The following is from this morning's Times:
"In these types of games, you look at these things, and they're magnified, no question about it," Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said. "I mean, Andruw overreacted to an overthrow at first, and all of a sudden you realize it didn't go in the dugout or very far away. Errors in judgment and in the field are the things that seem to stand out."
(The bold and italics are mine.)
The reason I bolded and italicized that final sentence is that, to me, it absolutely crystallizes the problems with this team. Torre and his perpetual lineups are a reaction to a team of players and coaches (Larry Bowa notwithstanding), and organizational leaders that are incompetent from a baseball perspective and NOT from a business perspective. In addition, his hands seem fundamentally tied by the contracts of Andrew Jones, Pierre, Furcal, Penny, Schmidt, Lowe, and the marketing necessity of having Nomar on the roster. In addition, the mess created by years of turnover and intensely bad general management replacements have devastated the Dodger's ability to right this sinking ship.
This starts at the top with the decision to make the Dodgers an attraction rather than a team, with Dodger Stadium more important than Dodger Baseball. The McCourts, as we say year in and year out, have other things to bother themselves with, such as the new concourse and the remodeling of the bathrooms, than to put together a winning franchise. The truth is, unfortunately, that this is not accidental and Jamie and Frank know perfectly well what they are doing as far as the demographics go: the fans will continue to come to Dodger Stadium whether they are in first place by ten games or in last place by ten games.
This is a Los Angeles phenomenon. In no city on the planet earth do you have the strange rotating fan base that the Dodgers have. Each city also have teams that mirror their particular Gotham. In Los Angeles, it appears that the makeup of the Dodgers is suited to reflect LA's own unprecedented brand of citizenry. Add to that the tourist dollar that fluidly comes to the ballpark as part of the Los Angeles experience, and you can understand why McCourt purchased the Dodgers in an effort to develop the land and bring us his long awaited dream: DODGERLAND, set to open in 2012.
While Frank would like to win, I have no doubt, that is a long way from deciding to win. If he made a decision to win, then he would have hired staff and players that did not lack the most important ingredient in winning: alertness.
You can count those individuals on one finger of one hand.