Desert Sweep: Dodgers Shut Out Again

Enrique Hernandez Strikes out

The Dodger’s early season suckfest continues as the boys in blue dropped their third straight game in Arizona, losing on Wednesday afternoon by a 3-0 score. How long this stinkfest will go on for is anybody’s guess, but the Dodgers looked fatigued and apathetic as they were swept at Chase Field. The loss confirms nine consecutive regular season losses to the Snakes.

Alex Wood tried his best to keep the Dodgers in the game. For what it’s worth he did just that tossing six innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits and striking out five. Unfortunately the Dbacks scored their three runs in the first three frames to put the Dodgers in the early hole. And we all know what happens when the Dodgers fall behind in the opening frames of games, they phone it in.

Dodgers 0 1 0

Dbacks   3 7 0

WP-Corbin-2-0

LP-Wood-0-1

SV-Boxberger-2

The Dbacks scored one run in the first, one in the second and one more in the third. A Jarrod Dyson double and Paul Goldschmidt ground out plated the first run. In the bottom of the second, Chris Owings doubled, store third and came home on a Deven Marrero sacrifice fly to right. In the bottom of the third inning opposing starter Patrick Corbin doubled and was moved to third on a Dyson sacrifice bunt. Ketel Marte’s ground ball single to left brought him in to put the Dbacks up 3-0.

The Dodger bats once again gave us a game entirely devoid of offense. This was the second game in the first week where the Dodgers had an entire game of automatic outs. The Dodgers recorded one measly hit against southpaw Patrick Corbin. The Arizona left hander would strike out 12 Dodgers over 7.1 brilliant innings. Overall the Dodgers struck out 15 times.

http://gty.im/941643200

The lone Dodger hit was a Matt Kemp double with two outs in the top of the fifth. The Dodgers also had two walks, and a grand total of three base runners. The Dodgers had a little mini-rally in the top of the ninth when they put two whole base runners against the Arizona bullpen. Austin Barnes led off the frame with a walk. But Brad Boxberger whiffed Chris Taylor. There was a wild pitch and then a Corey Seager fly out. Yasiel Puig then followed by drawing a walk and the Dodgers had the tying run at the plate represented by Enrique Hernandez. Of course Hernandez would strike out looking on a called third strike like a statue to end the game.

I for one am glad I missed this game because of work. I can take losing, but when they just give up is when I get irritated. And let me tell you they gave up. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Dodgers once again gave up. Because when you get one hit for the second time in a week and shutout for the third time in your first seven games, man let me tell you that is the definition of giving up.

The Dodgers will have a day off on Thursday as they look to get swept in San Francisco. The Dodgers are scheduled to play a three game weekend series up north amid inclement weather. The forecast for Friday night’s game calls for heavy rain throughout the evening. The chances of getting the game in look slim. If the game is played, Derek Holland is scheduled to start for the Giants. The Dodgers will probably counter with Kenta Maeda. The only thing that can save the Dodgers from another loss is Mother Nature. Welcome to the 2018 Dodger season.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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91 thoughts on “Desert Sweep: Dodgers Shut Out Again

  1. It seems we are seeing a replay of the worst skid I’ve ever seen the Dodgers fall into, last season’s nose dive just before the playoffs. I remember Roberts sitting coolly in his manager seat being philosophical, no worries, who cares? They thought of themselves as the best team in baseball. Never mind that they were losing home field advantage, momentum, and identity as a team.

    So, does this team have an identity? If they do, I can’t find it, see it. Is Kershaw our identity? If he is, the fans and the team have a real problem. What is an identity? Is it knowing what you will be doing on a daily basis and preparing for that? Is Roberts contributing to creating an identity with his meddling constantly in the lineups both positionally and personnel-wise? How can anyone get comfortable at their position knowing that either they will not play the same position every game, play at all, or bat in the same order most games? Order is what helps to create an identity. You knew Duke Snider was batting 3rd every game. He knew it, too.

    Roberts is part of the problem but he doesn’t see how he contributes to it.

    The players also have to bear some of the responsibility, too. Forsythe has no business playing 3rd base and should make it clear to Roberts that he neither wants to or that it is detrimental to the team. How many errors in how many games? Is that not a proof? Having said that, I don’t have the answer as to why the Dodger bats slump every season. If anyone can answer that, they should be the manager of the team. Roberts cannot answer it.

    Is it the quality of the players? Are they just not high quality employees? Are we too kind to our team? It seems we often think everyone should be doing better. Maybe they are not able to do better. Maybe they don’t have what it takes to be a consistent force in today’s game. I don’t know. Blaming FAZ will be the last resort for many. We need stars. Our only star is hurt, Turner. Bellinger has potential to star but its too early to say which trajectory he will take. Seager always falls short of ‘star’ performance. Taylor seems like a solid player, not a star. There is no one else on the team who even comes close to star other than a pitcher or two.

