MLB Takes Over Dodgers, Expos Fan Nods Sadly

Not again. Good Lord, not again.

It’s impossible to see Bud Selig’s announcement that Major League Baseball will assume operating control of the Los Angeles Dodgers and not remember the last time MLB made this move.

On Valentine’s Day 2002, the league did the same with the teetering Montreal Expos. By the end of the 2004 season, MLB had presided over a trade that set the Expos’ successors back several years, helped short-circuit a last-gasp playoff run, ended baseball for good in Montreal, and reminded us why a sports franchise in league hands is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

On February 14, 2002, MLB bought the Expos for $120 million. From the beginning, this wasn’t some benevolent stewardship, meant to steer the team through choppy waters. Rather, the stated goal was to assassinate (“contract” was the slightly less repugnant term the league used) the Expos, as well as the Minnesota Twins.

There have been many theories as to whether or not the threat was real, and what MLB hoped to achieve. It may have been a way for owners to gain leverage with a new collective bargaining agreement drawing nigh. Or a last-ditch effort to bully the twin cities into building a publicly funded ballpark for the Twins’ outrageously wealthy owner. Or all of the above, and more. Luckily for Twins fans (but unluckily for taxpayers), Target Field eventually got built, and Joe Mauer got a $184 million contract. Ummm…well, the stadium’s nice anyway.

Expos fans weren’t as lucky. A new CBA prohibited contraction through 2006. But the three seasons between MLB’s purchase and the last Expos game remain one of the blackest marks on Selig’s checkered resume.

MLB named Frank Robinson as the Expos’ new manager, a nice gesture for one of baseball’s all-time greats, and a man who’d prove to be a half-decent skipper, actually (though the guy freaking loved to bunt, gah!).

The league also named Omar Minaya as vice-president and general manager. That move was…not so special.

Minaya inherited a horrific situation, that much is true. The Expos’ entire administrative staff consisted of two administrative assistants, a media relations director, the head trainer, a minor league pitching coach, and the assistant farm system director. Just to staff up to reasonable levels in the six weeks before Opening Day took plenty of hard work and creativity.

But Minaya also saw his big break as first-time and GM, and especially MLB’s (very possibly hollow) threat of contraction as carte blanche to do reckless things with the talent he inherited.

As threadbare as his front office may have looked, Minaya actually had a promising major league roster for the 2002 season. The Expos had lost 94 games the previous season. Still, Javier Vazquez was maturing into an ace, Jose Vidro and Orlando Cabrera formed one of the better double-play combinations in the game, and Vladimir Guerrero’s talent was so breathtaking that Roberto Clemente comparisons seemed perfectly reasonable. A few breaks and the 2002 Expos could become a fringe contender.

And they did. By June 26, Montreal’s record stood at a respectable 40-36. The Expos were still seven games out of first place behind yet another loaded Braves squad. But it was a nice little underdog story, and the team could feel proud to have a shot at 85 wins.

Ah, but Minaya had to make his bones as a new GM, prove to the world that he was a fearless deal-maker who deserved employment after this Expos gambit ended. On June 27, 2002, he made a deal hailed as one of the ballsiest moves in recent MLB memory. Minaya sent three top prospects — Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee — along with veteran first baseman and salary-balancer Lee Stevens, to Cleveland. In return, he snagged Bartolo Colon, and the least talented Drew brother, Tim.

In truth, this trade wasn’t ballsy so much as it was stupefyingly selfish. There was plenty of debate about which of the Expos’ prospects had the best upside. Phillips was perceived by many as the biggest get, a five-tool middle infielder who could become a major league star in the near future. Sizemore appeared to be furthest from making the majors, but he was a multi-sport high school star dripping with athleticism and upside. Being a stats-obsessed fan, I liked Lee, the lefty starter with 297 strikeouts in 241 minor league innings to that point, best of all. Whatever your preference, the bigger takeaway was unanimous: Minaya had given away more premium young talent than any trade in years (maybe decades), for a pitcher who could pitch like vintage Koufax and still not get the Expos to the playoffs.

