Jon Weisman of the newly-relocated Dodger Thoughts sat down with Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt for an extended interview recently. Most of it was spent talking about how, despite doing things like not offering Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf arbitration, the Dodgers are all about winning and not cost-cutting these days. But with responses like these, McCourt doesn’t do a lot to put the questions to rest:
“I, by the way, can see both sides of this debate, very, very clearly.
To me this is one really good baseball debate, in terms of ‘Do you or
don’t you.’ I think, like I was saying before, what would have happened
(if we had offered arbitration), maybe Randy Wolf knows, but I don’t.
And I don’t think the downside would have been bad for the
organization, because he’s a good pitcher and a good guy, but I think
that the judgment was made that we (could) do even better for the
That’s the baseball equivalent of starting a book report with “This book raised many important questions that are very important to consider . . .” without really ever getting to what those questions really are. What’s the upside, Frank? How does not getting picks for Randy Wolf make the team better? How does going into the season with question marks in the rotation make the team better? I’m willing to believe that there was a real competitive reason, as opposed to a purely financial reason for not offering arbitration to these guys, but I’ve still not heard what it is.
Weisman makes an excellent observation later in the interview: that McCourt seems really good at talking about the smallest of baseball-side details when he wants to, but then he gets vague and defers to the Colletti and others when the questions get hard. Maybe this is simply a means of not throwing specific people under the bus on controversial decisions. Maybe the real answers would cut against the whole “this divorce is not harming the Dodgers in the field” campaign the Dodgers have been running for a few weeks. It’s really hard to say.
If I were a Dodgers fan, however, nothing McCourt has to say here does anything to alleviate my concerns about the team going forward.