    1. A lot of good points Jeff. They were lucky they did not lose home field during that slump. Maybe if they had, they would have played harder against the Stro’s. As for Roberts, I think he handles players egos ok, but as an in game manager, he has a long way to go. He over uses his bullpen, seems to throw the starting lineup’s names in a hat, and comes up with batting orders that defy the imagination. There is nothing he has done in his career to even suggest that Kike is a #4 hitter. Quite the opposite. The main thing I noticed is that after the debacle of Jansen’s meltdown in game one, they had no fire what so ever. They looked and played like they were in a daze. Out hit, out pitched and totally overmatched. They have owned Corbin for years, but he just kept throwing the same pitch up there and they kept flailing at it. If I were the manager, after that 9th inning at bat where the bat never left his shoulder, Hernandez would be on the bench. Screw his versatility, that was brutal. There basically is one star on this team, Kershaw. Turner is a very good player, but he is not a star. Stanton is a star, Harper is a star. Judge is a budding star. Bellinger has the skills to be one and so does Seager. As long as Seager can stay healthy, he will get better. Every time I hear Orel and Joe say that Kenley is one of the best closers in baseball, I cringe. His last 5 games that have been meaningful, 2 losses, 2 blown saves, and 1 save. Sorry, he has not looked like the same pitcher since maybe the Cubs series. He sucked against Houston. Right now he is the 2018 version of 2017’s HR kings, Fields and Baez. There is another failed experiment. Baez should never come in with men on base. Let him start and inning or don’t use him at all. Alexander has not looked anything like he was in KC last year. Adjustments need to be made. If they release anyone it should be that hole in the order Forsythe. Oh and both those blown saves resulted in a loss. Dodgers 1-4 in Kenley’s last 5 appearances. Can anyone say, OVER RATED?

  2. I sense some frustration here.

    These Dodgers do something like this every year. This year they are doing it early.

    I saw this morning Fangraphs has a new projection for us – 91 wins. Sounds close. If so we won’t win the West by 11 games again.

    I don’t like what I see any more than you guys do. But I think it’s a bit early to get the panties in a knot. We are 3.5 games back after 7 games. If we were 3.5 games back with 7 games left I’d be worried.

    Breathe and repeat your mantra for 20 minutes. It’s going to be ok.

    1. Of course, it’s still early. But that is not my beef with this team. It’s every year, maybe twice or three times, they do the slump hump. They do it either collectively or through key players like Joc and Grandal. Now, forsythe has joined them. Of course, Grandal is not in a slump at the moment, but you get what I’m saying.

      I don’t know why you brought up Fangraphs projection. It’s always a guessing game trying to predict what a team will do. Vegas is in business doing it. Every sports predictor picked the Warriors to repeat their magic numbers and win the Finals again this year. I am a die hard fan and I can’t bring myself to even imagine them winning the conference. They are not the same team and all the weaknesses that they’ve shown over the last 4 years seem to have to come home to haunt them. Injury, sloppiness, and mental composure, especially Green and it’s infected Durant. The Dodgers have not done anything to silence their critics who really know the team and see its weaknesses. Meaning us, we know and see the team in a way that sports predictors don’t. Dodgers have some deep weaknesses and they run all the way through the management even though we made it to the World Series last season. It means nothing.

      1. Jeff

        Joc and Grandal are all or nothing hitters, once or twice a year, Grandal will get truly hot, and Joc might have 100 good at bats, once a year.

        And the other regular players, except Forsythe, do a pretty good job most of the entire year.

        They were exactly like this last year, at the beginning of the season, they are always slow starters.

        If Kenley doesn’t blew those two games, they would have been 4 and 2 after that first game, against the Dbacks.

        And Badger is right, although it is frustrating, it is way to early to get over worried about the team.

        Believe me, when I see the other team doing the little things right in front of our team, and our team doesn’t do the same, I get frustrated too.

        Because the Astros did the exact same thing in the seventh game, because they knew runs would be hard to come by, but our guys instead, tried to get it back in one swing, and when any players do that, they are easy outs, for the pitchers.

        There were way to many strike outs in yesterday’s game, so they were trying to do to much, and strike outs kill rallies, and happen way more often, then double plays!

        That is why strike outs should not be considered like other outs.

        1. Well let’s hope MLB doesn’t adopt a ruling of a strikeout being 1.5 outs because most of the Dodgers roster would be churned over within a week.

          1. Chili

            That is for sure!

            But maybe they would realize big swings out of the strike zone, don’t do much.

            All of those strike outs, make the game much tougher to watch, unless it is our starter, getting the strike outs.

          2. Now that would speed up the game…..think about it. 2 strikeouts, inning over. That would create a scenario where the team batting would be swinging early and often and therefore putting the ball in play. Only after accumulating 2 outs would it make any sense to, well bat like everyone is doing now….swinging away, or the typical 3 outcome AB’s.

        2. Let me see if I get this right, MJ.

          In your ideal advanced metric:
          Strikeouts would be more of a negative than other outs.
          Basehits would be more of a positive than walks.
          But walks would have some value.

          Would grounders/flies and liners be the same evaluation, or is there a hierarchy there too?

          How about pitches taken? is that to be evaluated?

          For the record, I think there’s some potential value here. I just think it’s minimal over WAR/wrc+ or OPS even.

  3. What True Blue has been saying all along. I’ve seen it coming with so many of these guys and especially with Roberts. I ain’t wasting my time or energy writing anymore takes on this blue pile of shit.

    See you guys in a few months. OUT

    1. Damn Blue, I hope you reconsider as I value your perspective even though I do not always agree. I too think the team is not as good as some folks think it is but I hope I am wrong.

