Life as a Dodger Fan in the time of Andrew Friedman


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!


15 thoughts on “Life as a Dodger Fan in the time of Andrew Friedman

  1. Wow bear! Loved the piece. It certainly wasn’t a great start for AF but I think he has woven together a talented team that plays hard for one another and gives us a chance at a title each year. We just need to finish the job!

    1. Thanks Rich….my first foray into writing. It has taken me a while to try to understand his logic. Us OLD SCHOOL guys are just hard headed I guess.

  2. Well done Bear.

    Right in the middle of your piece I see a hot looking babe standing next to a large, fully budding marijuana plant. I laughed out loud.

    I’m old school too, and I miss the beautiful subtleties of our game well played. Michael Wilbon summed it up best for me – being at games now is boring. We sit around enduring strikeout after strikeout, with the occasional walk, waiting for the inevitable home run. No steals, no hit and run, no bunting for hits, no going to the opposite field… we old school guys miss all that. The game is now played by guys the size of the Chicago Bears swinging maple bats at juiced balls. And the fences are closer than the ones on fields I played on as a teenager.

    I accept it all as yet another reminder that I have become my grandpa. And that’s true in a thousand ways.

    The Dodgers win and it’s a good day. Like Bear, I too hope I live long enough to see them win another title. It’s been a long time.

    1. Thanks Scoop. Coming from you that means a lot. I have always respected your baseball acumen.

  3. Nice job Bear, although it’s a bit more positive than I’m used to seeing from you. Are you sure you didn’t have a ghost writer? When do you plan to put it to music? You could be featured during the 7th inning stretch at the stadium one night.
    The powers that be at MLB are concerned that they aren’t bringing in enough new (young) fans. I wonder if it ever occurred to them that the stuff we ancient guys are missing is what would bring young fans back. I also hope that Verdugo continues to produce because the Dodgers need his fire. Now that Puig is gone, Alex is the guy who will bring fans to the stadium. Bring the passion back to baseball!

    1. I was half asleep, so sue me…no, I just am looking at things from a different perspective now. Not easy for someone who loved the game the way it was…..

  4. Good article bear. So we have a nucleus of players from ned colletti era and not much from Friedman. A lot of bad trades except , Grandal and? 1 good draft pick maybe and not much on the farm. Not much for 5 years. Basically the same problems for 5 years. Catcher, second base, bullpen and really the outfield. He’s been riding colletti team for 5 years.

  5. It is a different game. More smash mouth than subtle and it feels like all the anylitics take away from kids game feel. But their still our Dodgers and we just got to witness maybe the greatest opening month’s by Belly in MLB history. And we’re definetly in the running for a WS title so we’ve got a lot to be grateful as Dodger fans. And it seems we have a collection of some very outstanding young men. Easy to root for!

    1. Different is so very true. I cannot imagine Big D letting Roberts pull him from a game he is leading without letting him try to get out of his own jam. And he usually would unless the hitters name was McCovey. Willie owned Big D. I also get the easy to root for part. I am all over that when they are at the plate. I always want them to succeed and when they do, it makes the game that much better. Justin Turner now has 94 career HR’s. 3 of which have come before May. That is in parts of 12 seasons. Bellinger now has 78 career homers in exactly 1 game over 2 complete seasons….close to averaging 40 a season. Belli should shatter the Dodger record for fastest player to 100 dingers. The thing is to continue to pour it on and not get caught in a long slump. As goes Belli, so goes the Dodgers.

  6. Let’s hope we get Seager and Turner into that conversationnstartingbin May. Is it just me but Seager just looks frail and weak.

    1. Seager said he feels fine. He has lost some weight which is a result of his two surgery’s. But I think his hitting is where it is because of rust. Remember, Corey did not have a full spring. He did not even get into games until very late in the process. He will be fine. Too much talent to not figure it out.

  7. What a waste! It’s time to put your best hitters at the top,of the lineup and that doesn’t include Seager right now! But it does include Verdugo!

    1. Totally agree Rich. I have no problem keeping Seager in the lineup until he gets his batting eye back but he should be batting 6th or 7th, not 2nd or 3rd. Move Verdugo up and Seager down.

  8. Pollock to have surgery to remove the hardware in his elbow. Out probably for about 2 months. Missed the game, went to see the new Avengers movie with my brother. Glad I missed it. I would have been pissed….12 K’s? Disgusting. Belli did get a hit and the only ribbie.

    1. Pollock is made of glass. 100 games, 400 plate appearances. If we’re lucky. Friedman does love him his M.A.S.H.ers. The good news is Verdugo will get more playing time. Maybe. Watch Roberts put Taylor out there against LHers. Here’s an interesting stat, Taylor’s K rate and batting average against left handed pitching is the same. Staff Sergeant Barnes’ platoon had better odds of success.

      Ryu spun a beauty. To be honest I didn’t think any of our starters had 8 innings in them. I’d bet it won’t happen again. 25 pushups. Anybody want a piece of that?

      Bats go flat against a last place club. 12 Ks. 1 for 10 WRISP. SF pitching is not that good. I know it’s only May, but maybe the West ain’t as bad as I thought it was.

      I look up and suddenly Chicago leads the league in RDIFF. They and the Cards are on a roll.

      A day off is a good thing.

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