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Are Dodgers finally feeling the weight of ownership chaos?

Dodgers3_250 They say what you expect them to say. It makes sense, too. All very logical.

Only right now, I’m thinking not. Thinking it sounds good, sounds right, and yet is very wrong.

For the last two seasons, to a man, the Dodgers have said the turmoil surrounding team ownership does not affect their play.

That they’re hardly thinking about Frank and Jamie McCourt’s divorce when stepping into the batter’s box or on the pitching mound. Of course, they’re not.

"I don’t think guys really pay that much attention to it," said Manger Don Mattingly. "The guys are focused on the year. I know it gets a lot of attention but I don’t think it’s something that’s in our clubhouse, that guys are worried about on a day-to-day basis.

"It doesn’t really matter to them. If it does, it’s really an excuse."

It’s the old "worry about the things you can control" approach. So sensible, no one’s even questioned it. Me, too, at least until now.

Now I think it is having an impact, at least subconsciously. The Dodgers cannot believe they are playing for an organization dedicated to winning. That will do everything it can to produce a champion.

An organization that does gives players a mental edge, brings a touch of enthusiasm and energy to the clubhouse that currently is not there for the Dodgers.

They’re so lethargic right now, it’s truly sad. Losing does that, of course, but all teams go through losing periods. This is beyond that. This is knowing this is all they have, it’s not good enough and is not going to get better as long as the ownership circus continues.

When a team picks up a good player at the trade deadline, a new energy can surge through the clubhouse. It’s in knowing everyone is doing everything they can to produce a winner, on the field and up stairs.

"I believe that," Mattingly said.

This is the same thing, only in reverse. The team has no spark and no deep-seated belief things will improve in the foreseeable future. A heavy shroud hangs over the team and franchise. The organization takes a daily beating by the media, in the empty stands, in rumors of payrolls that may go unmet.

Does this team truly believe they are on equal footing with the top organizations in baseball?

Subconsciously, it has to wear on them.

"It’s possible," Mattingly said.

Do the players really believe the organization will add that extra player or two to lift the team?

"Being on a team that gets somebody, it’s usually a surprise," Mattingly said. "When we picked up Manny [Ramirez] and Casey [Blake] a couple of years ago, that’s definitely a lift. They come in and bang the ball around, it changes the perspective all of a sudden."

This is a team in bad need of a new perspective. Because all these months of ownership uncertainty has taken a toll.


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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly watches from the bench after being removed from the game against the Houston Astros on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire

Comments () | Archives (23)

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Ultimately, it comes down to the hitters hitting and at the right time, but does the team need a new hitting instructor (i.e., has Jeff Pentland done a good job)?

I'm afraid the boycott also doesn't help. I hate the fact that they're having to play in a quiet stadium.

I stand by boycotting the McCourts and refusing to throw good money after bad until we get new ownership. But I feel very bad for the team and staff stuck in the middle of all this. They are getting our message loud and clear sooner than the McCourts, unfortunately, who seem obstinately deaf.

What is going right for this team?
1. The team's operations and finances are under investigation by Major League Baseball.
2. The team is struggling to make payroll paycheck to paycheck.
3. The fans by and large are disgusted with the team ownership and are staying away from the stadium in ever increasing droves.
4. The team roster is constructed of a few good players but more has beens.
5. It looks like the players have quit playing for the manager and the coaches.

Given this scenario, doesn't it seem more likely that the cash strapped, habitually lying owner, if left to his own devices would unload all of the big contracts he can rather than bringing on new players?

Steve, the term is "deep-seated" not "deep-seeded."

Any new thoughts on the DOGGERS ? Will Matt Kemp wear Dodger Blue next year or will he sign with the Yankees???

the team on the field is just simply not sufficiently talented to perform @ winning level......true, theteam as-comprised is a reflec-shun of the poor ownership/mgt., as funds were improperly spent, when they could've gone toward "buying" better players........butt that's water under the bridge now.....

these "duds" are called that for a good reason: they ARE "duds".....
2 quality mlb-type players, Kemp & rook Gordon, while Carroll & Miles both fine bench players......& Kershaw a fine pitcher.......butt Eithier is MOST over-rated player in game today, & ought to be dealt, as he might bring something of value in return, in form of young, quality prospeX......butt 2 position, Catcher & Left-field are both a joke!!!