      1. Package

        Remember what Badger said, this team is not as bad as they have looked, and they are not as great as they have looked.

        But I do get sick of some of the same things happening every year, why hasn’t Baez been addressed, after four or five years?

        There has to be another young pitcher, that can throw just as hard, but can be counted on.

        1. MJ
          The only thing that has been addressed this off season is the luxury tax. That is a sham. The Yankees and others have not backed off.

          1. Package

            The Yankees had less debt then us, but I don’t think it is bad as they want to make us think, because they are losing so much money off the roster, after this year.

            And the Yankees sure did a good job turning their old line up, over to a young line up.

            And I believe the Yankees have only missed, one post season, in the last five years, so that is probably why their GM has been the GM for almost twenty years, so I am impressed with what their GM did.

            Because they don’t get high draft picks, like the Dodgers, but they were very smart, when they traded Chapman, to the Cubs.

            They got some high prospects for Chapman, but still resigned him, so Yankee fans, have to be very happy, where their team is, right now.

            But the Dodgers are the second richest team in baseball, so they better use their financial advantage, after this year.

            They can still do their little stuff, but they should also use their financial might too!

    2. Chili

      That is so true, but that is very boring baseball.

      The Astros lead the American League in HRs, and they had the less strike outs, in the American League too.

      But they got rid of any all or nothing hitters, they had on their team, a couple of years ago.

  4. “The only thing that has been addressed this off season is the luxury tax.”

    That’s basically true. It’s clearly the most pressing thing. We didn’t sign any front line pitchers because of it. We didn’t trade for the game’s premier power hitter, and home town boy, because of it. Frankly I won’t be surprised if the mid season trade we need won’t be done because of it.

    I remind everyone that this squad won over 100 last year, is projected by nearly everyone to repeat as Division champs and is an early favorite for the NL Pennant. They blew home field last year and frankly I won’t be the least bit surprised if they don’t have home field again this year, but I do expect them to be in the playoffs. If I’m wrong, then I will be all over FAZ for f’n this up.

    At this point I still believe in the core group here, most of whom FAZ had nothing to do with acquiring. This could very well be a year the front office genius is tested. We may need another Taylor and another Morrow signing before it’s over. In the mean time, I await the awakening.

    1. Badger you and I both know that projections do not mean spit. This is not the team that won 104 games. There have been subtractions. This is a team with a lot of the same players, but it is not the same team. Morrow is gone, Watson is gone, Darvish is gone as are Gonzalez, McCarthy, and a few others. So far the new kids on the block have not been all that impressive. And at least a couple who have been here a while have looked pretty bad too. They will turn it around at some point and start winning some. But players are going to have to at least come close if not surpass last years numbers. They have a good core that is true. But they have not addressed the major issue since they have been here. The pitching. They will go as far as it carries them.

    2. Badger
      Don’t worry I will definitely remind you of your promise to hold FAZ accountable if they are not in the playoffs. No excuses.

  5. It is all about the money. The Dodgers owners have a lot of it. They want to retain as much as possible. That’s why they tried so hard to get under the luxury tax. You get zero return on that money. But they made a ton off the fact that the team made it to the series. FAZ is a tinkerer. He is not a builder. Both Zaidi and Friedman were brought up in organizations that were frugal. They had to be. At this point I cannot even fathom why MLB has franchises in those 2 cities. Maybe in a few years when some of their draft picks actually make an impact at the major league level, or a international signing becomes a megastar, we might believe they are as good as the Owners do. They have done the job the owners hired them for because the team has been highly competitive since they got here. That’s what ownership wants. We get frustrated, at least I do, when I see ballplayers lack what I consider basic skills. Outside of the pitchers, and even not all of them, none of these guys can bunt worth a damn. They do not have very good situational skills. There is a story on MLB.com about 10 former MLBer’s starting their year in the minors. One of them, Chris Carter, led the league in HR’s just 2 years ago. He is the epitome of the mind set that some of these guys have. The all or nothing, elevate the ball theory. He hit 41 homers, walked over 70 times, and struck out 206 times. When Badger and I played the game, it was about making contact. I was basically a line drive hitter. But I could really get into one now and then and launch it a long way. What I see on this team so far is a bunch of guys trying to hit the ball to Seattle. Forsythe is basically a contact hitter……trouble is he is making little contact. Seager is the same thing. He has the same swing almost every time. I think, at least I believe, his elbow is still a problem, which means the Dodgers have a problem because they have really no backup plan at short. They could of course pull Taylor from CF and stick him in there. But they are loathe to do that. So until Red gets back and puts some fire into the lineup, we are stuck with a lengthened version of the Marx Brothers playing baseball……..Oh, the bullpen will be burned out by the end of July at this rate….the 10 day DL will be a big factor again…..

    1. Michael

      I was thinking maybe Corey does still have some elbow tenderness, or maybe he picked up some bad habits, when he was hitting, with his sore elbow.

      He needs to stop swinging at the first pitch, unless it is really a good pitch to hit, because pitchers, are not throwing him, a first pitch fastball, that much anymore, but Corey is still going after that first pitch.

      1. The whole team has swing issues right now and what is alarming to me is the strikeout rate. 59 in 7 games. Team Leader with 9 is Taylor. The only position player yet to K is…….Joc. Grandal has 7.

