Culver City Observer -

Dodgers Are Better, But How Much?


August 29, 2012

Mitch Chortkoff

We don’t know how well the Dodgers will do this season but we do know their new owners are committed to spending whatever it takes to field a successful team.

The blockbuster trade last week was a statement to every rival and to Dodger fans.

The Frank McCourt era is most definitely over.

The new owners said they’d be in on everything, meaning trades, free agent acquisitions and giving their own star players generous contract extensions.

So the Dodgers now have Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Josh Beckett. Next season they’ll have Carl Crawford.

But a word of caution. Blockbuster trades don’t always pay off right away. And the Dodgers aren’t the only team that has improved their roster in preparation for the playoffs.

The Dodgers are stronger now, but playoff-caliber teams in both the National and American Leagues have also made key additions.

The Dodgers’ lineup is now among the best in baseball but perhaps no more dangerous than the Angels.

Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Kendreys Morales, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells are a formidable group, yet the Angels have been sliding out of contention recently because of dreadful pitching.

So, as many runs as the Dodgers will score, the quality of their pitching will probably determine how well they’ll do in the playoffs.

The Yankees have eight players on their roster who have hit 200 home runs in their major league careers. Yet they have only a small lead in their division.

So, Dodger fans, be happy you now have owners who will field a team the caliber of what we expect in this market.

But if there’s no World Series championship this year or in the near future understand there are a lott of good teams and only one can be the champion each season.

Now, about Gonzalez. He’s 30, a pro who gives you a consistent effort, a .300 hitter with power and a Gold Glove first baseman.

He replaces James Loney, who didn’t fulfill his potential here.

That alone makes the Dodgers better and whatever else ownership had to do to acquire Gonzalez was worth it.

Next season’s Dodger payroll looks $100 million higher than now. And the owners say they haven’t reached their limit.


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