Dodgers, Angels Need Deals for Credibility
If the Dodgers and Angels want fans to stay interested, to remain at least semi-enthused, through the second half of the season, then they have to do their part.
Management from both teams need to man-up and show they want to win.
If the late George Steinbrenner proved anything, it’s that diehard fans don’t ask for much. Deep down, they know their favorite team can’t win every year, or even every other year. But they need to know they’re trying.
They need to know ownership will spend the money and general managers will make the calls and close the deals.
They need hope.
That’s the most underrated word in sports, but it shouldn’t be. Because it is what keeps everyone going, what keeps fans watching and why they continue to buy tickets. It is also the quiet secret of the NFL, as it fosters hope through a salary cap, the draft and, most important of all, revenue sharing.
Take hope away, and you can click off the interest and enthusiasm faster than an old pre-flat screen television. Ask them in Kansas City and Pittsburgh. They’ll tell you.
Our two local teams can provide hope by filling their most glaring holes. The Dodgers are desperate for another arm to round out their rotation. It doesn’t have to be a superstar. Just a solid, innings-eating, proven major league starter. A Joel Piniero type.
They’ve got everything else they need to contend in what should be a rousing N.L. West race, with the revitalized Rockies and the surprising Padres. If Rafael Furcal stays healthy and Matt Kemp keeps his cap on straight, the Dodgers can win with that one added starting pitcher.
The Angels aren’t as fortunate. They have as many holes as Mike Scioscia has hunger pangs. But most of all, they need a corner infielder with some pop in his bat. It is amazing fans haven’t revolted over Arte Moreno’s team and its use of journeymen Triple-A players to fill in much of this season.
They aren’t paying Triple-A ticket prices, are they? Why should they be subjected to Triple-A caliber baseball? They shouldn’t. Oh sure, injuries have hurt. But come on, Kendry Morales went down weeks ago. It’s time to suck it up and make a trade for another major league caliber hitter.
Will that be enough? Now that the Rangers have struck first and landed a true ace in Cliff Lee, you have to think it won’t. But Anaheim shouldn’t be subjected to that listless, punchless bunch we saw in the final few weeks before the All-Star break.
Scioscia and GM Tony Reagins have to do better than the Paul McAnultys and Cory Aldridges. As it is, the Mike Napoli experiment has fallen on its face at first base, and third baseman Kevin Franzen’s batting average has plunged back into the realm of reality. Not to mention Hideki Matsui suddenly playing as if he were a fading 40 year old at DH.
At least Bobby Abreu has given hints he’ll bounce back to his old self, although that .257 first half average is cause for some alarm, too.
As the summer temperatures begin to engulf us, the real heat should be on the GMs and owners from both these teams.
This is when we truly discover if the McCourts’ messy divorce really has tied Ned Colletti’s hands as far as making a deal for the Dodgers.
And what about the Angels’ esteemed Mr. Moreno? Everyone always talks about what a great operation he runs. Well, at the moment it’s not so great. It needs some major repair work, and even if all the parts can’t be replaced in the next few weeks, something has to be done to show he’s trying.
The operative word here is credibility.
It is time to find out if the Dodgers and Angels still have any.
— Steve Bisheff