  6. This is baseball. It is a marathon. There are always teams that get off to slow starts whether that is hitting or pitching. The Dodgers will be fine. Now, I’m not saying they are going to tear up the league like last year as I along with most, do not expect that to happen. The Dodgers will be fine because of the following reasons:

    1.) They have the best starting pitcher in the game. Sure he has looked human but the reality of it is that he has only given up 4 runs over the 2 games. Bad for him. Good for 95% of the starting pitchers in the game today. It’s his contract year and he will pitch well.

    2.) They still have one of the highest payrolls in the game coming in at #3. That buys you some wins and allows the Dodgers to have many more options to fall back on or make adjustments than most teams.

    3.) And this ties into #2. There are a lot of teams that are not very good (or will not be any good by the time the Dodgers meet up with them). Primarily because those teams are not operating with nearly $200M payrolls. You have the Pirates, Braves, Phillies, Marlins and Reds. Throw in the 19 games with the Padres and those are some bad teams. That is nearly 50 games. I doubt Clayton Kershaw loses ANY games against any of those teams.

    The Dodgers will be fine. As good as last year? No. As bad as 1992? No. The challenge will be to win the NL West for a 6th consecutive year. That is still doable but IMO, the Giants and D-Backs are both prime to overtake the Dodgers this year.

    What this slow start does hamper is the possibility of having the best record as ALL games count towards that. That was huge last year and IMO vaulted the Dodgers into the WS.

    1. Kershaw has given up 3 runs, not 4, all on homers. I do not share your optimism simply because the Dodgers have a target on their backs. And even though some teams really suck, you still have to beat them on the field.

      1. My bad on the runs given up. Yes, I realize he has given up 3 HR’s. All solo shots.

        Here’s a saying that is pitcher oriented…… 1 run should never beat you. While playing or coaching always stated to my team after giving up a run…..doesn’t matter. IF we never score, we weren’t going to win whether it was 1-0 or 20-0. Kershaw did his part in the opener….he held them to 1 run and also got 2 hits attempting to win the game entirely by himself. No one else partake.

        Losing twice 1-0 is unbelievable. Being shut out 3 times in the first 7 games is unimpressive. My thought is ‘what Colletti draftee is waiting in the minors to spark the team this year?’ Unfortunately I think I know the answer.

        Arizona is a good team and was excited for this series at their place. In theory the Dodgers would have been content taking one of the three. They missed that opportunity in game 1 and then the offense only scored 1 run in the final 2 games. That won’t get it done.

        Sure, they will play the games against all those lightweights and they will beat them for the reasons I stated above. When you have the deep pockets, you have an advantage. They will win 70% of the games against the teams I mentioned. Whomever plays around .500 ball or less against the likes of the Pirates, Reds, Braves, Phillies, Marlins and Padres WILL NOT BE PLAYING IN THE POST SEASON. In fact they will not be close to making the post season.

        1. Not sure it is optimism that I am spewing but rather the realities of the current structure of the Dodgers (and large market teams) in comparison to the other teams in the league.

          1. Sounds optimistic to me.

            Good talk Chili. I’m excited.

            We have a high payroll but the pockets aren’t deep this year. We have a salary cap and it’s at the moment a snug fit. I think this is our team and it consists of 40 players.

            We picked up Alec Asher. His fastball is rheostat electric. He has been compared to nobody as far as I know.

  7. Badger
    Somebody must have rocked you to sleep. It isn’t that the Dodgers don’t have deep pockets. It is they won’t spend it. As I have said many times. They are businessmen who care nothing about the Dodgers as well as winning a WS. They only care about making the playoffs where they can say they tried to win which is false. You know as well as I that there have been many chances for them to pick up a player that would take the team to victory in the WS and they refused to budge. When they get out there and compete in the Free Agent Market, I will change my opinion but for now they are pure a$#ho693s.

    Take this year, they need pitching desperately but we get zero, none. We could have had Stanton but they say it is not necessary. Give me a break.

    1. I don’t see it as quite that simple pack.

      These guys have spent over the cap for the 3 years they’ve been here. Remember the discussions on the old board regarding payroll? Some, one in particular, said “payroll MUST GO DOWN and now payroll WILL go down”. I called bullsh*t on that and I was right. Payroll went up. The Times has an article in October of 2015 that reads “Breaking down the Dodgers $310 million payroll.” They also spent about a quarter billion on the International Market. These guys have spent and traded and acquired for over 3 years now.

      But I get what you’re saying. The Dodgers are loaded. It IS a choice.

      I agree they could easily afford to pay taxes again this year, but it looks to me like owners want a cap. Everyone can see how a cap works for other leagues, and MLB wants one. They’re getting it. Personally, from a health of the league standpoint it kinda makes sense. Level the playing field and all that. Keep fans in fly over country interested. It feels like the union is weaker than it has been as it allowed the implementation of the “soft” salary cap.

      Baseball is by no means strapped for cash, especially the Yankees and Dodgers, but look who is working within the system. Collusion? Yeah, I think an argument could be made for it. It’s also possible Guggenheim is preparing to sell and wants to show more profit this year.

      I’m not sure of anything anymore. A lot of sh*t appears upside down to me. But after 3 years of spending FAZ is being reined in. Make it work on <$197 million.

