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.
-- Dodgers.com’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