Mind you, as a selfish Expos fan who didn’t expect the team to last long in Montreal, my emotional side was fine with this. If Phillips, Sizemore and Lee became stars, it wouldn’t be in la belle province, that was for sure. Washington Nationals fans should still curse Minaya’s name today, though. Imagine what that team would look like if the Nats had the prime years of those three players, or even the fruits of later Phillips, Sizemore and Lee trades, populating the roster.

Of course the deal didn’t work out for the Expos either, and Minaya only made it worse that off-season. If Phillips, Sizemore and Lee represented full value for Colon’s services, Orlando Hernandez, Rocky Biddle and Jeff Liefer were 22 cents on the dollar. Walking around the IBD newsroom one day the next spring, I spotted a copy of Inc. magazine. On the cover was a very suave, very self-satisfied Omar Minaya. I made a mental note never to buy a copy of Inc. magazine.

If the Colon deal was the most famous result of MLB’s stewardship, the most tragic one came in 2003. A five-game winning streak in late August launched the Expos to within striking distance of the Wild Card lead. Even after dropping the next three games, Montreal still had an outside shot at a miracle playoff run, trailing multiple teams in the Wild Card chase but still just three games off the pace. Infuriated by Minaya adding payroll the year before (he’d also picked up Cliff Floyd soon after the Colon deal the previous summer, before quickly shipping Floyd back out of town) and perhaps generally annoyed at funding the playoff run of a rival team, the Expos’ owners (the 29 other teams) vetoed the club’s request to call up a bunch of minor leaguers to fortify the roster for a September run. This even though such a move would have cost a few hundred thousand bucks, tops.

A year later, the team was off to DC, leaving both Expos and Nats fans to feel the effects of the Montreal Screwjob for years to come.

(I’m not even going to touch the travesty that was games played in Puerto Rico, because I like to pretend that didn’t happen.)

It won’t be that bad for Dodgers fans. Selig will undoubtedly hand the case over to some lawyer friends, thus ensuring new summer homes for all involved. Frank McCourt and his leveraged-to-the-hilt ownership will be gone, replaced by what can’t help but be a better replacement. And the Dodgers will regain their reputation as a first-class organization soon enough.

Still, if Clayton Kershaw shows Cy Young stuff all year, the Dodgers find help for Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and a few other things fall into place, this team could be a contender down the stretch. If the Dodgers aren’t sold by the summer, MLB could face another political hot potato as the league decides whether or not to greenlight new deals and new spending for a contending team.

At least Ned Colletti won’t trade three top prospects for Bartolo Colon. Probably.



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Jonah Keri is the author of The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First -- now a National Bestseller! Follow Jonah on Twitter @JonahKeri, and check out his awesome podcast.


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cs3
Member
cs3
5 years 2 months ago

Not sure where the appropriate place to put this is (which, ironically, is part of the reason i have to make this post in the first place) but the layout of this website’s main page is really really poor.

1) you cant even read the full titles of most articles because the space allotted to the “recent article” heading is way too small.

2a) there is no place where you can easily see all articles sorted by day. if you click on “recent articles” you get a page full of previews. which is completely useless because you have to scroll around looking for what you want.and anyone who starts reading the preview of an article must then click on the link for the full writeup anyway – makes no sense.

2b) there should be a page where ALL articles (for a given day, or week or whatever) are listed in the same place. No previews. Just titles, dates, and author listed so we can see all of them without having to scroll around and wed through the dumb previews.

3) maybe its just a compatibility issue with Firefox, but when after posting a comment, you are sent to a blank page and you cant do anything from there. you cant even refresh the page – you get an error message. So to see your comment you have to post it, wait for the blank page to load, go back a couple times, refresh the page then scroll back down to see if you post went through.
Why???

4) Comments section is not user friendly at all.
there needs to either be threaded replies that are easier to use/read, or a quote function. Its almost impossible to follow the comments in high traffic articles because nobody can tell which comment another comment is replying to.

5) Again sorry to post this here, but there is no place i can find where it will be seen by the people who run the site.

jaywrong
Member
jaywrong
5 years 2 months ago

this is probably the most ridiculous comment i have ever seen.