FIRE COLETTI..............2nd STRING G.M

The Dodgers are exhibiting the same sluggishness we saw in spring training. This is not a team but a group of players. No meaningful leadership. It all starts at the top and it started for good on Oct. 14, 2009 when Frank McCourt opted to announce his divorce with total disregard for the fact the Dodgers were in the playoffs. The timing of his announcement made it crystal clear to fans and players alike that the team was of little consequence when compared to his personal challenges and pleasures.

It also doesn't help having a general manager speaking out about the players in the way he has done. McCourt has stated that it's still a very good team. And that trickles quickly down to Colletti who must be wondering what his role is during these tumultuous times. Colletti is openly critical of the team, trying to prop up the front of this erroneous idea of McCourt's. He also is trying to cover himself by blaming the players. His job is in jeopardy, even if he wasn't a loud mouth jerk. If we are fortunate to have a new owner by the end of the season, it is likely Colletti will be gone. It's like he's a lame duck, but has to keep an eye out for what is next for him. He is a destructive element to all concerned. Mattingly on the other hand, when he is critical of his players, we don't hear much of it, but what we have heard is constructive and the players know and take it that way. I think it shows with Kemp and even Ethier who has had some attitude problems that have been calmed by Matty.

The late 1960's tv series 'The Invaders' asked, "how does a nightmare begin?"

We (fans) are all David Vincent's this theatre of the absurd drama.

The invaders (yup, 'them' two), alien beings from a dying planet (Boston).

Their destination (hills that is, swimming pools, movie stars), the earth.

Their purpose, to make it (dudger$, LA, Malibu, ad nauseam) 'their' world.

Now, the David Vincent's know that the invaders are here... that they have taken human form. Somehow, we must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.


Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said Saturday that even if the team didn't have financial problems it would be made up of the kind of players it has now. So, even if everything were OK, this is the kind of team you would field?

- "Yeah, I think we have a very, very good team," said McCourt

Down is up & bad is good.

Far out, man?


Reference perception, is seeing something that is not really there considered delusional? A fellow who dabbled with the hallucinogen LSD told me what his experience with said was like.

He referenced believing that his Chicago Cubs won the World Series (1969), of 'seeing' sounds (every boo was as a cheer) & 'hearing' colors (red, white & blue field bunting post season adornment- hey, those are the dudgers colors too!)

Usually, mere hours encompass this type 'expansion' & 'altered experience' the senses, emotions, memories, time and awareness - depending on dosage and tolerance (whereas the entire 2011 season has been one continuous bad trip for the dudgers.)

The good news is, lethal 'hits' (to use baseball lingo) be nigh on impossible... even the '62 Mets eventually recovered, though the aftereffects lingered for years.

So, there is hope fellow dudger fans... tempered by the sobriety the invaders are already here. Unless the David Vincent's variously fandom, Selig, Courts succeed, it may already be too late and the future is already here.

Flashbacks begin next week and continue into August/thereaft, potentially...

Turmoil or just no good?

I think there are good reasons why this Dodger team is losing. Except when Manny was hitting in the lineup, they've always had trouble scoring runs. This year's lineup was not strengthened, and only Kemp has improved. Lack of scoring, coupled with all the injuries in the bullpen, and those available with spotty control, makes a team now constructed to lose close games. The starting staff is good but not good enough to shut the opposition down for nine innings a game.

Losing begets losing. When the season started, this team appeared to believe in themselves. You can only fail so many times before belief is eroded. This Dodger team has never been the kind to get angry; they are more of a go-with-the-flow type bunch, and right now the direction of flow is going down the toilet.

Napabill: Upon further review, it turns out you are very correct. Probably been making that mistake all my life. Thanks, it has been corrected.