  8. Badger
    Yes, it is possible that they are preparing to sell but I would really be surprised as I know they are making plenty. Yes, they did foolishly spend on the international market. All of those pickups were really not very successful. Just trading, spending and such will not do it. You need proven, quality ballplayers of which they have NOT delivered. They are bullheaded and stubborn and definitely on an ego trip. They want to prove they can do it their way even though it has never been done. All the while, we lose. 30 years is a long time to have to put up with this sh54. I think new owners and management would be welcomed at least by me. I also do not think FAZ is being reined in. They could spend the money if they wanted.

  9. A lot of good points here and a nice balance. The FBZ is on the hook for this season, that is for sure.

    Just adding some more observations: Kenley Jansen and Kershaw are by far the most important players on this team. Their effectiveness (or lack thereof) will have a huge ripple effect. Even if they turn it around, how much effort they expend doing so will determine our offseason. If Jansen is not ready then have Field close for a while.

    1. I was just thinking about asking you to weigh in on this issue YF.

      https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-debt-payroll-20161126-story.html%3foutputType=amp

      Taking a chance by posting a link, but here is the article that got me fired up about debt service compliance. Are they is or are they is ain’t losing money? I find it hard to believe they are, but the accountants can make the numbers say what you want them to say. At any rate, they are choosing compliance.

      1. Badger
        Just another effort to fool the public. No way have the Dodgers incurred as much debt as the article says. Agreed, they certainly have gotten some debt but it sounds over the top to me. They do what is necessary not to piss the public off. I am not buying it.

      2. Hi Badger, that was an article from 2016. But let’s just assume that the debt situation is as they say and there is still hundreds of millions of debt (which is actually likely – see below).

        It should be noted that the debt reduction rule, as reported, is 12 times a net profit measure (very easy to manipulate, but I do believe the failed Cuban signings had a big impact for their pre-2016 “losses”).

        Anyways it was said that their debt is in the hundreds of millions. Let’s say it is US$900 million (which is likely not the case – because if it were the case you can be sure the reporting would have rounded up and called it a billion). At $900 million, divided by 12, means they have to make $75 million per year in fuzzy math “net profits”. $75 million per year, with increased ticket prices, increased interest around country generating merchandise sales,

        Also, keeping high levels of fictional debt reduces taxes, because you can expense interest and bank fees. Debt that is paid down will almost always be refinanced to minimize taxes. In the private equity world, we like to break even as long as possible before we sell for a gigantic profit in long term capital gains, and the banks will all cooperate to help us to this.

        This is why I don’t believe that the Dodgers are in any danger of not meeting any debt service mandates. And if they are in danger for dong so, it is because they want to be at the edge, not because they are in any financial danger. This is not to say that every private equity fund running ballclubs are as safe as the Dodgers, though I would bet none of them are really hurting.

  10. I’m not sure what conclusion you are driving at YF. Can you help me out?

    I 100% agree that in some cases debt can be used to off-set taxes, and that debt doesn’t matter if this is an asset play for Guggenheim, because they’ll never suffer the debt, just sell it with the team.

    And I 1000000000% agree that debt service isn’t affecting the day to day operations (look at the size of the front office, analytics and sports science departments…)

    But Shaikin is a great reporter, and I trust his reporting. Further, the 5-year window does seem to line up with some of the actions we’ve seen this off-season. I guess I don’t see how any of those above factors impact the debt service mandates. Even if they are all true (and, again, I think they are) there could still be mandated levels that the team has to deal with, even if they internally and financially don’t care about debt service.

    1. Bluto, I am not disagreeing with Shakin’s reporting. I am sure he is correct in the half of the story that he knows and is aware of. He is not a professional advisor in the private equity world like I have been for decades. I am just describing what goes on in the private equity world that is not reported. Nothing wrong with Shaikin and I trust his reporting on the 12 times formula – it is in line with my assumptions about the league and debt service. Again, neither Guggenheim nor the FO has never used debt service or lack of cashflow as any excuse for not winning the WS – the owners are making money and they know it. They just want to make more.

  11. If y’all want to go back to when goog’s first bought this team I said they will be out of ownership within 3 to 5 years. The real estate that they acquired around the stadium is nothing compared to the value of the team. They want the real estate not the team. Look at what’s happening in San Francisco. It’s the real estate around the stadium that these big funds want.

  12. Man, this is good stuff. Somewhat heady for a PE Major, but i think I’m digesting most of it.

    “It should be noted that the debt reduction rule, as reported, is 12 times a net profit measure (very easy to manipulate, but I do believe the failed Cuban signings had a big impact for their pre-2016 “losses”).”

    Who decided the 12X measure?

    I guess I figured the international signings as investment, not debt. My mistake. Everything is reported as expense, written as loss.

    Still, the bottom line with this enterprise is these guys paid $2 billion for the team, about a billion more than the Forbes estimated worth, have shown losses every year and now Forbes estimates the value of the franchise at $2.750 billion. It’s the American story that a vast majority of Americans have a difficult time wrapping their heads around. The story reads like this: We here at the top of this Dodgers pyramid make bank, the organization is losing money, and after doing so for 5 years or so we will sell and double our investment.

    Whatever. The bottom line for those of us trying to figure out what’s next is – more of the same bargain basement acquisitions as the cap is reset in 2018. What will that mean for the team on the field? Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

    1. That is exactly how private equity works my friend. I have seen countless break-even or slightly loss-making businesses sold off for gigantic capital gains profits.