WillClark
Guest
WillClark
5 years 2 months ago

points 1 and 2(a)(b) arent bad

Greg
Guest
Greg
5 years 2 months ago

Points 1 and 2 are valid; however, I count them as among the least of the Dodgers’ problems.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie
5 years 2 months ago

Omar?

fredsbank
Guest
fredsbank
5 years 2 months ago

so posting it everywhere is the right thing to do?

pretty sure there’s a link labeled ‘contact us’ on the bottom of the page, or maybe you’re illiterate in addition to not being acquainted with web-page navigation?

cs3
Member
cs3
5 years 2 months ago

Obviously i already tried the “contact us” approach. More than once in fact. Never once got any feedback from anyone at the site, not that i was surprised by that.
of course i couldn’t tell if my submission even went through (see point #3) but i’m assuming my questions were just ignored.

regardless, points (1) and (2) need to be addressed.

and your illiterate reference was cute. good job.

gtfo
Guest
gtfo
5 years 2 months ago

The entitlement on display here is amazing.

potent potables
Member
potent potables
5 years 2 months ago

I have to agree with cs3’s first point. About 1/3 of the homepage (or any other page for that matter) is just wasted blank space. What purpose does this serve?

If I may bring up a comment of my own, I have always had problems with slow page loading on this site. I know it’s not my connection because all other sites I visit work almost instantly (I’m at a university and our service is blazing fast). Yet for some reason, fangraphs takes ~5 seconds loading time per page, and the homepage takes even longer.

potent potables
Member
potent potables
5 years 2 months ago

Though I forgot to mention- great article.

Cody
Guest
Cody
5 years 2 months ago

I believe that the designers of FanGraphs and many other websites do that to ensure that people with a lower resolution screen can view the entire page at once without side scrolling. I believe the standard is usually a solid 800px in width.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
5 years 2 months ago

You know what’s funny. Click Blog on the links up top, and your 2s go away.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
5 years 2 months ago

#3 – Firefox sucks, get Chrome. Or IE if you’re a college student who’s educational institution’s website requires it.

#4 – Reading is a dying art.

jaywrong
Member
jaywrong
5 years 2 months ago

i would downgrade probably to maybe. actually, perhaps to likely.

great article.

fredsbank
Guest
fredsbank
5 years 2 months ago

it gets more and more probably the better he’s doing in that launching pad of yankee stadium.

seriously, though.

Beau
Guest
Beau
5 years 2 months ago

It’s amazing that Selig can swoop in and do this while the Oakland A’s remain in purgatory with no end in sight to their situation.

longbeachyo
Member
Member
longbeachyo
5 years 2 months ago

HAHAHA Very true!

The Ancient Mariner
Guest
The Ancient Mariner
5 years 2 months ago

For the A’s, their owner isn’t the problem. (The Giants’ ownership is a bigger one.)

Matt
Guest
Matt
5 years 2 months ago

That’s debatable. He hasn’t yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the A’s take out a full page add in the paper that just says “Oakland and our stadium sucks, don’t go there.”

Jay
Guest
Jay
5 years 2 months ago

MLB won’t screw the Dodgers the way they did the Expos because LA is going to be the team’s ongoing home, so they actually care what the fans think, and also because LA is the second biggest media market in the country and Selig would be lambasted in the press if he tried to underfund the team.

uclarob
Guest
uclarob
5 years 2 months ago

the best non-statistics based article I’ve seen on here. Great job. You don’t always need to use markov chains in order to provide an intelligent, well informed article. Thanks.

David M.
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Pretty sad that this is the analysis that we get for what is a very big story. Jonah, I’m happy for you that you’re a best-selling author and finding some success, but not everything is about the 2003 Expos. I don’t think this is the time or place for your fanboy ramblings. You seem like you’re a smart and capable fellow – why not actually try writing about the Dodgers, about the implications of what just happened? I love Fangraphs, love that it exists, and love that there’s constantly new content being produced. But it’s hard to take it seriously as anything but a place for stats when this is what’s presented as commentary on what’s happening in baseball.

