November, 2014 (Los Angeles)—Andrew Friedman is hired as the president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers by ownership. He inherits a team that has won two division titles in a row under GM Ned Colletti. He also inherits what most people believe is a dysfunctional and divided clubhouse. Decisions need to be made. Friedman hires Farhan Zaidi as the new GM of the Dodgers. Colletti is kicked to the position of special advisor to the chairman and later joins the broadcast team.
A series of minor moves follows. Some fringe players are added who will never see the Dodger uni. December would prove to be a busy Month. On the 11th, he traded Dee Gordon, Miguel Rojas and Dan Haren and cash to the Marlins for Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, and Andrew Heaney. He immediately flipped Heaney to the Angels for Howie Kendrick.
On the 16th, he signed his first major free agent, Brandon McCarthy—a move that since has been questioned many times.
On the 18th he traded Matt Kemp, Tim Federowicz and cash to the Padres for Yasmani Grandal, Zach Elfin and Joe Weiland. The next day he sent Elfin and Tom Windle to the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins. Later in the month, he signed his second major free agent in Brett Anderson—another signing that would be questioned often down the road.
That was just the beginning. We all know what has transpired over the next four years. Four more division titles, Two World Series appearances, both ending in disappointment. So the Dodger drought without a championship has lasted 30 plus years. Our biggest pain was watching the hated Giants win three in a five-year stretch.
As a lifelong Dodger fan, I have loved the team’s success and have agonized when they have lost. As most everyone here knows, I am no huge fan of sabermetrics. But, it is the way things are now. Being a fan under Friedman’s guidance has not been easy for us old school fans. I miss pitchers that go nine innings and finish what they started. And I miss hitters who actually feel striking out is a no-no.
I have not always agreed with the trades and signings. A few times I thought the guy was down right looney tunes. But what he has done is made it work. I never will understand all that saber gobbledygook. But he obviously does. Some trades he has refused to make that I lobbied for have actually been the right moves. But a fan usually thinks with his heart and not his head.
The team has had success over the last four years that it has never seen even in the glory days of the Boys of Summer. We could use a couple of those guys in their prime, but that is not going to happen. We have Corey, JT, Cody and Verdugo. Those kinds of players are what the majors are today. And, although I do not think it is the most exciting brand of baseball, it is how the game is now played. Just think of it this way, pitchers like Kershaw and his seven-plus innings almost every start are now going the way of the Dodo bird.
I am getting up there in years. And I would love to see at least one more championship. But I am blessed in that I have witnessed all six they do have. Never a dull moment in the land of the Blue. And, since Andrew took over, it has been more of the same. Just one last thing Andy—fix the bullpen and win one for Tommy!