Call me crazy, but I think the Dodgers’ current woes are the result of Major League Baseball allowing an overly-leveraged dilettante into the ownership club and then watching as that dilettante did even worse things to the franchise’s business than anyone could have imagined.
George Vecsey of the New York Times has another theory, however: he says the Dodgers are being impacted by “a communal curse” visited upon the organization because, over 50 years ago, Walter O’Malley decided to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Vecsey calls it “The Flatbush Curse.”
Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows how I feel about curses. At best they’re little psychological tools people use to cope with perceived injustices. At worst they’re cynical fabrications used to sell books and t-shirts and stuff. The common denominator is that, for any given “curse” there are a dozen better reasons why a given misfortune has taken place.
But let’s say there was a Flastbush Curse. Let’s say some little old woman from Brooklyn called it into being on New Year’s Day 1958 with great drama, gesticulation and the spilling of lamb’s blood. Even if that happened, isn’t this the worst curse ever? Before it was invoked, the Dodgers won nine pennants and one World Series. After it was invoked they won nine pennants and five World Series, in a far shorter period of time.
It’s almost enough to make you think that the current problems of the team have some other explanation than the move to Los Angeles. A move that, by far, was the smartest thing the Dodgers ever did.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.