit).  The Braves are winning because of pitching (they have a hard time scoring too).  The Diamondbacks could always hit, but this year they have… PITCHING.

Great pitching is the best defense against great hitting.  I didn’t write that.  Baseball wrote that.

When the Orioles and Blue Jays can compete in their own division… when the Nationals have a shot at the big boys in the NL East… that’s when I’ll consider parity’s existence.

But right now that seems like something that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away.

Hate me.  Fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Curious to know just how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Mr. Krause?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

All That Glitters Ain’t Always Gold

Outside those of the Yankees and Cardinals, I have to say the Los Angeles Dodgers uniform is one of the smartest, snazziest and most iconic uniforms in all of baseball history.  Admiring that crisply clean white jersey hosting an artfully playful blue cursive script and resplendent red digits, it’s hard not to fall in love with its glamor.  Throw in the Hollywood factor and it just becomes that much more impressive.

But if we’ve learned anything about the Dodgers in the last year, it’s that looks can be deceiving.  The team is in dire financial straits, they’re not playing very well, and to make things worse: they owe Hall of Fame fraud Manny Ramirez over $8 million.

Um… awkward?

Meanwhile… tall, lean and handsomely square-jawed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney looks… great.  I mean, dude is Ronnie Reagan 2.0 with more money and better ideas.  In fact, if Republicans didn’t know any better, they might think Mitt leans a bit to the left.  His liberal domestic policies and urgency to end U.S. participation in the Afghan war against the Taliban are perfect examples.

However, like the L.A. Dodgers, when we actually pull back the curtain on the swaggering Republican politico, we find something a bit… um… awkward:

Hate me, hate me, hate me all day… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Team of Rivals

Cardinals cubs rivalry
Yankees/Red Sox.  Reagan/Gorbachev.  Lindsay Lohan/Sobriety.

Rivalries make otherwise routine matchups a bit more interesting.  They breed adrenaline.  They invite ingenuity.  They spark passion, no matter how dormant.

But, as we witnessed earlier this year in the case of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, baseball rivalries have also been known to get out of hand.

Admittedly, there was a time when I allowed my flippancy towards Chicago Cubs fans to reach a critical point.  In the summer of 2007, fresh off a World Series crowning but at a time when my Cardinals weren’t playing too well, a few too many Old Styles found their way in my system and what started out as simple boasts of pride for my interlocking “STL” and redbirds-on-the-bat garb soon turned into a verbal shouting match with a gang of pinstriped kids from DePaul.  Throughout the game, my taunting parried with their rage (they too weren’t quite sober) and it escalated when I found myself surrounded by them in a Wrigley field restroom. 

Instead of shutting up, I just got louder.

And before I knew it, I was at the bottom of a pile of angry, angry feet.

I learned my lesson that day: sports aren’t any fun when you’re literally getting your @$$ beat.

So I don’t do that sort of thing anymore.  I smile.  I nod.  I tip my cap to good plays and keep my nose buried in my scorecard (or beer). 

And that’s how I’m going to enjoy my Redbirds coming to town on Tuesday.

Also, I’m taking my pal, Johanna Mahmud — Cubs fan extraordinaire.  He’s scary looking… good for keeping the riff-raff at bay.

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Selig and the owners finally had enough of McCourt and took action, but
what about the franchises that are still technically solvent but just
suck?  Why hasn’t the commish done something about the Pirates?

Dan
Ferndale, MI
____________________________________

friendly pirates.jpgAhhhh yes… once again, the revolving doors of ineptitude bring us back to…

The Pirates.

And
why shouldn’t they?  In all of professional sports, one would have quite a
difficult time finding a more moribund team than the lowly Buccos. 
While all of the big four US American sports thrive by having a healthy,
parity-laden cycle of teams going from the top of the ranks to the
bottom and everywhere in between, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been stuck
at bad.  For 18, long, terrible, horrible, awful, green-pea-spew inducing years.

In a row.

So, indeed, Mr. Dan, you bring up an excellent question: How is it that MLB sees no issue intervening with financially strapped clubs like the current Dodgers or the late Expos de Montréal (pouring out some liquor for my boy, Youppi yo!) but meanwhile sits back and says nothing as the Pirates organization embarrasses itself year after year after year, alienating the five or so fans left in western Pennsylvania in doing so? 

That’s easy, Dan.  One word:

MONEY!!!

The Pirates may have more issues than Lindsay Lohan on $5 Jaegerbomb night, but, when all is done, the Pirates still MAKE MONEY

obama money.gif
Haven’t you noticed?  To the suits picking each other’s noses up in the luxury boxes, it’s not about winning.  It’s not about getting better.  It’s not about keeping score or the waft of freshly roasted peanuts or the soothing effects of finely cut green grass on the old eyeballs. 

It’s about making bank.

And as long as they line their pockets with plenty of paper, MLB ain’t gonna say jack.

Like my loquacious and oft contorted colleague, Mr. Krause recently pointed out, sometimes MLB gets it right.  King Bud could not sit back and let one of the league’s most storied franchises fail because of atrocious financial mismanagement.  And other times, MLB gets it way wrong… like they did in intervening with the Florida Marlins (a very successful organization in regards to winning) and the way they chose to spend profit sharing funds trickling down from the top*.

But one thing is certain: MLB is a business.  MLB is about being a profitable business. As much as romanticized baseball super-nerd-dorks like Mr. Krause and I would like to believe that a certain utopian joy for the game and its purity is at the core of Major League Baseball’s business philosophy, the truth is: it ain’t.

If it were, the Expos would still be alive.  The Dodgers would have never left Brooklyn.  And someone would have intervened in the gargantuan atrocity also known as the Pirates’ front office.

Hate me.  Fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff
 
*For an excellent read on just how wrong MLB was in their handling of the Marlins, check out this article from the Prince of New York.

