$250M, 8 Starting Pitchers and No Shortstop

HanleyInteresting piece in today’s L.A. Times Dodger blog about the outlook for the Dodgers, who now have the highest payroll in baseball.

I have to say I’m starting to have serious questions about the Dodgers under Magic Johnson (has anyone ever been to his theaters?). Given the payroll, I think there are HUGE expectations for the Dodgers going into the season. But as the Yankees have often learned — the hard way — a roster full of super stars does not a team make.

The biggest question seems to be Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. According to Dodgers beat writer Steve Dilbeck:

He suffered what’s been called a minor shoulder injury early in winter ball and has spent the off-season primarily as a designated hitter. Now playing for the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean World Series, he made his first appearance at shortstop Monday and committed an eighth-inning error that led to a pair of runs in Puerto Rico’s 6-4 victory.

So let me get this straight: The Dodgers spent $250 million on payroll, have 8 starting pitchers, but no competent shortstop? And their two best prospects — which they’ve already spent $50 million on — are an unproven Korean and Cuban kid?

I think the Dodgers are really setting themselves up to fail. And even if they have a moderately good season, given the payroll and the talent, anything short of 100 wins and a trip to at least the NLCS will be seen as complete failure.

On the upside, I have no skin in the game, except for the fact that the Dodgers started in Brooklyn and are now my National League team. This should be fun to watch.

About Mark Yost
Mark Yost is the author of the Rick Crane Noir series, published by Stay Thirsty Press. Rick Crane is the classic, anti-hero private eye in the spirit of Sam Spade and Jim Rockford. He works in the unmistakably noirish underworld of Upstate New York, running errands and fixing problems for Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., one of Upstate New York's most notorious crime bosses. But readers quickly learn that deep down, Rick Crane is one of the good guys. "Cooper's Daughter," the first book in the widely acclaimed series, is a fast-moving tale in which a heartbroken father comes to Rick and asks him to find out what really happened to his daughter, who was murdered and the details buried in the Unsolved Crimes File of the local police department. The second book in the series is "Jimmy's Nephew," which begins with the death of Joey "Boom Boom" Bonadeo, an up-and-coming boxer and the nephew of Rick's underworld boss. What starts out as a routine investigation turns into a case that will test Rick's faith -- in the Catholic Church and his fellow man. Book No. 3 in the series, "Mary's Fate" is due out in August 2015. Mark Yost also writes for The Wall Street Journal Arts in Review page, as well as the Book Review section. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America -- Midwest Chapter, International Thriller Writers, and a number of other author groups. He is also a member of the Amazon Author's Program. Mark lives in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago, but he and his son, George, call the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn "home."

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