The Dodgers’ New Ownership Group is Getting Los Angeles to ‘Think Blue’ Again
There is a sign in the foothills north of Dodger Stadium that reads ‘Think Blue.’ It serves as a reminder to Dodgers’ fans that their team is a team of great tradition.
The past 24 years have only had Dodgers’ fans feeling blue. Los Angeles hasn’t seriously competed for a World Series since that magical season of 1988.
Past owners didn’t do much for morale. The Fox Entertainment Group and Frank McCourt took advantage of the Angelinos loyalty and patience. McCourt did, however, deliver Manny Ramirez at the eleventh hour in 2008, and that was the catalyst for two straight NLCS appearances.
Things in ‘Dodgertown’ were never bleaker than they were in 2011. McCourt had leveraged himself to the eyeballs, and the team could no longer make payroll. Major League Baseball stepped in and assumed control of the Dodgers’ day to day operations. Despite all the turmoil, the Dodgers played well enough down the stretch to finish 82-79.
March 27, 2012 will go down as one of the biggest days in Dodgers’ history. That’s the day the Guggenheim group announced they would be new new owners of the storied franchise. The group, which includes Magic Johnson, promised wholesale changes.
They’ve more than delivered. First it was Hanley Ramirez, followed by Shane Victorino, Brandon League, and Joe Blanton. On Saturday, the group brokered the most ambitious trade in baseball history. (at least from a financial standpoint) The Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto from Boston for James Loney and four prospects. With the trade, the Dodgers also picked up more than $250 million in salary from Boston.
The Guggenheim group has assured fans that this is only the tip of the iceberg, and the team isn’t even close to reaching its spending potential. While I love the ‘Yankee-esque’ commitment to winning now, I hope it’s not at the expense of what has always been a strong suit of the team, its farm system. Los Angeles gave up its top prospects for the Red Sox ‘headaches.’
I know one thing for certain. With Los Angeles’s pseudo team to the south stealing all the headlines and momentum from ‘big blue’ in the winter, the Guggenheim group has Angelinos ‘Thinking Blue’ again.