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just peeling back the layers of Mr. Krause’s feminine wardrobe

Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
.

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 22: Ryan Braun’s Rumspringa… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 7.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna kick the season off by trying to name every Jewish baseballer ever known to man before PodMaster Keith let’s The 8:08 (from harried Undercast fame) into the studio… from there on out the wheels come off in one great big ball of awesomeness that includes Dodger takeovers, Hawkisms galore, goofy games that may or may not include a sexual innuendo (or fifty) and much, much more… all to make you excite!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you take some time to check out Keith and his crew’s wicked smaaht podcast.  The man’s a filmmaker!  You can find out more at Undercard Films

- – -

Recorded Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GM and the Dodgers: A case study

government_motors.jpgWhile writing the filibuster the other day, I got to thinking.  What’s so bad about MLB taking over the Dodgers?  It’s not something they want to do and ideally they’d like to get rid of the franchise as quickly as possible.  Both MLB and the Dodgers hope to emerge from this more healthy.  The weird thing is that as I considered all the aspects of this move, it began to feel a little like deja vu.  I had the distinct feeling that I had read this story before.  Then it hit me.  This same story happened just recently with a little company called General Motors, and the US Government played the role in which MLB now finds itself.

Just like today’s Dodgers, GM found itself in trouble because of profligate spending, terrible management and an inability to provide the consumer what they demanded.  As it became clear that GM could no longer support its obligations and refused to make the changes needed to resolve its issues, the government stepped in. 

Just like with MLB’s decision to take over the Dodgers, the government’s decision with GM had its share of detractors.  Although I don’t think anyone outside of San Francisco truly wants to see the Dodgers fail as a franchise, a fair amount of the fringe right and left wing in the US were more than happy to watch GM collapse.  While refusing to see what impact GM’s dissolution would have on an already fragile economy, these people decided that the moral obligation was to let GM collapse as an example to other firms.  Obviously this was not an option for the government, just like McCourt’s continued ineptitude with one of baseball’s storied franchises was not an option for MLB and the commissioner.

The real moral of this story comes in the aftermath.  GM quickly emerged from its bankruptcy and government receivership.  More importantly, not only did it emerge more streamlined and healthy after government managers got rid of deadweight makes and models, it also set a record with its IPO.  MLB is hoping for a similar outcome and looks to be using an important tool that the government also utilized with GM: get rid of the management who got you into this problem in the first place.

Since GM rose phoenix-like from its own ashes, those who criticized the initial move have become much more subdued in their comments.  Although the level of criticism hasn’t been quite as great with MLB and the Dodgers, I have a feeling that even those who have decried Selig’s actions will end up eating their words once the Dodgers are resold.  Takeovers are always painful but they aren’t always bad.

-A 

The Filibuster

Now that the Dodgers are controlled by MLB, is the situation there going to be as ugly as their throwbacks?

Jenny
Hammond, IN

____________________________________

frank_mccourt.jpgBefore I address the Dodgers’ situation, I want to take care of the second part of your question.  I’m not completely sure why you find the new throwbacks (an oxymoron if there ever was one) so horrific.  Maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s because it says Brooklyn even though the Dodgers have had nothing to do with that borough for decades.  I don’t know as though sky blue would be my first choice but if you really want to talk ugly, let’s talk Astros, Pirates or Nuggets.  Those, my friend, are some truly ugly uniforms.

MLB taking over the Dodgers?  That’s not ugly.  That’s just business.  McCourt’s running of the Dodgers is to ownership what those old Pirates’ hats were to MLB headware.  A disgrace, plain and simple.  Let’s take it step by step.

First, when McCourt bought the Dodgers, he leveraged the buyout.  In layman’s terms, it’s kind of like he took a mortgage on the franchise in order to buy the franchise.  That’s not a problem in and of itself but when he bought the Dodgers, they weren’t a brand-new, top-of-the-line model.  They were a fixer-upper.  Instead of making the repairs, though, he took any money he made to pad his own lifestyle.

Second, when McCourt’s life started to fall pieces, he used the franchise as his personal piggy bank.  Need to pay the lawyers?  Add a couple bucks to each beer.  Mrs. McCourt won’t settle for less than financial ruin?  Bleed it out of the season ticket holders. 

Third, despite everything, McCourt still doesn’t see any error in what he’s done.  His statement in response to Selig’s action obviates further discussion: “Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30
teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines.”  He simply doesn’t get it.

Here’s the deal.  Like it or not, for MLB to work, the teams in the big markets have to be healthy.  This specifically means New York, Chicago and LA.  On top of that, the Dodgers are one of MLB’s standard bearers.  Jackie Robinson was a Dodger.  Kirk Gibson fist-pumped his way around the bases as a Dodger.  But when the owner of the Dodgers has to take a massive loan just to cover the monthly payroll, something has gone horribly wrong.

I don’t like Selig.  I think he’s done a pretty awful job at managing MLB and some of his decisions will continue to haunt the game for a long time.  However, he made the right call this time.  The courts will most likely take the same view which is heartening to baseball fans and definitely good news for Dodgers fans.  Sure, Selig’s last adventure in takeover didn’t go all that well but that was a different era and Montreal is not LA.

As long as McCourt doesn’t drag this out too long, the situation should be resolved relatively quickly.  MLB wants a healthy Dodgers organization and will work quickly to get the club out of its own hands and into those of an owner who actually cares about the team. In addition, if Selig is smart he’s already looking ahead and realizing he’s going to have bigger fish to fry with the impending implosion of the Mets.  As for Dodgers fans, they can go back to wondering about the throwback jersey.

-A

- – -

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just finding out if Mr. Lung’s affection for Albert Pujols is more cute or creepy

Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers