Perspective on Dodgers for Giants Fans

To begin with a paragraph that I am sure Giants fans will forget reading by the end of this post (this isn’t my first rodeo), I want to publicly state my admiration for the Giants two World Series wins in the last three years.  After a long dry spell, they won with pitching, team dynamic and a slough of “Rudy type shit”  that made it impossible, even for a season-ticket holding die hard Dodger fan not to root for them.  Hard to not like a Matt Cain or a Buster Posey.  Hard not to love the fact that guys like Angel fucking Pagan and Marco fucking Scutaro decided to over index for the sake of just winning the damn thing.

For me, there was zero to dislike about how the Giants won except, well, it was the Giants who won.

Onto the thesis…  Giants fans on Twitter are going out of there way to point out that the 2008 super expensive Yankees didn’t win the World Series.  They point out that money does not equal championships.  They are totally right on both accounts.

What they are missing is that as a Dodger fan, coming off some of the cheapest, most depressing years of all time under Voldemort McCourt, we are printing money and our ownership is actually spending it on BASEBALL PLAYERS which is insanity.

I don’t care if Greinke is any good.  I don’t care if Ryu plays baseball worse than I played his namesake in Street Fighter back in the arcade days (note that I note Ryu was Japanese, this Ryu is Korean).

I am just happy that our ownership group is going out there and fucking things up for the universe.  The Yankees are in financial decline because their stadium isn’t paying itself off fast enough.  The Dodgers went out and took a bunch of expensive players so they could get Adrian Gonzalez.

I remember being in SF for a bachelor party (and it lived up to its name) when the Dodgers came up there and swept the Giants on the heels of the Ramirez and Scutaro acquisitions.  I remember the papers being furious that the new Dodger ownership would constantly be getting Ramirez-types and the Giants would be bargain shopping for Scutaros.  We all know Scutaro turned out amazing and we also know SF papers are drama queens when it comes to baseball.  For the record, I don’t read the LA Times at all, so I’m casting rocks in a glass house.

I guess the point is, the fact that the Dodgers could have signed Scutaro to put pine tar on the team bats for fun caused his price to jump to, well, un-Scutaro levels.  Angel Pagan for that price?  I mean, I get that we spent a lot on Greinke, but he’s won a Cy Young.  Recently.  He’s filthy in the National League and well, we can afford it.  Committing 80MM to Marco fucking Scutaro and Angel fucking Pagan?  Rocks in a glass house.  More like Molotovs in a grass hut.

I hear the formula of keeping a winner together, but if that was the case, where is Cody Ross?  If keeping a team together meant repeat wins, well, there’d be more 3-peats in baseball.

The part I fail to understand in this “money can’t buy championships” logic is that money buys every championship.  Some players cost less than others.  Some championships are expensive.  Some aren’t.   Of course the example of the 2008 Yankees is true, that monster payroll didn’t lead to a World Series win.  At the same time, the Phillies had a payroll of over 106 million, a franchise record.  They spent more than they ever had and it equalled a title.

While I agree spending just to spend doesn’t guarantee titles, it does improve rosters and it buys better players.  The better team on paper doesn’t always win.  But they win a lot of the time.

The thing is, Giants fans haven’t quite grasped the amount of money the Dodgers have, because very few understand it.  Everyone said 2.15 billion for the Dodgers was ludicrous, except the Guggenheim line was basically “it was the right price because you can’t buy the Dodgers every day”.  2.15 is what it cost and when you have so much money you are considering buying AEG also, you don’t care what it costs, you just buy it because that’s what you want and that’s what it takes.

It’s not a weird concept for anyone who ever bought a house.  If you have the money, if you can afford to outbid your competition, you just do it.

Then there is the media deal.  LA is the #2 DMA and has no real competition for summer live TV.  Look at what the Angels got paid and the 6+ BILLION the Dodgers are sure to net.  The Angels are not from LA, no one in LA cares about them and the proof was KCAL dropping them the year the won the World Series to get the Dodgers, who finish second to last that year (I believe).  The Dodger logo is “LA”.  It’s on tattoos and t-shirts and bumper stickers.  It’s the city brand along with the Lakers and suddenly, they have the money to fashionable again.

So think about what 6 billion dollars (which is lower than what the final sale will be) breaks out to over 25 years.  That comes out to 240 million dollars a year.  There’s your payroll covered for a quarter century before you sell an overpriced t-shirt, an 8 dollar Dodger Dog or even a single solitary ticket.  That’s before you get advertising dollars.  That’s before anything.  And they are going to sell the rights for more than 6 billion, I was being conservative.