      The 12x times rule was made by the MLB, i.e. the club where all of the members are either private equity funds or owners with old money and cozy relationships with their local banks.

        1. They still need we subniveans.

          I just read that the average number of people in an American household is 2.58. They all go to the game today. The grand totals for those three tickets of course vary from city to city, but the average family would have to toil 4.5 hours to pay for their trip to the park. Dodgers fans are actually middle of the pack at 4.7 hours. Is it worth it? Apparently. FCI is on a steady incline for all major sports, Dodgers was up 5.4% last year, to $219. We know it is up again this year. Obviously most of the money is made through tv contracts, and clearly we are glued to our devices all year. Even when they suck we pay up. They’ve got us and they know it.

          Watching the recent games here in Arizona I heard Brenly and Berthiaume remark about the excellent attendance of near 26,000. They actually averaged more than that last year but it was 18k per game less than the Dodgers. The game remains recrementiously wealthy because of our addiction. Thank you sir, may I have another.

          Recompense lemmings.

          1. Badger
            Just a thought. Would all this money making have any impact at all over the resigning of Clayton Kershaw? I am leaning that way.

  13. I could see a Greinke like rug pulling maneuver by a large market team. Kershaw will be 31 next season, a year younger than Greinke was when he was given 6 years by Arizona. He would sell a lot of tickets in a place like Arlington. I’m fairly certain FAZ will go 5, probably at $35mm, but not 6. The risk is just too high for them. He’s already missed time with back issues.

    Obviously no conclusions about ‘18 or ‘19 can be made the first week of April. But, having seen how management operates, I’d start making post Kershaw plans just in case. Buehler, Urias, Santana, White…… good start maybe.

    1. Do not forget Dustin May…..and Wood will be with the team at least a couple of more years. Rockies ink Blackmon for 6 at 105.

    2. My money is on Kershaw winning more games over the next 5 years than the combination of those 4.

      I already know Urias is over-rated and I’m leaning to the fact that most of the Dodger pitching prospect are also.

      1. 2-3 additional years? He’s making > $35mm ‘18-‘20. Are you saying they tear that up and give him more, or keep that and extend him 2-3 years. His best years are stacked up behind him. When I put my pointy FAZ hat on, first of all it doesn’t fit, secondly I’m pretty sure paying a 35 year old pitcher $35 million doesn’t add up for those guys. They would pay him $16 million til he’s 39, but not over $35 million until he’s over 35.

        1. They did a similar thing with an admittedly younger Greinke.

          The thinking being the next 3 years will be more productive than the subsequent 2 or 3, so overpay to keep him here and not suffer when he totally falls off.

          That said, if they project him to age like Hill then I’m wrong at the outset.

          1. Age like Hill?

            I know what you mean, but at age 30 Hill had 400 innings on his arm. 8 years later he has 752. Kershaw has 1947 and counting. Will Kershaw still be pitching at 36?

  14. To clarify my earlier comment about the real estate. Guggs owns 50% of the parking lots with McCrook, who they pay $14mm a year to for the right to operate it. Just the deleopment potential of the lots is through the roof. And that would be keeping the stadium where it is. If they move the stadium downtown the hilltop is worth billions. McCrook bought a strip of land between the stadium and downtown and anything that would connect downtown with the stadium would go right through his property. He might be a crook but he sure knew how to make a buck using SOEM.
    There is also quite a bit more down the hill from the stadium. I know there is a sizeable chunk down towards Sunset Blvd. And there is some along Stadium Way near the LAPD Academy.
    I still don’t think Guggs is in this for the long haul with the team. They will sell out to some consortium they are already affiliated with. These are some very smart guys and they are in it for the dirt. And I don’t mean the infield. They create value by building something others want. Running a baseball team day to day 365 is not their mantra.
    Too many big development deals going on in SoCal and NorCal for them to not be involved in them. Look at Candlestrick Point. That development is massive, and the area around AT&T stadium is starting to get developed.
    Look at the L.A area, lots of new development going on, new high rises everywhere and the new NFL stadium in Inglewatts. I will get off this soap box now and jump on the next one.

    Now let’s see if this team wake up and beat the Gints. People say that these games are only the beginning of the season so don’t too worried. BS!!!!! What if we are only up by a few games the end of September, do you have the confidence they can pull off a division win based on their play towards the end of the last two seasons? I didn’t think so. Every frikin game counts. Every team in our division got better, just not us.

    Next soap box, we have so much depth!!!! BS!!! If we have so much depth how come Forsythe is stinking up third base? What happens when Corey goes on the DL in a few days, or maybe a few weeks? That is inevitable. He is hurting I guarantee it. What about second base? Our depth consists of a bunch of midling utility players. And yes I do like Kike’ a lot…. As a utility player batting 7 or 8. And not pinch hitting in a high leverage situation.
    When someone goes down we have to completely rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. I will always stand behind the fact that baseball players like to play the same position consistently. At least todays players do. The ones coming up probably realize that being multi-tooled will get you to the bigs the fastest. The game is changing, people want to give FAZ all the credit but there are others who have one or two upped them quite a bit recently.
    Joc the only one without a “K”. Wow!!! Curious to see what today’s lineup looks like.

