Fire Jim Tracy

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Must Reading for Kool-Aid Drinkers But Still Avoid the L.A. Times

Jon Weisman has posted a must-read post regarding Paul DePodesta and "plans." Two additional comments: 1) The Dodgers will clearly spend $100 million or more this year, which must be part of the "plan," and seems to be the overriding concern of Dodger fans, most of whom have fallen for the Ugly Purple Hat Theory of Baseball (also known as the Kevin Malone Corollary), and given that this has been the overriding concern for six weeks, it's hard to see what the complaint is now. Everyone keeps saying that McCourt is short on money, but overpaying Drew and Perez to the tune of $20 million between the two of them doesn't exactly suggest poverty. 2) The "grand plan" is to win. Every Year. Duh. Otherwise, just read what Jon has to say on the subject.

But while we're on the subject, Jon's praise of the Henson L.A. Times article is way, way off-base. What tradition and time-honored methods is DePodesta actually blowing up? Kevin Malone's? Henson seems to recognize his problem here, and even seeks out a quote from Billy Beane to the extent that there is no tradition. His rhetorical answer is predictably left wanting.

A dyed-in-the-blue fan might respond by asking, since when are the small-market Athletics the model for the Dodgers? DePodesta says he recognizes the difference.

Two words: Non. Sequitur. Henson has already argued that DePodesta is blowing up tradition -- now he is inherently agreeing with Beane's position that the Dodgers don't have a tradition. In other words, DePodesta isn't overturning tradition -- he's only installing a tradition or model that Henson disagrees with.

Not only that, but Henson did what every good reporter should avoid like the plague -- he 1) buried the lede and 2) complicated the problem by misinterpreting what the lede meant.

DePodesta didn't return agent Scott Boras' last-ditch phone call the day Beltre agreed to terms with the Seattle Mariners because Beltre, he of a monstrous 2004 season after six years of inconsistency, was not part of the plan.

BORAS WAS SHOPPING AROUND SEATTLE'S OFFER! HELLO! Since the grand plan is to win every year (duh -- this is like Jim Tracy-level logic, people), of course Beltre could have been part of it. DePodesta made them an offer -- why would DePodesta make him an offer if he couldn't have been part of the plan? This is Plaschke-type nonsense.

Jon also had good things to say about Tim Brown's Shawn Green article. I guess. I read it and couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be about. Is the two-year old sad because she's moving to Phoenix? I would feel badly about that, as I would for any sad two-year-old, although it wasn't terribly clear (like everything else about the article) that's what that was all about. If the point was only that Shawn Green is a human being with a two-year-old, whatever. Join the human family. My kids cry. I'm going to have to bill 2500 hours next year so my kids can have shoes. If only I had the talent to ground to second base 300 times, I could parlay that into the problem of WHO was going to pay me $16 million next year. Get me straight: All Shawn Green did was answer the phone and talk, it's not his fault. But Brown didn't do Green any favors with the woe-is-me tone of it.

I will concede that next to the terrible twosome of Plaschke and Simers, Henson and Brown look like Dickens and Joyce. But Plaschke and Simers could make criminal pro se appeals briefs look good. How long do you think Simers sweated in his office trying to come up with "Google Boy?" It's criminal that in a city as large as Los Angeles that birdcage liner like the Times is all that exists. Thank God for the Internet.

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