6 billion is the new conservative for the Dodgers.  Like it or not, they changed the game.

Many think this is a bubble for baseball, fine.  Dodgers sold their house before the bubble burst.  That deal is a contract and if the bubble bursts, it won’t be the Dodgers missing out.  Their 240 million a year will just pay for more players.

The next argument has been that you can’t just buy talent and expect to win.  I actually agree, but the thing is, the Dodgers have so much fucking money right now they are going to stock the farm system too.  They signed a Cuban defector for 42 million.  They are going to draft the Zach Lee’s of the world who teams let slip only because they are expensive and not bat an eye at offering them 5+ million to give up getting crushed in pads in college football.  The Dodgers have the money to spend big in the pros and in the farm system.  They’ve poured more money in a year into scouting and player development than most teams do in five years.

They signed 8 pitchers and now can trade a Chris Capuano for prospects or bullpen help because they can eat his salary if they have to.  Money doesn’t just help you sign free agents.  It helps you sweeten deals.  It helps you sign better draft picks who otherwise you’d ignore.  It changes the game if you are committed to playing every facet of it.

They are going to grow their talent AND buy it.  They didn’t even give up a draft pick for Greinke.  It’s a juggernaut like that of the Real Madrids of the world.  It’s more than the Yankees did because they never stocked the farm system.

How did the MLB let such wealthy owners come into the league?  Simple.  They were the assholes who ruined the Dodgers by letting Frank McCourt buy them on a stolen credit card.  Dodger fans, the team, the city suffered embarrassment after embarrassment with McCourt.  They dealt with a lack of security leading to Bryan Stow being beaten in the parking lot and it was totally appalling and a tragedy none are proud of.  They owed us and they knew it.  They fucking took team control away and forced a sale and the richest people ever to want a team bought it, partnered with a guy who is famous for building farm systems and an LA sports icon who just tweets hilarious shit all the time.

ADIOS FRANK.   That’s over now.  It’s all over now.  Guggenheim Baseball is making a statement and it’s loud an clear.  If it can help, we’ll buy it.

Fucking Ned Colletti went from being a headache to a guy reciting poetry about seeing toothpicks and thinking redwood tree.  As a long time fan and season ticket holder, it’s an odd feeling.  It’s literally like you’ve had an awful, ugly, mean teacher who has been flunking you and trying to keep you out of college get replaced by a former Victoria’s Secret model who wants to let you ditch class, take you to prom and buy you a Bentley.  And she likes watching sports and bourbon too.

So pardon us, Giants fans, if we aren’t worried about what it costs or if it means we’ll win next year.  Pardon us if we don’t see the same pressure to win that we’re supposed to.  It’s been 23 years and suddenly we have a chance again.  We can sign Brian Wilson just to tell jokes for more than you are overpaying Angel Pagan.  That’s real.

You won two World Series in an amazing, gritty manor that made me appreciate you and root for you even though I hate you.  That’s amazing.  Like Tonga is at the Fairmont.  It’s good for baseball.

Guggenheim is good for Los Angeles.  You don’t have to understand, but we’d rather have a Lakers team with stars struggling than a scrappy team.  That’s the city.  Better or worse.  That’s us.

Sure, right now it just looks good on paper.  We all saw this team needs to gel.   Damn, though.  It looks good on paper and we’re not even done.

I wish you good luck this season.  After 50 years of futility, you have taken control of the rivalry.  We finally have the means to try to do something about it.  Can’t wait.






Filed under Rants and Musings

24 responses to “Perspective on Dodgers for Giants Fans

  1. gregg

    #FTFO. Order will be restored and the revolution will be televised (for a hell of a lot of money!)

  2. Nice perspective, indeed. The great Dodger in the sky will have this team firing on all cylinders by June…then look out.

  3. Pingback: Offseason Discussion-2013 Edition - Page 38

  4. Ian

    FWIW, it was $78M committed between Pagan, Scutaro, and Affeldt. As a Giants fan, I’m officially afraid of what the Dodgers can do over the next several years. Obviously, it’s important for the Dodgers to spend their money wisely. When they don’t, no matter what silly things the Giants have done, Giants fans will laugh. Because that’s how rivalries work. Lastly, the one thing I rarely see brought up in articles about the Dodgers payroll is the luxury tax they will have to pay. It won’t break the bank, but it could be more than many expect.

