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Are Dodgers fans now willing to accept a lesser product?

December 12, 2010 | 10:50 am

Whether it be the years or simply knowing that the McCourts are less than flush, have L.A. fans been conditioned  to put up with an organization that no longer plays with the big boys when it comes to acquiring real talent?

The question is posed Sunday by The Times’ T.J. Simers, who as you might expect, is a tad underwhelmed by the Dodgers off-season moves:

"I think the Dodgers are stockpiling garbage when they should be acting more like one of the game's top franchises located in one of the country's top cities."

Poor T.J., he has always struggled to express himself. T.J., of course, lives to get a reaction, which doesn’t mean he isn’t -- often, usually, occasionally? -- correct.

The Dodgers have secured their rotation, but their biggest problem in the second half of last season was hitting. Or the almost complete lack thereof.

To this limp group they have added Juan Uribe, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Dioner Navarro. It does kinda get you all tingly, doesn’t it?

Uribe is an upgrade at second, though at three years and $21 million, he came at a stiff price.

Speaking of stiffs, that’s what T.J. labels the entire off-season signings, including those brought back -- Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jay Gibbons and Rod Barajas.

T.J. reasons that Dodgers fans should expect more, demand more. There should be a little more outrage in their response, and a lot less indifference.

"I think Dodgers fans have come to accept a lower standard of player when it comes to their team, management counting on it and knowing Dodgers fans will keep buying tickets."

Is it true? Do you think fans have been beaten down by tales of the McCourts' financial woes to the point they’re handing out something of a free pass with their expectations?

Is it wrong to expect greatness from a tradition-rich team operating in the second-largest market in the country? To be frustrated by an inability to significantly upgrade the offense?

And most troubling, will fans still queue up, pay their $15 parking and fill Dodger Stadium 3 million strong, regardless of the quality of product on the field?

-- Steve Dilbeck