      1. I think Tim is on to something with that land hypothesis. Take a look at that picture I posted. Developers would climb all over each other for a shot at that property. He said some time ago he thought the Guggs would be selling after 5 years. They will make a sizeable profit when they do.

        Chili, man do I hope you are wrong. I also think you could be right, but, I would take that bet. I think Buehler will step in and step up. Urias might be ok, might not, and those other guys project to be mid rotation starters. I prefer to live in a place of positive thinking, but I’m also a realist. Until they prove otherwise, every prospect is just that.

        I learned something today. The word utopia, which means an ideal place or state is made of the Greek words ou meaning not and topia meaning place. Utopia is no place.

        1. I think we will only resign Kershaw, if he is not expecting way to much, so I think this is all up to Kershaw.

          For all the reasons Badger said.

          1. I would hope so, BUT, I think he can make a lot more money elsewhere. He would put butts in the seats in Texas for sure and he would be home. Who knows, the Yankees could even take a run at him. It is all up to Kersh, but I do not see this ownership or FO making him the first 40 mil a year starter, and I think that is what some team out there is going to offer him.

          2. I agree with Michael that IF Kershaw stays relatively healthy (no back issues) and pitches to the tune of a 2.50 ERA this year that someone like the Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Nationals, Angels, Cubs or Giants will be offering him $40M a year for the first couple years and then maybe tailoring it back in years 3 & 4 to $35M and years 5 & 6 to $30M per. That’s a ‘measly’ $210M for the next 6 years. In some facets a great deal considering what some of these other pitchers have received recently. This could get very interesting in 7 short months.

  15. I am at the point with both the ownership and the front office that I do not care about their money, or property, expenses or otherwise. I want to see another banner flying over the ball park. I do not care that they are under the luxury tax. What I care about is wins on the field. I do not even have a favorite player anymore. I may like a player, but favorite? They do not stay with the team long enough for me to give a damn. But what I would like to see is a WS championship banner. Trade everyone, I don’t care. Just fulfill the promise you made when you bought the team that you were going to bring a championship to LA. Trade Kershaw, that will really get you under the tax. Trade Kemp, Turner, all of them. This close, but no cigar shit has gotten old. Raise your ticket prices all you want, I watch the games for 112 dollars a year instead of close to that for one game. Bring up all the kids and start over, makes no difference to me. Getting 1 game from winning it all…..is not winning at all.

    1. Chili

      I don’t think one healthy season in three years, is not enough time to ease any concerns team’s have, when it comes to Kershaw’s health.

      So I don’t see many teams offering to pay Kershaw forty a year, because he will not only be 31 in 2019, he will be 31 with injury issues, and plenty of innings on his arm, especially after how slow this last off season was.

      1. Did not stop them with Greinke and Kershaw is a much better pitcher…..Someone will make a ridiculous offer….bank on it, if the Dodgers let it get that far and do not offer an extrension……but where they are really missing the boat is not locking up Seager and Bellinger.

        1. It might behoove those players to get to FA as quickly as possible. There are a few players that are making far less than they are worth because they were “locked up” early. Bumgarner and Goldschmidt come to mind. Bumgarner’s ridonkulous World Series MVP year he made $3.75mm. Heck we paid Kazmir more than Goldschmidt makes. A lot more.

        2. Michael

          I said I didn’t think many teams would offer Kershaw that, not any team.

          And although Kershaw is from Texas, I wouldn’t want to be pitching in a band box like they have in Texas.

          Kershaw already had trouble pitching in Houston, and the Rangers have an even smaller stadium, to pitch in.

  16. One last thing. I could give a rats patootie about saber metrics. Most of you know that, and I would really like to see the Dodgers have a certified mega star player just once more. Yep, someone like Stanton who hits the ball into the stratosphere. Pitchers are great to watch when they are really great ones, painful when it is someone like Baez. But hitters, Mantle would thrill with a strikeout. A truly powerful big bopper would be nice, especially if the guy makes contact a lot. Not many of them around these days.

      1. Ha ha……..you know damn well I do not. I think they are over rated and a really dumb way to evaluate players. One of these days they will go the way of the Dodo bird……..and I hope FAZ goes with them.

          1. You do know that many of the stats being referenced today have been around a very long time, right? I’ve mentioned it before, my high school coach in ‘65 was teaching us “don’t make an out”. Get on base. He also taught something Branch Rickey referenced in the 50’s – extra base power. Total bases. If we rack up more total bases we win. Another thing I remember him repeating over and over – keep them from scoring and they will give you enough runs to win the game. Defensive runs saved. We were basically using SABR metric tools in the 60’s that Branch Rickey taught in the 50’s that everybody who watched Babe Ruth play in the 20’s witnessed.

            There is nothing new under the sun.

    1. Bellinger and Seager are both 6’4” and could easily carry 225 pounds. Bellinger is 22, Seager 24. When they reach their prime, in another 3 years or so, we could have two 40 home run guys in the lineup. Last year we had 6 guys with 20 or more.

      It’s my opinion we won’t see another Mantle. Guys who hit 50 home runs won’t be hitting .350 and bunting for hits like he did. Strikeouts are ok now. Stanton struck out 163 times last year and didn’t lead the league. Mickey Mantle led the league in strikeouts 5 times, but never struck out more than 126 times. It’s a very different game now.