    Anyway, good read. Good luck.

    • Zack Jerome

      good luck this year. that said, we could pay your luxury tax (if you spent enough) and ours and it wouldn’t mean anything. Not when you are paying 25m just to negotiate with a 3rd starter.

  5. z$

    I usually like what you write, but get the facts straight: Pagan and Scutaro signed deals worth a total of $60m. Where’d you get $80m from? Yeah, just add $20m on to make your point…

    Also, in 2011, the Giants had a legitimate chance at repeating as NL West champs (and maybe more, judging by their established recent history of playoff success) if they didn’t lose Buster Posey to a broken ankle at the beginning of the year. 3-peats don’t happen in baseball, but the Giants have been pretty close. Scary.

    • Zack Jerome

      I lumped the affeldt signing in, apologies. i dont think 60m for scutaro and pagan feels any less absurd. i don’t deal in what ifs, the giants did lose posey. what if matt kemp, ethier, lilly, on and on and on didn’t get hurt?

      i give the giants credit for their 2 amazing WS wins. not for legitimate shots. matt kemp had a legit shot at a triple crown. he got hurt. that’s the game.

      it’s all on paper, but these teams aren’t close now.

  6. Peter

    Dude…. I’ve been waiting for two years for lay people to understand what kind of local money is available to teams – ever since the Rangers signed their 3B RSN deal in Nov 2010.

    You’re acting like you’re ahead of the game, when, in reality, you’re one of the stragglers who is only now beginning to get a clue. Good example of Dunning-Kruger.

    • Zack Jerome

      Dodgers money not comparable TO Rangers money.

      • Peter

        Not comparable? Of course it is – the Rangers deal showed to the public what kind of local revenue was available to second and third tier markets – it was only a matter of “when” for teams like the Dodgers to begin to recognize that revenue stream, magnified, of course, by their market size. Only McCourt’s divorce mess, and general incompetence, prevented this kind of deal from occurring 18 months ago.

        It’s obvious the Giants recognized all this back in 2008 when they decided to take a 30% equity stake in their own RSN. They’ve been quietly raking in the cash ever since.

        Regarding the sale of the dodgers, I wrote this back in Mar of this year: “….assuming the new LA owners are rational, and the Dodgers aren’t viewed as a unique consumption item. If the price is based upon an estimate of the positive cash flow the Dodgers will generate (which I think is an an accurate assumption), then, while there are probably some unique branding that won’t carry over to other teams, it should bump up most team’s valuation. Bottom line, the price here is a recognition of the cash flow potential coming from regional sports networks. We’ve already seen that in Texas.”

        This has been a topic of discussion in many Giants related sites across the net ever since the sale. If I’d known it was going to be this long for Dodger fans to catch up I would have written a primer for you.

        BTW, you might want to review the new CBA. There are hard caps on draft picks/foreign free agents. The caps are way too low (google Mark Appel). so I expect some kind of response by agents in the next free years, but for now, all the money in the world will not buy you leverage with amateur free agents.

        Really……. look up Dunning-Kruger.

  7. TJ

    dude you need to proof-read:

    “they have the money to fashionable again.” you mean, “to be fashionable”?

    “the proof was KCAL dropping them the year the won the World Series to get the Dodgers” you mean, “the year they won the World Series”?

    Not to mention your prose is awful. You curse too much. One ought not use conjunctions in writing.

    Maybe you should throw some money at your awful writing style.

  8. Woody

    As a Giants fan I’ll chime in with a couple of things…
    First of all, you have every reason to be fired up, especially after suffering through McCourt and that whole travesty. It is kinda like being repaid for the Paul Hackett years with the pure insanity that ensued after Carroll’s first year. Even as a Giants fan, I can admit that you guys deserved better.

    Secondly, any Giants fan that thinks that this doesn’t turn the Dodgers into a perennial playoff team is fooling themselves. You can Yankees didn’t win in blah-blah-blah all you want, but this is uncharted territory, not even the Yankees spent this kind of cash. But with that said you still have to play the games, and we’ve all seen talented teams with big payrolls exit early. And while I’ll be the first to admit that the Dodger’s are headed in the the right direction quickly, I’m not cowering either. You like your guys, I like mine. With big money comes big expectations, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. It will be interesting to see how guys like Beckett and Gonzales who were corrosive personalities in Boston mesh with the team. This is a pretty grand experiment, and as a baseball fan, I am curious to see how it turns out.