Oddibe McBlauser
Guest
Oddibe McBlauser
5 years 2 months ago

It seems you take offense at the disparity in the title’s promise and the article’s content? In Jonah’s defense, the implications can’t be well known yet. They depend largely on how litigious McCourt decides to go with this initially. We don’t even know one thing about the structure of proposed management going forward. In lieu of any meaningful info yet, I think it’s quite helpful to delve into the context of this kind of maneauver.

That being said, the MLB front office has Dodger connections, and I can see Ng/Depodesta becoming involved too. There are no great war stories written about the opening volley alone, we’ll just have to temper our frustrations a bit for a day first.

fredsbank
Guest
fredsbank
5 years 2 months ago

you could always click that little ‘x’ on the top right corner of your browser

Kevin Wilson
Member
Kevin Wilson
5 years 2 months ago

I completely disagree with David. He’s making the assumption that this will be the entirety of fangraphs’s coverage of the Dodgers story, which is most likely incorrect. This is the equivalent of an excellent op-ed piece next to the news story in the paper. Here you have a passionate fan of a similar situation reflecting and offering perspective. I remembered most of the story Jonah told, but not all, and appreciate the details.

siggian
Guest
siggian
5 years 2 months ago

This is an important article for two reasons: it provides a history of what happened the last time MLB took over a team for an extended period of time and it serves notice of the worst-case scenario for Dodger fans. I don’t think the Dodger fans will be as royally-screwed as the Expos fans were, but I see MLB ownership causing some damage along the way. (If anything, this article glosses over how badly the franchise was screwed by MLB.)

GiantHusker
Guest
GiantHusker
5 years 2 months ago

Keri’s commentary couldn’t be more relevant and interesting–a reminder of what happened the last time MLB took over a team.
I would much rather have this than just somebody’s opinion.

André
Guest
André
5 years 2 months ago

Yo, Shakespeare: totally get what you were trying to do, but I feel like you wasted an opportunity by not writing my particular interests into Hamlet. What would Hamlet have done if his dead father was Frank McCourt? You totally dropped the ball, man.

cs3
Member
cs3
5 years 2 months ago

again sorry for the off topic first post. No idea where it should be posted.

This article was very well written and informative. I had no idea about all the stuff that went on behind the scenes in Montreal’s final years with Minaya and Co.in charge.

While I dont think the Dodger fans have anything to worry about long term with MLB in charge for now, i disagree that they will be a contender this season. They only have 3 players contributing right now – Kemp, Ethier, and Kershaw. The rest of the lineup and the bullpen is a mess. i actually think they are much closer to completely imploding (or suffereing any injury to the big 3 )and finding themselves looking up at the likes of AZ and SD rather than contending for the division title.

Good stuff!

Jay
Guest
Jay
5 years 2 months ago

uclarob and David M., I totally agree with both of you!

Oddibe McBlauser
Guest
Oddibe McBlauser
5 years 2 months ago

This will be an exceedingly fascinating chapter in baseball ownership. Revenues up across the board in MLB, but unprecedented debtloads abound amongst the most storied franchises. The situation has been much hushed by Selig the ex-owner, and one wonders what compulsions he’ll follow on his way toward the exit door some years ahead.

Throw in the untenable positions of Oakland, NYM and Tampa, at the least, and there looks to be be a gamey session of musical chairs coming up. I’m thinking the music selection will need be tuba-heavy, with carnival overtones.

BillWallace
Guest
BillWallace
5 years 2 months ago

The good news is that you probably don’t have to worry about the Dodgers actually contending.

D4P
Guest
D4P
5 years 2 months ago

“At least Ned Colletti won’t trade three top prospects for Bartolo Colon.”

Only because the Dodgers don’t HAVE three top prospects.

longbeachyo
Member
Member
longbeachyo
5 years 2 months ago

Exactly, we’ve got Octavio Do… Wait… *checking the roster* WHAT THE HELL!!! HE’S GONE?!?!? Great trade last year, NED…

Paging Mr. Cuban… Mr. Cuban, you are needed in SoCal, STAT!

Rob
Guest
Rob
5 years 2 months ago

MLB took over the Dodger precisely to keep Mark Cuban away. Bankruptcy courts would sell to the highest bidder and the last thing MLB wants is that happening. I mean that’s what happened with the Seattle Pilots and look what happened there!