        1. Who cares?

          He admitted he was a flawed human being and asked those close to him to forgive him.

          I take it you’re not a Mantle fan Jeff.

        2. Babe Ruth used to drink beer and consume a bunch of hot dogs before games. It was a different time there Jeff. Who knows why the Mick did what he did, but he never let it affect him on the field. There have been plenty of HOF worthy players who were worse human beings than Mantle. Some used drugs, and never admitted it. For all his talent, Barry Bonds was a despicable person. Darryl Strawberry basically threw away a HOF career and so did Manny. Never heard a lot of them apologize for anything.

          1. I don’t know where Badger or Norris thought I was somehow judging Mantle. All I asked was if he ever admitted to anyone, or in his book, if he had played any games drunk? Just curious.

            Mantle was one of my favorite all-time players along with Willie Mays. I grew up in the 50’s watching them on tv and seeing them live in the ballpark. I never knew Mantle struggled with substance abuse at the time.

          2. I think it was just the way the question was phrased Jeff. No disrespect intended. The only people who really knew what Mickey was going through were his team mates. Mostly his 2 best friends, Whitey Ford, and Billy Martin. One of the reasons Martin was traded by the Yankees was because the owner thought he was a bad influence on him. I saw Mantle play a few times and he was one of those players who kind of left you in awe when he really got ahold of one. Majestic homers. Frank Howard had the same affect on me. Mays was just such a great 5 tool player and to this day I still think he was the best pure ballplayer I ever have seen. I also remember watching guys like Schmidt, Stargell, Parker, McCovey all take batting practice. They could lose some baseballs. Greg Luzinski hit one in BP 3/4 of the way up the LF pavilion. I was stunned more or less since I had not seen anyone in Dodger blue do that since Howard. I was at Dodger Stadium both times Willie Stargell hit one out over the RF pavilion. First one was off Alan Foster. Just think though how good Mantle would have been had he never injured his knee. And he did that so early in his career. I think part of the reason he drank was to alleviate the pain. Koufax would have reached 200 career victories had he found the control he found in 61 a couple of years earlier, and if arthritis had not been so bad it was going to cripple him, so he quit. At least when it was more clear to Mickey, he finally came to grips with the problem. And he did apologize to his family and friends. He always had class. A lot of fans do not really know what is going on in a players life. How many suspected Steve Howe or even Strawberry of the addictions they were going through. I was stunned when I found out about Bob Welch. You look at the yearbooks and the publicity stills and you cannot see what is going on behind the scenes. It also took me by surprise when Drysdale and Snider divorced their wives. On the surface, all looked well. But that’s life as we all know.

          3. I do remember Doc Ellis admitting to a writer that he pitched some games high on LSD….

          4. The pitcher on my tournament slow pitch softball team in the 70’s used to pitch stoned on acid. Or mushrooms. He could dot the strike zone and had cat like reflexes on anything up the middle. Had a pony tail to the middle of his back. We called him Peabody because he wore glasses and studied physics in college. He’d sit on the bench and give you the algorithms for the perfect 12’ arc that would land back corner outside. He had what we called a photon-ographic memory. Interesting guy.

      1. Badger

        In my girls softball team,my female coach told me I was on base, more then any player in the league, so obviously she was calculating OBA, I will call it, and I don’t know why that was even changed, that is not always an actual percentage with OBP, anyways.

        And back in the twenties or before, they stopped having batting average and went only with OBA, and they ended up changing back to Batting average, because they found the other to not be as good of a measure, for a hitter.

  17. Mickey Mantle was a simple kid from Oklahoma who didn’t really understand what the fuss was all about. He was an American original, living the high life that he never really sought. He was also something of a tortured soul with addictions. Anyone who has gone through that should be able to emphasize. Having gone through addictions myself I found it easy to forgive him.

    I first saw him play in Kansas City when I was 8 years old. I’ll never forget it. He hit two towering home runs and for years I played those back in my mind, out in my back yard in Raytown Missouri. Like so many kids in the 50’s I wanted to be him. And after reading the stories of his escapades, who among us wouldn’t wanted to have traded places with him, if only for a few innings of that magical life.

        1. Badger

          It seems like you have had as many girlfriends, as states you have been to, but you have certainly lived a full life, and you still have plenty of time left, to continue a life, that is well lived.

          What does the Dodgers do this weekend, and how many times, will we have to hear, beat LA?

        2. Only one of those I have not been to is Alaska. Of course, driving a truck I went to most. Never been to Hawaii either. Another new lineup for Davey boy today. No Kemp, no Grandal, Utley and Pederson get the starts.

          1. I visited many of them in my ‘59 VW bus. In ‘72. OC to the Mardi Gras, up to NY, then Maine, on to Wisconsin then back to Los Alamitos. I was gone 8 months. What a trip.

      1. Just an adventure MJ. A good friend I played football with in Nebraska, he’s from Long Island, came to visit me on his way back to NY after 2 weeks in Hawaii. He stayed in California for a few months, then I decided to drive him home. I stayed in NY for a while, then drove up to Maine. From there it was on to a Vietnam buddy’s dairy farm in Polk County Wisconsin. Spent the summer milking cows and building a pole barn then went home to California when I knew winter was coming. ‘72 was a fun year for me.

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