    And finally, it is about damn time this rivalry had some life breathed into it again. After a decade of ESPN force feeding us the Yankees and Red Sox, it is about time the nation gets to see how we do it west coast style. And without a goddamned designated hitter. This is the greatest rivalry in sports and I’m glad the Dodgers are finally able to join the party and make this rival relevant again! Let’s fucking do this thing…

    73 days until the first spring training game…

    • Zack Jerome

      You sir are a baseball fan. Good luck and congrats on the spoils

      • Woody

        That means something coming from you. I’m also not afraid to admit that I have my SoCal peeps procure packages of Dodger Dogs so I can freeze them at grill them throughout baseball season because they are that damned good. I freely acknowledge Vin Scully is the greatest broadcaster ever. And sometimes I stand in the upper parking lot at Dodger Stadium and tear up while gazing at the rugged beauty of the LA skyline.

  9. brennan

    since you don’t deal with “what ifs” wait till the next few seasons are in the books to tell us how absurd the contracts for scutaro and pagan are. i have a feeling that even with this superstar lineup the dodgers have assesmbled the giants will get it done on the field and the dodgers will just keep spending big on players past their primes and be stuck looking up at the giants at the end of the season.

    • Zack Jerome

      That was a what if. All I was talking about were facts. About payroll and league dynamics. They have to play the games still to be sure.

  10. Jeremy

    If you were to take Arrogant Nation behind the woodshed and turn Lost Angeles into a Dodgers blog, I’d have no objection.

  11. Zack Jerome

    Atta boy, play ball

  12. Too Easy of a Target

    I’m glad you are a baseball fan at the same level of college football. I absolutely love them both as well. The only addition I can make to a post like this is to talk about Greinke. I am a lifelong Kansas City Royals fan, and unfortunately for someone in his early 20s, means never seeing one good team.

    Although I am a Royal to my core, 2012 was especially heart-breaking, as I have now lived through every single MLB franchise at least compete for a playoff spot in the last 4 years, including the Pirates, Twins, Orioles, Blue Jays, Rays, and etc. The small market excuse is officially gone. However, above all, I am a fan of baseball, and seeing and hearing Magic talk the past 10 months just simply thrills me. I wish the Royals could have an owner that invested in his club.

    As for Greinke. The dude is a stud. I saw him up close in 2009 and he was pitching on a level that is only matched by the Lincecum’s, Kershaw’s, Halladay’s, Verlander’s, and Sabathia’s of the game. He won the Cy Young with one of the most overwhelming percentage of the votes in the history of the award. He was at 95+ with movement, on a dime, with one of the best hard sliders in the game. He won 16 games pitching for the perennially worst team of the 2000s. He will do well in LA, where he can shine but won’t be recognizable. Kemp and Kershaw can take the spotlight, Greinke doesn’t want it. I wished like hell that he could be a Royal once more, but the next best thing is to at least see him in the Royal blue, albeit with different letters on the hat.

  13. Adrienne Scott

    The one area I fail to understand is why the Dodgers are buying players with a reputation of being horrible ball club guys. I think the Giants have proven that chemistry is important, and when you are down or the underdogs it is what can drive a team to win. The Dodgers have great ball players, but a team? We’ll see. Phillies in 5.

  14. Dan J

    As a DIE HARD Giants fan, I definitely can feel the Dodgers growing stronger, yet I’m (at this point) not worried in the slightest. They have money the likes of which has never been seen in American sports. But the fact remains, they really have to show that they have the guys in the front office who are smart enough to sign and draft the RIGHT guys. Anyone can bring in the flavor of the month, but it doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily work. I’ll say this. The Dodgers are probably going to be a force fairly soon. But seeing them throw an insane amount of money at guys and fall flat on their faces in the beginning will make it so much more tolerable. When it comes to the Dodgers, I’m like Wes Mantooth. I HATE the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the bottom of my gut, with every inch of me, I plain, straight hate them. But dammit, do I respect them. When it comes right down to it and you look at the history of the Giants in San Francisco and the Dodgers in Los Angeles, if it weren’t for each other, NEITHER of us would even be here. The Dodgers in my mind are pure evil, but they’re such a necessary evil that our very existence relies on one another. I hate you Dodgers, but thank you for making this all possible.

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