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Dodgers Web musings: The dream that is Albert Pujols in blue

Does it have to be pure fantasy? Does the idea of baseball’s best player being signed by the Dodgers have to be automatically dismissed?

As the Los Angeles Times' Jerry Crowe correctly pointed out, if Frank McCourt’s main priority were to deliver a championship to Los Angeles, as he said last week, the Dodgers would be first up if baseball’s best player became a free agent next fall.

Particularly since the game’s biggest spenders -- Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies -- are already set at first base.

The Times’ Bill Shaikin examined the possibility and immediately rejected it, less because of McCourt’s financial woes and ongoing divorce than due to simple history. Even before McCourt’s finances were known, he had never spent $100 million on any player. And Pujols figures to want at least twice that.

Of course, if the McCourts hadn’t pulled more than $100 million out of the team for their grandiose personal use, they’d have a pretty nice start.

Somebody is going to sign the game’s best hitter. ESPN’s Michael Wilbon loves the idea of the Cubs signing Pujols, writing they "should move heaven and earth to sign Albert Pujols, precisely because this could be their best chance to transform not only the team, but the brand."

Wilbon makes his case for the Cubs signing Pujols in a lengthy column. Sons of Steve Garvey took the piece, substituted "Dodgers" for every time "Cubs" were mentioned and said every argument worked for Pujols signing in Los Angeles.

It does too. It’s the old story: If you’re in the second-biggest market in the country, you’re a player in this one. Particularly with your main competition out of the picture.

Alas, it’s the old/new story of lower expectations under McCourt.

Also on the Web:

-- The Times’ T.J. Simers makes his spring-training debut with the Dodgers and immediately wants into the head of Jonathan Broxton.

-- The Times’ Dylan Hernandez already tried the mental approach on right-hander Chad Billingsley.

-- In continuing The Times’ examination of Dodgers’ pitchers, Hernandez -- who really is back from the dead -- also has Hiroki Kuroda working on adding a curveball -- and Don Mattingly taking in his pitchers while standing in the batter’s box.

-- From the Associated Press: Look out world, Manny Ramirez has arrived at Tampa Bay’s training camp with a chip on his shoulder. Located just below the dreadlocks.

-- ESPN in New York has Sandy Koufax offering support to Mets owner Fred Wilpon, his former high school teammate, even though he recommended Koufax invest with Bernard Madoff.

--’s Ken Gurnick examines the Dodgers’ catching situation after Russell Martin.

-- Fox Sports West’s Steve Lyons, also a team broadcaster, asks five hard questions of the Dodgers as they open camp.

-- ESPN’s Jon Weisman examines the Dodgers' bullpen situation with the possible loss of Ronald Belisario and decides it may not necessarily make it easier for a second left-hander to make the team.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (17)

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Perhaps the boycott is working as the Dodgers are still trying to unload opening day tickets.
No wonder. There are four sure signs the Dodger home opener could be ugly:

1. The game is scheduled for 5PM Thursday at the height of rush hour in downtown Los Angeles.
2. Vin Scully...the greatest baseball sportscaster in locked out of the TV broadcast booth.
3. The Dodgers could take the field in the top of the 1st with no one in left field.
4. Jamie and Frank McCourt still co-own the team.

Play bawl!!

Hilarious. McCourt signing Albert would be immediate evidence of a massive brain tumor.

Back to Earth, i treasure the Cubs for getting involved (McCourt will not breathe the syllables "Pu-jols"). They put pressure on the prigs from down south, who've got the bucks but traditionally do not put out, and they offer Albert the competition he needs outside the Yankees, who are more talk than action. If he ended up with the Cubs, half of St Louis would end it all, and poor Albert would immediately get injured, get another 500 ABs over the course of the Cubs' contract, would near-bankrupt the new billionaire owner, and would wind up the biggest bust in free agent history, forever.

Just because he signed with the Cubs.

Cubs' fans of course know all this beforehand, but would find it worth it, for the glory they deprived from the Cardinals, who would look like the cheappies they are.

The Navarro signing is troubling for a number of reasons.

1: A team is alot like a family. Chemistry means alot and very few teams are successful without it. Navarro is the only guy signed this off season with any kind of negative history and will be taking the spot from the ultimate company man in Ellis who has been paying dues for 8 yrs and earned the spot after his play down the stretch last season. We'll be lucky not to lose him to another organization. How do you think this will play out with the rest of the family when Navarro doesn't get enough playing time and begins to act out?

2: Of all the scrap heap signings Coletti made this off season, Navarro's stands out as entirely un-necessary. Ellis is major league ready. He hits better, fields better, handles the pitchers better by virtue of his experience handling alot of them through every level of the minors. We went from having one of the best back up back stops to having a ?.

3:$1,000,000. Money we will need locking up Kershaw to a career type contract. Not to mention Ethier, or Loney, Kemp, and Bills if they can make themselves as invaluable as i believe they will this season.

4: Ellis is the second coming of Scocia.

5: I am blue.

Does the idea of baseball's best player being signed by the Dodgers have to be automatically dismissed? YES.
At the moment, although we really don't know if the Dodgers have the money that could make this happen, the odds are against it, based on the team's track record, now or before the McCourt's took over.