Oddibe McBlauser
Guest
Oddibe McBlauser
5 years 2 months ago

Rubby de la Rosa and Dee Gordon for Reyes would be totally Minaya-esque.

Rays Fan
Guest
Rays Fan
5 years 2 months ago

I’m not a big Keri fan to begin with but this article is a poor argument for why MLB’s takeover of the Dodgers would condemn them to some sort of nebulous future doom. Or maybe it’s just Jonah reminiscing. Whatever. Didn’t MLB take over the Rangers not too long ago? Look where they are now. The Dodgers have only one direction to go at this point. Not much in this article explains why it’s so terrible that MLB took over the franchise (temporarily I might add). So the argument just isn’t there.

Now, commence the childish, off-topic, rambling, personal-attack, irrelevant replies to my question. Go!

Kevin Wilson
Member
Kevin Wilson
5 years 2 months ago

False. MLB gave a loan to the Rangers. They did not take them over. Big difference.

Rays Fan
Guest
Rays Fan
5 years 2 months ago

I’d be willing to bet you they took a part ownership interest in the team as collateral. It’s six of one, half dozen of another for these purposes.

adam smith
Guest
adam smith
5 years 2 months ago

False on your False.

“The Texas Rangers were placed under operational control of MLB last year when Tom Hicks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to try to force an already-agreed sale to a group headed by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, the team’s president. In the interim, Ryan essentially oversaw the day-to-day operations of the club with then MLB president Bob DuPuy heading negotiations to satisfy Hicks’ creditors.”

not just a loan. “operational control”

Matt
Guest
Matt
5 years 2 months ago

Kinda a big jump to assume you know the details of that business arrangement between MLB and the Rangers when your first comment on the situation was plainly wrong, and an even bigger jump to say that the two situations are identical. And I don’t think Jonah’s article is portending doom for the Dodgers (he actually says something of the opposite towards the end), just reminiscing about how badly the Montreal situation ended and pointing out that one team being effectively owned by the other 29 isn’t exactly the best thing for anyone. As others have said, this isn’t a comprehensive coverage of this situation, just one perspective/op-ed.

Matt
Guest
Matt
5 years 2 months ago

I’d also like to congratulate Jonah. I think when you have multiple people complaining and criticizing you for an article they voluntarily read for free, it’s a sign you’ve ‘made it’ in the internet writing world. Whatever ‘making it’ in the internet writing world means.

Seriously though, I like your stuff, keep it up!

Rays Fan
Guest
Rays Fan
5 years 2 months ago

No, it wasn’t plainly wrong of me to state that MLB assumed control of the Rangers franchise. If it’s true they indeed made a loan, then chances are pretty high they took a security interest in a stake of the team. That’s how business transactions work FYI.

TK
Guest
TK
5 years 2 months ago

“A security interest in a stake in the team” doesn’t make sense. A security interest has to be placed on an asset of an entity, not a stake in the entity itself. That is basically what unsecured creditors have.

Even if they had a secured interest in basically every asset of the Rangers, they still wouldn’t have taken control of the team. Think of your house (the general “your”): the bank owns it but they don’t get to decide what color you paint your walls.

So, yeah, Matt is basically correct.

RC
Guest
RC
5 years 2 months ago

” I think when you have multiple people complaining and criticizing you for an article they voluntarily read for free”

No resource that displays advertising is free.

Deadpool
Guest
Deadpool
5 years 2 months ago

Really the Rangers are the other side of the story here. MLB moved fast to get the Rangers a real owner and it paid off. They should be able to move faster as there’s no bankruptcy to deal with and I can’t see McCourt sparing the resources to put up much of a fight.

ofMontreal
Guest
ofMontreal
5 years 2 months ago

I agree. There is, relatively speaking, no end of possible ownership solutions for the Dodgers. A counter-point to JKeri’s not mentioning that the Expos couldn’t receive a reasonable offer.

cwendt
Member
cwendt
5 years 2 months ago

Colon has 7 Ks & 1 BB today against the Jays. Pick up the phone, Colletti!

