Hey Dodgers… what is wrong with this picture?

On July 21, 2009… less than a year ago, Cliff Lee was a pitcher for the Indians.
He threw a complete game 2-1 victory for the lowly Indians and as the defending Cy Young winner was on the trade block.

And the Dodgers, who made it to the 2008 NLCS, desperately needed an ace pitcher. They had some decent pitching but were also leaning on the Clayton Kershaws and Chad Billingsleys too much. They needed a stud to put them over the top.

He was traded to the Phillies 10 days later… and threw 8 shutout innings in the NLCS against the Dodgers.

He’s been traded three times in the past year.

The Dodgers still desperately need a #1 starter.
Cliff Lee would have been PERFECT ace for the Dodgers. They may have won the 2009 NL Pennant and probably would be in first place as I type this instead of being in 4th place, 6 games back of the Padres in the loss column.

And yet with the need for Lee, the minor leaguers to trade, the pitchers park for him to thrive and the big market to resign him.

And how many proposed trades did we hear involving the Dodgers?
That would be ZERO!!!

Hey Frank McCourt… remind us how your divorce isn’t affecting how the team is put together again?
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I call to the stand… DODGERS OWNER FRANK McCOURT

Remember when Frank McCourt had the stones to say the divorce is not affecting the team?

Not to use legalese because no doubt he is hearing a LOT of that these days…
But to refute that, all I have to do is point to two games being played in the National League last night.

EXHIBIT A: Randy Wolf

In 2009 he leads the NL with 34 starts, gives the Dodgers 214 innings and an ERA of 3.23.

The Dodgers desperately need pitching depth going into 2010.
Wolf is not even OFFERED a contract and he signs with Milwaukee. (Because usually big markets like Milwaukee can out bid tiny media markets like Los Angeles.)

Last night Wolf beat Arizona, throwing 6 innings and 3 runs. It was a blowout game, so two relievers got in some work. He ERA rose to a still respectable 3.95.

EXHIBIT B: Charlie Haeger

The Dodgers starting pitcher went into last night’s game with eye popping stats… eye poppingly horrible.

The knuckleballer took an 0-3 record with a 6.56 ERA to Chavez Ravine to take on division rival Colorado. He had started 3 of the Dodgers most lopsided losses of the year. But he’s a knuckleballer! You live by them and you die by them!

Well tonight was more death.
He faced 5 batters.
All 5 reached.
All 5 scored.
He didn’t retire a batter.

As a starter he threw 0 innings. Usually I hate it when someone says “I could have pitched better than that” but in this case, how could I have pitched WORSE?

And when Joe Torre realized that not only was he down 6 runs before his team came to bat but that he was dipping into his bullpen for 9 innings, I wonder if he glanced over and saw what was happening with the Brewers and the nice start they got from Wolf.

Halladay, Lackey and Lee all changed uniforms this past off season and the Dodger front office is making moves that remove the Randy Wolfs of the world from the team and puts in the Charlie Haegers… on a team that made the NLCS each of the last 2 seasons.

Would a team, especially the biggest team in the second biggest media market in the country, make personel decisions like that if the owners weren’t involved in a divorce that makes the Tiger/Elin situation look like an amicable split?

Your honor… I rest my case.
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You keep telling yourself that, Frank McCourt

I am always fascinated when a public figure says something that everyone on the planet Earth knows is Bullsh*t and acts like we’re going to buy it.

Maybe it is the whole Clinton “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” fascination.
Or hearing Pete Rose say he never bet on baseball all of those years.
Or Clemens, Bonds, McGwire and Palmeiro saying they never used ‘roids.
Or hearing how happy James Cameron is for Kathryn Bigelow.

So the latest “Does he really think we are buying it” moment has to come from Frank McCourt. (No not the Angela’s Ashes guy… the other one.)

The other McCourt… the one who owns the Dodgers… claims that his messy War of the Roses like divorce is not affecting the Dodgers.

Of course it isn’t… it certainly did affect how the Dodgers did business this off season. The team, which has fallen 3 games short of the World Series each of the last two seasons, desperately needs an ace pitcher. The Dodgers have lots of young talent with big league experience… and Roy Halladay and John Lackey switched teams as did Cliff Lee twice.

Did the Dodgers ever figure into those moves? Nope.

They let Randy Wolf go for nothing… same with their lead off hitter Orlando Hudson… same with spark plug Juan Pierre… same with inning eating veteran Jon Garland.

Oh yeah, Manny Ramirez is clearly in decline and now sulking, and the Dodgers made no attempt to beef up the lineup either.

And did I mention the Los Angeles Dodgers, the marquee team in the second biggest media market in the country, has a lower payroll than the Minnesota Twins?

And this retreat just HAPPENS to be taking place while the owner is in a nasty split that could cost him $1 million a month.

If the Dodgers fall a pitcher or a bat short of the World Series again this year, then you can talk to the McCourts… who will no doubt be lying in their foyer with their chandelier crashed around them.

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