Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dodger Distractions Make The NY Times

Apparently Billy Witz was at the home opener yesterday--and even filed a report that made the print edition (so maybe the LA Times can use it tomorrow!). And although it doesn't cover any new ground on the McCourt Saga, it does make a point of the declining payroll as well as capital expenditure needs in the clubhouse:

LOS ANGELES — During the winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave a facelift to their cramped, nearly 50-year-old clubhouse, installing brighter lights, posting quotations and photographs of famous Dodgers and putting up cubbyholes above the players’ lockers that appeared to be straight out of an Ikea catalog.

But when center fielder Matt Kemp turned on the stereo system and ramped up the volume before Tuesday’s home opener, there was a crackle, a pop and finally silence.

“I thought we were in the big leagues,” Kemp said, shaking his head.

The Dodgers, who fell just shy of reaching the World Series the last two seasons, hope for better results from the caulk-and-paint job they did on their roster over the winter.

While the Philadelphia Phillies added Roy Halladay, the St. Louis Cardinals re-signed Matt Holliday, the Boston Red Sox landed John Lackey and the Yankees picked up Javier Vazquez, the Dodgers fortified the roster by bringing back Vicente Padilla, whom they picked up after his release by the Texas Rangers last August, to be their opening day starter.

The Los Angeles payroll, reduced for the second consecutive season, dipped to $95 million on opening day, 12th highest in baseball. The Dodgers are one of 14 clubs whose payrolls have fallen from last season, another sign of how the recession has touched baseball. But what sets the Dodgers apart is that they are not in so-called small markets like Pittsburgh or Cleveland — and that their owner, Frank McCourt, is in the middle of a bitter divorce from his wife, Jamie.

We can't afford a #1 starter, or a clubhouse stereo system. Sheesh, this sounds like Kansas City.

10 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

I always like to add context to part of the payroll story, which is that we were able to move some bloated POS contracts off the books for palyers who didnt' work out (e.g., Schmidt), so part of the contraction is good. Still, not holding steady or even icnreasing payroll to keep up with the Phillies or the Rockies, for instance, is notable. It can't be the fact that we set attendance records that we did last year BUT we're feeling the effects of a down economy at the same time. Either there were fewer butts in seats buying Manny wigs, or we set attendance records and the gate revenue is there.

Either way, we need a good TV deal (or our own network), pronto, regardless of who Jamie is schtooping.

Dusty Baker said...

I expect to see this article condensed and re-printed in the LA Times and packaged as Sunday's Dodger report.

Josh S. said...

Payroll schmayroll, I want to know why my Dodger Dogs tasted "off" yesterday. I couldn't quite place it, but there was definitely something different.

Also the loge needs more food variety. OK, I'm done.

Steve Sax said...

Giants up 6-0 on the Bucs, bottom 8

Steve Sax said...

Pirates rallying with a one-out walk, still down by 6 in the top of the ninth...

NicJ said...

Alright everybody, time to start up the SOSG yardsale to buy kemp a stereo for the clubhouse.

That is pretty hilarious though.

Steve Sax said...

No rally. Giants win, go to 7-2.

NicJ said...

how long are Rowand/Renteria/Uribe going to put up +.300 BA's. Revert damn you!!

Mr. Customer said...

I'm lighting a candle at Our Lady of the Holy Regression to the Mean for them, for sure.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I guess the editor told his reporter to make the New York Times look like the New York Post. Or the New York Post look like the New York Times. I forget which one the good one is.