Sad it is indeed that majority sentiment is to not even think we have a chance at Pujols - and we're the No. 2 market in the country with the current top three spending franchises already holding multiple-year deals with some of the game's best first basemen. They don't "have to have" him.

It is moments like these that assure us of reality, and how far our franchise - the best and flagship of the NL - has tumbled through ownership changes that subsequently affected continuity in the front office as well as with managers, and took with it a pilfering of our once-envied farm system.

It is a time I never thought possible, and yet am living with daily.


But persevere I must, knowing that I will be with the Dodgers through thick and thin, for that is what it means to be true to the Blue. And I must hold hope that I will be with the Dodgers longer than current ownership, and that the next owners will return us to our rightful place. And if not in my lifetime, then after I am gone.

May we never see such dark days ever again.

How far have we fallen? We are talking about signing a player next year when this year hasn't even started yet.

"Does it have to be pure fantasy?"

"Does the idea of baseball’s best player being signed by the Dodgers have to be automatically dismissed?"

Only the Yanquis can afford Albert Pujols.

Besides, didn't I just read that Pujols said he wants to stay in St. Louis for his whole career and will veto any trade?

"The Dodgers would be first up if baseball’s best player became a free agent next fall. Particularly since the game’s biggest spenders -- Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies -- are already set at first base."

Ridicules statement. If the opportunity to upgrade presents itself, you take it into consideration. It’s like trading-in your two year old Benz on a new one. The old Benz still has “trade”-in value.

krohn states - 'Navarro is the only guy signed this off season with any kind of negative history'

vicente padilla anyone?

N.P. Krohn:

While I agree that the Navarro signing was a bit of a mystery, I think it is a bit of a stretch to suggest that the team will revolt over having Navarro over Ellis, in the role of back-up catcher.

If you're going to compare A.J. Ellis to the second coming of Mike Scioscia, you could at least learn to spell Scioscia's name correctly. And as far as that goes, you'd better hope not. Ellis will be 30 in April. By the time Scioscia was 30, he was in his 10th major league season, and his best days were behind him. He only played 3 more seasons after that.

No revolt but a distraction. And you and I have had this debate before blue in AZ. I would never suggest that Ellis' career would mirror Scioscia's but i would suggest that his impact could be the same as their skill set is similar. And i left Padilla out because, though he was re-signed, he was on our team and it's hard to knock a guy who went from opening day starter to bullpen floater/swingman with such a positive attitude. Mainly my comment was made out of frustration that one of my favorites from the farm has been blocked again by marginal veteran talent.

I cannot remember the day the Los Angeles Dodgers were not cheap. Was there ever a day? Please, educate me if their was. From the penurious early rascals, like Branch Rickey and Walter O'Malley, we get down to Fox News Corp/Rupert Murdock who treated the Dodgers like an afterthought (like CBS did with the Yankees before Steinbrenner), and the McCourts, who couldn't really afford buying the Dodgers when they first bought 'em...

Think back to Carl Furillo. Carl turned his back on the Dodgers and baseball, settling in with Otis Elevator when the LA team refused to pay him some $30,000 at the time Furillo and the Dodgers parted ways in 1960. Then, there was the time that Sandy Koufax and the late Don Drysdale did the tandem holdout in 1966, for a pitiful raise--even by '66 standards.

In a way, you can quote Maury Wills from his book, when he said that Walter Alston had success but wasn't successful. Same with the Dodgers as a whole. Think back to the "accidental" World Series champioinships--1959, with a weak hitting Dodger club, and 1988, with another no-hit lineup.

True... The Dodgers have often saved the day with incredible pitching. But to think they will change their ways--even after 22 plus years without a title is nothing but wishful thinking...

I can see it now... Pujols only hit 20 RBIs more Loney, and he cost $15 million more ?!??! I could buy a couple more houses for that!

Thus Loney's a great value, and insures our Dodgers lock on second-to-last place again this year.

If Frank McCourt does sign Pujols, it won't be until his new 10 year contract expires and he's in his forties. By then, if the McCourts still own the Dodgers, I'll be an Angels fan and won't give a darn!

The possibility of the Dodgers (under McCourt ownership) signing Puljos? Are you kidding? He's not old and/or broken down! However, I can see this as a definite possibility in about 10 years from now. I don't see the Dodgers ever winning a world championship under Frank McCourt; not if it's contingent on McCourt stepping up with any significant move for which he has to dip into his pockets. He'll just do the bare minimum to make it semi-interesting and fill the seats to keep bankrolling his lavish lifestyle. He's made my beloved blue the butt of all baseball-related jokes ... Disgusting!

Pujols would be like wearing a gold chain with a nugget you can't help to see.. in other words, teams would have the challenge of dealing with Pujols. What the Dodgers need is a bionafied {Closer} we already have the best bottom of the 8th pitcher in the majors with Broxton, we need the bottom of the 9th closer... What do you think... Thanks MS

As long as the Dodgers are under the McCourt name they will never sign any one that takes money out of the McCourt pocket ! McCourts are for the McCourts not team improvement ! Disgusting to say the least ! Nothing but cast off has beens for this team !


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