So, as I've referenced several times, I don't live in Los Angeles. Not anymore. I grew up in the South Bay, though, starting with pre-school and kindergarten in Palos Verdes. There I met Patrick, who would be my "best friend" for as long as such things really mattered. As things turned out, one side of his family is from Minnesota, where I live now. They have a lake home a few miles outside St. Cloud, Minnesota, a town about half the size of Torrance, which makes it very large for central Minnesota. Patrick and I manage to spend a couple weeks a year up there, and it's largely how we've been able to stay close.
All this is a roundabout way to express my surprise that the Saint Cloud Times ran an article by Mike LoPresti discussing the divorce. Crystallizing an analogy I'd heard used loosely before, LoPresti writes,
The stakes are high, and the other team is powerful. To win, you're going to have to spend money to bring in enough talent.
The Dodgers building their pitching staff to win the National League pennant? Nah. Frank and Jamie McCourt stockpiling attorneys for their divorce battle.
The Dodgers are in last place, and while injuries and a fat earned run average have been factors, a persistent question is what the cost has been for one of the sport's blue chip franchises by marital war in the owner's box.
If only they spent this much money on their rotation.As the club continues to scuffle along, the club's shortcomings are inevitably pinned on the McCourts' personal drama. Frank and Jamie were really in a no-win situation here. If the team succeeded, it would be in spite of the McCourt saga. Should the team lose, the failures would be because of the divorce. Fair or not, this was bound to happen.
And folks are reacting with various thoughts and feelings on the poor start. Jon Weisman runs through the rotation's struggles, the bullpen's issues, the defense's problems, and the roster's injury-fueled turnover. He closes with an important reminder that there is still time for this to work out. Or get uglier. Eric Stephen has run out of regular words to address the situation, so he turns to pig Latin. Everyone else is pretty down, too.
Yes, at some point it's no longer "early." And maybe that point is sooner than we'd like. Still, the Dodgers are closer to the division lead than either the Red or White Sox, both of which are looking up at much fiercer competition than the general dreck above the Dodgers. Should the Dodgers' 5.5 game deficit turn into 10 by the end of the month, yeah--the team will start looking to sell. But I'm not convinced that this team is anything close to buried yet.