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Rosenthal: the Dodgers should have a $150 million payroll

Mar 19, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

Let’s forget for a moment that Ken Rosenthal likes to rip the Yankees and Red Sox new ones for outspending everyone and making a mockery of their division and just enjoy him ripping Frank McCourt a new one for not outspending everyone and making a mockery out of the NL West:

The Dodgers should have capitalized upon their revenues, traded for an
ace at one of the last two non-waiver deadlines and reached the World Series by now. They
should be dominating the NL West, a division in which no other team
approaches their financial might. Instead, they’re fretting over their
starting rotation, which lacks an ace at the top and depth at the bottom.

Goes on and on like that, with Rosenthal noting that their payroll will be lower than the Twins’ payroll this year and asking us, multiple times, to imagine what life would be like if the Dodgers spent $150 million on players. He ends the article by saying “They’re the Los Angeles Dodgers, for crying out loud. Imagine if they acted like it.”

My slight dig at him aside, Rosenthal is absolutely right about this. Between the size of their market, their attendance, their merchandising reach and the fact that they own the ballpark and all the land around it, the Dodgers basically have a license to print money.  If the Dodgers, as Rosenthal says, acted like the Dodgers, they could have made trades for any number of pitchers that have come available in recent years. They could have come to represent a west coast counterweight to the Yankees in the free agent market, diminishing some of Bombers’ power. And if they stepped things up perhaps another NL team steps things up like the Red Sox did in response to the Yankees getting their act together in the 90s.

Except the McCourts (a) bought the team by leveraging themselves to the hilt; and (b) decided to suck money out of the team for their own personal use
at an astonishing rate.  Yes, there has been some recent on-the-field
success in Los Angeles, but what they’ve done while running that
franchise has prevented sustained Yankees-and-Red Sox-style dominance
that they so easily could have realized by now. It’s a friggin’ crime,
really.

  1. scatterbrian - Mar 19, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    This isn’t the first time I’ve read a team’s payroll compared to the Twins 2010 payroll. It makes it sound shocking since the Twins were the Little Engine That Could not too long ago. Now, they have three perennial All-Stars making good money, and they’re opening a new stadium and investing in the on-field product, so it’s not that surprising to see their payroll at ~$95MM. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been recovering from a series of poor free agent decisions that has led them to refocus their efforts on scouting and drafting, and now most of their really good players haven’t reached free agency yet. I agree with Rosenthal’s central point, but comparing the Dodgers and Twins payrolls really added nothing to the conversation.
    (instances dodger)

  2. Ryan - Mar 19, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Baseball in southern california is a joke. Anaheim included.

  3. jwb - Mar 19, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    I hear that USC, SD State, CS Long Beach, and CS Fullerton are quite good.

  4. Route36West - Mar 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    “And if they stepped things up perhaps another NL team steps things up like the Red Sox did in response to the Yankees getting their act together in the 90s.”
    Well that not exactly true. Another team wouldnt have to step up like the Red Sox because the Phillies are already there. They are spending $140 million a year right now on player payroll and if the Dodgers did step up and spend $150 million the difference would only be $10 million which is alot less then the difference between the Yankees and Red Sox payroll.
    And Sorry Rosenthal the Dodgers wouldnt have reached the world series by now because the Phillies would have still been there to knock them out.

  5. jack ROSS - Mar 19, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Thanks to the Mc Courts the franchise has been BLACKENED!!!!!! GREED! GREED! GREED!.
    They give their kids salary for WHAT! I say take the whole family and through them out!!!! The Dodgers haven’t been the same since the city of LA ran the Omally family out of town. Give the Angels some slack Arte and Mike have done well by each other. Last but not least the Clippers are the biggest loooooooooosers. Donald Sterling is all about me just look at the sunday times real-estate section. Mr. big is everywhere but on the court.
    GOOOOOOOOOOO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. geek - Mar 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Money is an excuse for bad management. It is why the players will fight a salary cap as if that will fix the problem, you cannot fix stupid. Too many people wanted to own teams with understanding the business.

  7. Joey B - Mar 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Not to defend McCourt, who comes off as the worst of everything in America, but the LAD have come in first in 3 of the last 6 years, having come in first 0 times in the 6 years before that.

  8. VA_Friar - Mar 20, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    As a San Diego fan I have long said that my worst fear is that someday the Dodgers will become a well-run franchise again. Even before the divorce drama they were failing to leverage their strengths.

  9. CharlieH - Mar 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    The Dodger’s average ticket prices are less than half of the Yankees and Red Sox. In addition to that Fox owns the cable broadcast rights for a few more years. When Fox owned the Dodgers between 1996 and 2004 they lost 30 million dollars a year. If the Dodgers had some sugar daddy like the Mets and Yankees they could have a billion dollar stadium built at taxpayer expense. It seems this sportswriter wants the Dodgers to jack up ticket prices by 100 percent, gut the taxpayers for 1 billion dollars, and go spend 50 million dollars on a bunch of worthless, overpriced, primadonna, steroid abusing, ballplayers. The Dodgers had 95 wins in 2009, the same as Boston, the Angels had 97, the Yankees had 103. Where does Rosenthal or Calcaterra or anyone else get off ripping the Dodgers when they have no clue about being successful. You can keep your high ticket prices and taxes and the Western teams will win anyway. Pay those overpriced free agents out of your onw pocket. Ryan, the Angels are the best run team in MLB. VA-Friar, San Diego, Really.

  10. CharlieH - Mar 20, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    The Dodger’s average ticket prices are less than half of the Yankees and Red Sox. In addition to that Fox owns the cable broadcast rights for a few more years. When Fox owned the Dodgers between 1996 and 2004 they lost 30 million dollars a year. If the Dodgers had some sugar daddy like the Mets and Yankees they could have a billion dollar stadium built at taxpayer expense. It seems this sportswriter wants the Dodgers to jack up ticket prices by 100 percent, gut the taxpayers for 1 billion dollars, and go spend 50 million dollars on a bunch of worthless, overpriced, primadonna, steroid abusing, ballplayers. The Dodgers had 95 wins in 2009, the same as Boston, the Angels had 97, the Yankees had 103. Where does Rosenthal or Calcaterra or anyone else get off ripping the Dodgers when they have no clue about being successful. You can keep your high ticket prices and taxes and the Western teams will win anyway. Pay those overpriced free agents out of your own pocket. Ryan, the Angels are the best run team in MLB. VA-Friar, San Diego, Really. No one should have to mortgage their house to go watch a baseball game.

  11. JoeT - Mar 21, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Calcaterra, you and Rosenthal both are full of it. Why don’t you go back to making up storys about your favorite people, your PEDo heros.

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