Selig, It looks like you are the only one who can help Los Angeles get a new owner. DO IT.

The person responsible for putting this club together is Ned Colletti. He has done a below average job during his term as General Manager. I do not know if Ned is "unlucky" in his dealings--Theriot, DeWitt, Paul or just plain incompetent (Carlos Santana for one). The record will show Ned has more misses than hits and in the real world would have had his employment temrinated a long time ago. How do you reconcile Juan Uribe's signing, Bill Mueller's, Jason Schmidt's? and his replacing Stan Johnstone with Stan Conte as Trainer. The Dodgers have had more issues under Stan Conte than under Stan Johnstone. Ned tried to bring a "Giants" flavor to The Dodgers team. Not good.

If I were a player, this is the last organization I'd want to be playing for. Things need to change, and have needed to change for far too long.

KEEP BOYCOTTING until McCourt AND Colletti are GONE!!!!

FIRE COLETTI..............2nd STRING G.M
Posted by: Cramsib | 06/18/2011 at 10:36 AM
2ND STRING??!! Surely you jest. Ned isn't even marching band material.

I read yesterday in a Dodger blog of possible players with good-sized contracts who might be dealt by July and we know who they would be. If that were to occur I would simply turn off the tv until next year(I'll keep the radio on...). I do believe that the McCourt ownership and Colletti's work is to blame for the current sorry state of the Dodgers. What I find shocking are the number of special deals for Dodger tickets. This used to never occur. The stadium must be approaching some seriously low numbers. Time to start thinking of football...

Steve you're being to kind. The players are human beings and are reflecting the disgust of the fans. Mattingly's postgame interview was painful to watch because he knows what's happening, too. Sadly, there is no magic fix for the situation (no pun intended). The fiasco that is McCourt/FOX ownership is like tarnish on silver - it will take time and some hard work to ever get the stain off and rebuild the franchise. Frank and crew are looters and along with the money, they've carried off the team's pride.

Any new thoughts on the DOGGERS ? Will Matt Kemp wear Dodger Blue next year or will he sign with the Yankees???

Posted by: Cramsib | 06/18/2011 at 10:35 AM

Baseball fans outside of the West don't know who Kemp is. Holliday is 3rd in the All Star voting. Ethier is ahead of Kemp in the voting.

These guys have no motivation to do any good, because they know they have a joke of a front office.

McCourt needs to go. Plesae help Selig!

Your the only hope Dodger fans have...we need good news next week.

Get this loser out of the owners box. The Dodgers are a laughing stock and it is very very sad.

For some of the only voice we have is in these LA Times comment sections.

I hope some one that matters reads this stuff.

ouch!!! "IT'S POSSIBLE," MATTINGLY SAID. when mom & dad are arguing; OF COURSE it disrupts the family!!! for a moment; i would like to put some words into my blue blooded brothers' mouths: ' we hear & see what's going on & begin to BELIEVE all that negativity by what they are all saying about us because NO ONE ELSE even TRIES to tell us differently.' i have always held on tightly to my blueness because there is no cure for my loyalty once i have given it. in the movies of my dreams; true blue dodger fans would rally for our own SAVE OUR DODGERS RELIEF EFFORT.

Ya think? What else is new?

Only a freaking idiot can think the mess Frank McCourt has brought to this team isnt weighing on the players !
Baseball is a game, its fun, its a kids game that allows grown ups to stay young for a bit longer into life !
But, Frank McCourt has spent millions of dollars on extravangant homes, in fact SIX of them, paid his circus clown sons $400,000 a year to consult, fired his security chief, and yet feels adding a free agent isnt necessary !
How long is Bud Selig going to wait to take this team from
the roving clown McCourt !
The fans are staying away in droves, we have spread word of mouth to stay away, boycott, not one more red cent into McCourts pockets !
We love the Dodgers, but McCourt is the most hated man in LA sports history !
Why cant the local papers help push this idiot out of town, write some burning editorials, let TJ loose on him !


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