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
5 years 2 months ago

To be fair, I would probably have 5 K’s against the Jays. Not a fair measuring stick.

(I’m a Jays fan, I can totally get into the self-loathing thing.)

Garrett Hawk
Guest
Garrett Hawk
5 years 2 months ago

Why aren’t Selig’s minions taking over the similarly-troubled Mets?
Oh yeah…because he’s good buddies with Wilpon.

Greg
Guest
Greg
5 years 2 months ago

The Wilpon situation is not as advanced. He will have serious money problems when a court rules against him in the Madoff case, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Randy
Guest
Randy
5 years 2 months ago

The Wilpons have already taken out a $30M loan. They also have an ad on craigslist seeking some sucker to give them a quarter of a billion dollars for a ‘minority stake’ in the team that would permit them no authority over the decision-making process of the organization. (Here’s $250M…do whatever you want with it!)

MLB already has a man in the Mets organization. His name is Sandy Alderson. Think the Wilpons settled on Alderson without any input from Selig? The only difference is that Selig doesn’t want to publicly humiliate the Wilpons, but he does want to publicly humiliate the McCourts.

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 2 months ago

“he does want to publicly humiliate the McCourts.”

If Selig is looking to do that, he’s easily a year too late to the party.

I tend to think of this move being more of an attempt to prevent the McCourts from “splitting the baby” in some bad way.

Greg
Guest
Greg
5 years 2 months ago

The Mets owners claim to be weighing 4 serious offers for that minority stake right now. I don’t know who it is or why they’d want to own something that’s still run by Fred Wilpon, but there it is.

Given the uncertainty of court cases involving big financial frauds, there is at least a possibility that Fred Wilpon will be cleared, or that he’ll settle at the last minute.

In short, there are still a number of ways he could slither away. As long as that possibility exists, I don’t expect Bud Selig to do anything. Even with Selig’s lack of connection to the McCourts, he didn’t act until their situation became an irreversible death spiral.

shthar
Guest
shthar
5 years 2 months ago

God I hope the royals are next.

Mccourt could get three divorces and a monkey and still not be as bad as the royals bargain bin buyer has been.

notsellingjeans
Guest
notsellingjeans
5 years 2 months ago

Honest question…does this mean MLB needs to eventually sell the Dodgers? Does it mean the other 29 teams have a controlling stake in them now?

Alex Remington
Member
5 years 2 months ago

It’s a rather horrifying conflict of interest for a team to be owned by 29 of its competitors — as exemplified by the unconscionable decision not to let the Expos call up prospects in September of 2003. Major League Baseball probably has no legal obligation to sell any time soon, but it certainly has an ethical obligation to facilitate the sale as soon as absolutely possible.

notsellingjeans
Guest
notsellingjeans
5 years 2 months ago

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the ownership groups of the A’s and Rays will get “first dibs” at purchasing the Dodgers.

fredsbank
Guest
fredsbank
5 years 2 months ago

the ownership of the As and Rays could combine and then double and still wouldn’t match the offers of any other team…

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 years 2 months ago

Definitely raises the question of why other teams have to subsidize their competitors. If the Dodgers can’t make pay roll they should have to trade their high priced players. They should have never been able to sign free agents in the offseason if they couldnt pay them… but now other teams shouldnt have to subsidize their over spending.

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 years 2 months ago

Is this notsellingjeans the former writer for hardballtimes? I’m your biggest fan!

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
5 years 2 months ago

Since MLB so badly plundered our franchise, I think it would be fair to let the NATS trade for Matt Kemp. We could give them Ankiel and a couple of solid prospects. It would only be fair. Not like the Dodgers will have any chance anytime soon.

Ned Colletti
Guest
Ned Colletti
5 years 2 months ago

Let us throw in Kershaw and you’ve got a deal!

Rizzo
Guest
Rizzo
5 years 2 months ago

done deal! Send over the papers

DJG
Guest
DJG
5 years 2 months ago

In retrospect, the Colon trade is very easy to mock. It was at the time it was made, and it is in restrospect too.

