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Carl Crawford

What the hell is wrong with the Los Angeles Dodgers?

In my damn near interminable preview post series, 20 Days of Thinking Blue, I was equal parts optimistic that this Dodgers team would bring home the city’s first pennant in 25 years and concerned that they were headed horrific disaster. It’s still early in the year and neither has come to pass at this point. The Dodgers are merely…fine, bubbling around the .500 mark and playing uninspired baseball.

Why is this happening? At this point, what’s wrong with the Los Angeles Dodgers? And can it be fixed?

Inconsistent hitting

The Dodgers were constructed like the New York Yankees of old—imported veterans with power hitting alongside homegrown players that had grown into All-Stars.  The center of the line-up was supposed to feature the spectacular Yasiel Puig and a resurgent Matt Kemp, with Adrian Gonazalez, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford forming a devastating front five. Waiting in the wings would be Cuban rookie Alexander Guerrero and top prospects Joc Pederson. The line-up was supposed to be a tough 8 outs…make it 9 when Silver Slugging pitcher Zack Greinke was throwing.

Instead, many of the questions that I asked before the season have already come to fruition.… Read more...

20 Days of Thinking Blue: Will Andre Ethier Stick Around?

The countdown has begun, kids. Opening Night (well, American Opening Night) is fast approaching as the Dodgers take on the Padres down in San Diego on March 30th. Leading up until then, MAMBINO will tackle 20 of the most important–and some not so important–questions that will get you set up for a season of almost unparalleled expectations. Let’s get it going:
How long until Andre Ethier FINALLY becomes a member of the Red Sox and crushes the Dodgers in the World Series?
Anyone that’s been paying even a little attention to the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason knows the storyline: four outfielders, three spots.
Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford combine to make $57 million dollars next season, a unfathomable amount of money for three players who aren’t considered MVP-caliber guys for a multitude of reasons. Crawford and Ethier have three more years on these deals after this one and Kemp with five seasons after this. The monetary commitments to all of these players is tremendous, a fact which would greatly hinder their trade value on the market. The fourth outfielder is Rookie of the Year runner-up Yasiel Puig, a (allegedly) 23 year-old  Cuban wunderkind who is only making $2 million but is by far the least expendable of the bunch. He’s dynamic in almost every way, still learning the game of baseball and could somehow be only getting better.… Read more...

Dodger Digs: Are these long-term contracts actually hindering rather than helping?

(Hello MAMBINites. Welcome to our newest feature, which we’ve lovingly anointed Dodger Digs. Each and every week, in the vein of Vin’s Bronx Tales, we’ll answer some of the most pertinent questions circling Chavez Ravine and YOUR….Los Angeles Dodgers.)
EL Miz: How worried is John Q. Dodgers Fan about some of the commitments the team has made?  Specifically, with guaranteed money for the next (5?) seasons to Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier, will that preclude the Dodgers from either (A) playing good players in their system (PUIG) or (B) upgrading sunk cost (if Crawford is replacement level)?
KOBEsh: As one of two resident John Q. Dodgers fans on MAMBINO, I’m oddly calm when I should be downright concerned. … Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers get: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, IF Nick Punto

Boston Red Sox get: SP Rubby de la Rosa, OF Jerry Sands, IF Ivan de Jesus, 1B James Loney , SP Allen Webster

After the Los Angeles Dodgers were sold to a new ownership group including former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson, former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten and investor Mark Walter, Kasten repeated over and over that business in Chavez Ravine was going to change. For the past seven years, the team had been beset by management that didn’t have the capital to back up the massive responsibility that came with running a league institution like the Dodgers. Fans became disillusioned and bitter, and after several seasons of seeing the best players being eschewed from their dreams of playing in Dodger Blue because of bigger paychecks in not just places like New York and Boston, but Detroit and Milwaukee, simply stopped showing up to the Stadium.

From day one, Kasten repeated that the Dodgers would take their rightful place on the iron throne that they molded out of the ingenuity of Branch Rickey and the sweat of Peter O’Malley. Over and over, he said that the Dodgers would no longer operate like a small-market team whilst sitting in the middle of the nation’s second-biggest media market. Stan Kasten, with Magic’s infectious smile beaming a little bit brighter than usual, proclaimed that the Los Angeles Dodgers would be the New York Yankees.

On Friday, August 24th, the Los Angeles Dodgers have become the New York Yankees.… Read more...