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In a never-ending quest to find reasons to believe things could be worse, we should consider how dire the financial situation in Los Angeles has become. After taking private loans just to pay his players’ salaries, Bud Selig took the reigns from Frank McCourt yesterday, and the Dodgers are now the MLB equivalent of Amtrak. What it means for their future – both immediate and long-term – is unclear. And that’s exactly why, for Cubs fans, we should remember: things could be worse.

  • Mike Quade views Starlin Castro’s sojourn in the three-hole yesterday as just that – a sojourn. “A whole lot of things are evolving,’’ Quade said. “The more I think about it, we took the kid from 2 to 1 [successfully]. Would he be an option in the 3 hole if Marlon had a day off? … If you give Marlon the day off and Fuke’s playing and leading off, if you’re me, where do you go?’’ Quade is willing to leave open the possibility that Castro could take over the role someday, perhaps soon, but for now he’s sticking with Marlon Byrd. Hoo-ray.
  • Matt Garza threw 35 – THIRTY-FIVE – pitches in the sixth inning of the first game yesterday. Why is that insane? He didn’t give up a run. And the inning ended with a double-play!
  • Carlos Zambrano says a worldwide draft would hurt kids from places like the Dominican Republic or his native Venezuela because those kids need more time to develop before being signed. His point is a little unclear, but I think it’s this: once drafted, a kid has three or four years to impress enough to be put on the 40-man roster (or be subjected to the Rule Five Draft). If not drafted, a kid can work at clinics, train, develop, and then get signed when he’s ready. Zambrano says kids don’t play as much baseball in those countries when they are younger as they do here (which is news to me – they may not play organized baseball, but I’m pretty sure baseball is a popular pick-up sport). Ultimately, Zambrano’s position is fine with me: I don’t have to tell you that the ability to freely sign international prospects is a benefit for teams with deep pockets like the Cubs.
  • I had a post in the can for over a week about the whole did-the-Cubs-throw-the-1918-World-Series thing, which is blowing up all over the ‘net now. I just didn’t have a chance to give it the attention it deserved, and have been planning on sitting down and writing the thing the first time I got a chance. But now, it’s everywhere, so I might not do it. First lesson? Never sit on a post when you can beat everyone else to market. Grumble. As to the substance, the issue is not whether the Cubs *could* have won it all in 1918, and, thus, making our theoretical misery ten years shorter. The issue is whether throwing the thing in 1918 – and not some damn goat – is the origin of our curse. Sure seems like a more cursable offense, no?
  • TSB

    Though a life-long Cubs fan (have autographed pictures of “the big three”), I’ve lived in Los Angeles for a long time. Cubs fans, you should count your blessings every day that you can go to Wrigley and see a well-run team, yes even with Hendry. Dodger stadium has turned into a cesspool, with drunks, gangbangers, and now an owner that is using the team as a cash cow for his own personal uses. Example: He split the parking lot from the Dodger organization, so he could bill the Dodgers for parking expenses. Result: money that could have been used for player development and team improvements have now been laundered and gone into his real estate (and divorce) venture. Even though I hate the Dodgers, it’s sad to see a great franchise go down the tubes.

    • Ace

      I actually feel bad for Dodger fans (the non-violent ones). It just can’t be a fun time to root for that team right now.

      • Jeff

        I honestly can’t believe it took MLB this long to do something about this. I just wonder how long the McCourt’s were planning on running the Dodgers into the ground and dragging the organization through their divorce hearings. Like the Cubs and Mets, the Dodgers have no excuse for not at least competing for a playoff spot every season. The bad thing is, that team has some very good young talent that is still getting better, they should have been competing the last couple of years.

  • KB

    How is the Dodgers sitch different from the Mets? It isn’t, unless you count the fact that the owner is getting divorced, which does happen in real life sometimes.

    Selig is buddies with Wilpon.

    • Joe

      Wilpon actually has/at least had money – McCourt bought the Dodgers on empty promises. He purchased the team with borrowed money and speculation on some Boston parking lot; he never actually had a penny though.

      Then after getting the team, McCourt played fuzzy-numbers with the books. To give an idea, he has been charging the Team rent to play in their own stadium – a stadium he also owns because they are a package deal! Meaning he was paying himself rent, just so he could pocket more money from the club revenue. And it doesnt even begin to end there; he went as far as “hiring” his kids and paid them a big salary despite their never actually doing a job for the club.

      But the straw that broke the Camels back for Selig was when McCourt attempted to have the team borrow 200MM against futures on his TV Rights deal with their local Fox station. When MLB said no go, that he cant mortgage the future of the club because of his prior poor decisions, he went out and instead took a 30MM personal loan from the same source just to make April Payroll.

      That did two things – 1, showed he without-a-doubt doesnt even have enough to make monthly payroll and 2, went directly against what MLB had just told him days before.

      McCourt is not just a broke owner, he is also an absolute sleazeball who has been playing games for years despite his never actually having any money to begin with. He had built a complete house of cards; a house that the divorce and recent fan beating (due in large part to his skimping on security costs) brought crumbling down.

      • Ace

        I like the cut of Joe’s gib.

    • Ace

      Unrelatedly, I like that you used “sitch.”

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