Lewie Pollis
Member
5 years 2 months ago

“I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to too.”—Mitch Hedberg

Jason
Guest
Jason
5 years 2 months ago

Someone should tell Bud it isnt that bad. They are the #23 org!

EDogg1438
Guest
EDogg1438
5 years 2 months ago

At least Special Ned didn’t give away Carlos Santana, James McDonald, and Andrew Lambo for Blake and Dotel…..

err wait…..never underestimate the potential stupidity of Special Ned

Bubba
Guest
Bubba
5 years 2 months ago

Is actually criticism of MLB taking over the Dodgers?

McCourt, who spent a grand total of $9 million of his own money to buy a MLB team. Talk about OPM. He subsequently has raped the franchise, stolen most of the equity of the team, and is in the process of trying to steal and additional $200 million, calling it an advance from Fox. All operating profits (around $30 million last year) are lost to pay interest of the debt load of $400 million plus).

In a stadium that has had an increasing rowdiness and GANG problem, he decided to reduce security, remove uniformed police, significantly reduce the pay of the off-duty police officers who work there. He also, before the 2009 season, removed the head of security, and NEVER REPLACED HIM.

Dodger Stadium (owned by McCourt) now has a fairly large list of deferred maintenance that has been neglected for the past 5 years.

McCourt is now going through the well-publicized divorce, fighting his wife for ownership of the Dodgers. No less than 6 pre-nups exist, 3 saying McCourt is sole owner, 3 saying his wife has 50% ownership. How do you think that’s going to work out?

McCourt is now out of money and is in danger of defaulting on payroll.

Jonah, I’m sorry about Montreal. I am. But, there was no way baseball was going to work in Olympic Stadium in these times. Not feasible. Comparing the Expos situation to the Dodgers situation has no merit.

peter ramus
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Selig might well take this as an opportunity to achieve his long term goal of consolidation, his dream of eliminating the expense to the rest of MLB of carrying non-producing franchises by decommisioning a couple of financially weak teams. That was his goal when he was was looking at the Minnestoa Twins and and Montreal Expos, which resulted, instead, in the reassignment of the Montreal franchise to Washington. D.C, not the elimination of underperforming clubs Selig had hoped for.

Now, however, with the Dodgers and the Mets in parlous financial straights, Selig may have a opening to do what he’s always wanted.

If MLB were to revoke the franchises of the Dodgers and the Mets, it would be free to move two underperforming frachises into the largest media markets in the county. It could move the Tampa Bay Rays to New York, transforming it into a National League franchise, and the Oakland Athletics to Los Angeles in the National League. Both teams are competitive on the field but suffer from an attenuated fan base for various reasons, which such a realignment would easily solve.

Sure, the fact that I’m a Giants fan may color to some degree my support for any plan that eliminates the Dodgers and removes the A’s from the Bay Area, but, even given that, I’d argue it’s a thinkable idea.

As to recompense for the athletes under contract to the defunct organizations and how their future service, if any, might be assigned to the remaining teams, I have a solution which the margin of this blog is too small to contain.

Nick
Guest
Nick
5 years 2 months ago

Peter, as a fellow Giants fan the absolute last thing I want is for the Dodgers to disappear, or even leave LA. Do I want them to suffer? Sure. Do I want MLB to reduce their payroll by 75%? You betcha. Do I want to point and laugh as they struggle to draw 10K fans per game and as Tommy Lasorda is forced to sell ad space on his ample bosoms to make the whole arrangement work? Absolutely. But I certainly don’t want eighteen fewer chances to defeat, humiliate and baseballogically castrate the Dodgers every year. That’d be no fun at all.

LD303
Guest
LD303
5 years 2 months ago

Stupidest comment I’ve ever seen on FG (or maybe anywhere on the internet). And I’m not a Rays, A’s, Dodgers, or Mets fan. It’s a “thinkable idea”… that the MLB… would simply disband/contract the Dodgers and Mets. You, sir, must have lived under power lines when you were a child.

peter ramus
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Stupidest comment I’ve ever seen on FG (or maybe anywhere on the internet).

Hey, I’ve said far stupider things on the internet. You must not get out much, LD.

JCA
Guest
JCA
5 years 2 months ago

The travesty of MLB ownership of the Expos did not end when the team moved to Washington. Recall the Nats started 2005 51-30 and remained in contention for a wild card slot into September. However, MLB kept them on a tight budget at the trade deadline (perhaps dressing up the income statement before the sale). The biggest acquisition was Preston Wilson (who began the strange succession among #44 for Nats jersey owners- Wilson, Milledge, Dunn). MLB also did not allow the Nats to call up extra players in September (although the Ryan Zimmerman call up was a pretty good one). The lack of length of the bench hurt when going head to head with rivals the last month.

Chip Buck
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Luckily for the Dodgers, Colletti has already traded most of the prospects away, so nothing for Dodger fans to worry about there…

Mubm
Guest
Mubm
5 years 2 months ago

“This is a wonderful example for other writers of how to respond to criticism, whether it is justified criticism or not. You gave readers a glimpse into the editorial process, acknowledged a reader’s opinion, and didn’t stoop to the level of return-fire criticism just because someone else did first. Shows a lot of class, and why you are very successful at what you do.”

Bleh. There’s a middle ground between what Cameron does and saying “Thanks for the feedback” to a guy who just insulted you. You can dispute the guy’s points without being abrasive. If anything, Keri’s responsive was condescending.

Ned Colleti
Guest
Ned Colleti
5 years 2 months ago

Don’t worry, the league is not going to handcuff me anymore than the parking lot attendant already did. I will still be trading Dee Gordon for Matt Capps at the end of July, merely so we can get the Twins to pay Capps’ salary.

Candlestick Parker
Guest
Candlestick Parker
5 years 2 months ago

MLB didn’t just take control of the Expos, it actually bought the franchise from Loria. The sad truth is that baseball in Montreal was not financially viable. The Expos played in MLB’s worst facility. Quebec law and market conditions meant there was no realistic chance of the club getting a new park or major league level local TV revenues.

That’s not to blame the many good fans of Montreal. The harsh business reality is that the team was not viable there. As evidenced by the absence of any serious offer from anyone who wanted to buy the franchise and keep it there — year after year after year. MLB did not screw the Expos. The Expos died a natural death.

objectiveobserver
Guest
objectiveobserver
5 years 2 months ago

+1. Fanboy rantings and ravings like Keri’s–no facts, but lots of supposition, innuendo, invective, and bile–are an embarrassment to this site.

Adam Z
Guest
Adam Z
5 years 2 months ago

While I do not fault you for being misinformed, you need to understand that a new ball park for the Expos was actually in the process of being majoritarily funded by private companies. A very successfull committee was put in place – my cousin was among said committee – and had we not been screwed by Selig, a new downtown ballpark would have been built at least 5 years ago.

jason
Guest
jason
5 years 2 months ago

i was a phillies fans in the late 70s./early 80s and went to see games in Montreal (we live 75mins from Canada border) and they were in top 3 in attendance. There was interest there.
But no team suffered from the strikes as the Expos.
There two best teams were the year of the strikes.
They at least had a chance in 1981 with the bastard season but 1994 is what kiiled it.
The greatest team never to play. Not because they couldnt win but because there was no games to be played.

Ive talked to friends and they said the demise of baseball the past 2 decades means there are hardly any baseball fields left for kids in Montreal. Most have been transformed to soccer.
They say that while youth soccer and hockey numbers are in the 200,000 range in their state (did you know there is more soccer playing kids than hockey in quebec?, the baseball numbers are in the 10-15,000 range now.

Adam Z is full of crap.
My friend says that had that mythical stadium been built (a stadium with no roof makes no sense in montreal. you know how I know… my buddy skyped me saying there was snow during his sons soccer practice yesterday!!!) the predicted revenues for the first year could cover a 44million dollar payroll but that those rose so high that had the stadium been open on time, they STILL wouldnt have been able to cover the league average which at the time was already double that 44mil).
The reason that committee failed is that there was a few millionaires with big mouths but no one with money or balls.
Also, I repeat… baseball in Montreal in April and May nights and september nights, october all day is crazy.

Jason
VT

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