2012 is Important, But It’s Not the Only Goal

A quick thought for the day… over the last two weeks or so, as the Dodgers have occasionally looked terrible, I’ve heard many variations on the following theme:

“If the Dodgers spent all that money and made all those trades and don’t even get into the playoffs in 2012, they’ll have wasted it all for nothing!”

To which I say, wait, what now? Sure, if you go out and assume more than a quarter-billion dollars in future commitments, deal about a dozen prospects, and make one of the most controversial trades in the history of the sport, expectations are going to rise – and rightfully so. Some of the moves were made to help the Dodgers win right now, and if 2012 ends with the Dodgers on the outside looking in, it’ll be a big disappointment.

But to suggest that all of that effort was expended with 2012 in mind as the sole and singular goal… well, that’s just foolish. Yes, Hanley Ramirez was a big immediate upgrade over Dee Gordon and/or Juan Uribe, but he’s also going to be that for the next two seasons in a market devoid of left side help. Sure, Adrian Gonzalez required a massive outlay, but it wasn’t just to replace James Loney for six weeks, it was to fill a hole for the next six years when there’s no immediate help coming from the farm system or the free agent market at the position. Josh Beckett‘s contract was a requirement in acquiring Gonzalez, and while he’s needed right now to help reinforce a rotation weakened by injuries to Chad Billingsley & Ted Lilly, he’s also around for the next two years to hopefully help fill out the back end. You can argue about whether this is a good thing, but Nick Punto is signed up through next season too. Hell, Carl Crawford is already out for the year, so any value he provides – if there is any – will come in 2013 or later.

Sure, Shane Victorino, Brandon League, & Joe Blanton are all free agents and are around strictly to help in 2012. Fine. Every team in contention makes moves like that, and while Victorino has been generally awful and League & Blanton each struggled early before turning it around lately, I don’t think any of the prospects dealt for them are really going to be anyone we miss, unless you’re the world’s biggest Logan Bawcom fan.

A 2012 stretch run was absolutely part of what the Dodgers were going for, but it’s far from the only thing these moves accomplished. This club was built on a tight budget over the last few seasons, and there’s only so much you can do in-season to change that, especially when the sale wasn’t even completed a month into the year. The fact that the Dodgers are even in position right now is incredible, considering where our expectations were to start 2012, and what these moves have done is taken a very flawed team and improved them greatly. But there’s still holes to be fixed – a questionable starting rotation, the continued existence of Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy, Juan Rivera, a sometimes patchwork bullpen, a limited prospect pool in the minors – and it’s going to take more than three or four months to handle all that.

What the new ownership has done is set this team up well for the future, with a core offensive group of Gonzalez, Ramirez, Matt Kemp, & Andre Ethier that’s locked down for years. If you want to argue they overpaid to do so, then you’re absolutely going to have an argument to do so. But it’s not all about 2012. Whether they make the playoffs or fizz out in September (and this is a separate conversation, but it’s worth arguing whether making that one-game wild card bout and then going home even matters), the Dodger team that ends 2012 is going to be far, far, stronger than the one that started it. It’s prepared to make some real noise in the NL for years, and if things play out the way we hope they will, I doubt anyone will say, “well, yeah, but they should have done more in 2012.”

2012 is important, and we’ve seen what impact the new owners have had already in just the perception of this team around baseball. It’s not the only thing, and no matter what the next four weeks of baseball brings, it’s not going to change what we expect could be a very bright future.

545 comments
Nineteen84
Nineteen84

Outside critics fail to see that the move was geared more towards 2013 and beyond. Well done.

Real Tom
Real Tom

Excellent piece. I hadn't read it yet. I was hoping to see you mention the commitment to four outfielders over the next 6 years. I'm not saying that Cuban Bo Jackson is definitely going to be a legitimate Major League outfielder, but they certainly paid him like one. And let's be honest, they won't have an easy time trading Crawford or Puig without paying most of their contracts.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Cardiac Ablation. VND explain dat shit!

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

So anything of these rumblings and whispers in the dark about the Giants and how they steal signs?  Something has to explain how they continually and without fail, play over their heads and beyond their talent level.

Dang88
Dang88

Can we program Reggie Jackson to kill Uribe?

Dang88
Dang88

Good god @truebluela: Juan Rivera is taking grounders at third base right now

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

RT @truebluela: Ted Lilly will throw a simulated game on Wednesday. Relief role still possible

 

well......theres that

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Ah shit

RT @truebluela: No new news on a second PRP injection, but Don Mattingly didn't sound too optimistic that Chad Billingsley would pitch again this year

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

So news of next year's schedule is already leaking out.  Just please tell me whatever it is, the rest of the NL West will have an identical one

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

Have to admit, I'm not entirely sure what the point is of putting Guerra on the disabled list.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

RT @jphoornstra: Jansen plans to have surgery in the off-season to correct his arrhythmia and anticipates a 1-month recovery.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

So can Kenley do baseball activities during these 10 days? Like bullpen sessions etc?

Carlos Flores
Carlos Flores

David Vassegh ‏@THEREAL_DV

Kenley Jansen will be out another 10 days and is planning heart surgery after the season

 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @Dang88 because it'd be good to have more chances to get his bat into the lineup. 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Frank J Lapidus probably not. of course we see the Yanks and Red Sox. giants i assume see Astros and Royals

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

 @Mike Petriello I kind of forgot the DL is actually used for disabled people. I always see it as a convenient roster tool. 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Mike Petriello if its oblique hes probably done for the season right? so maybe to put him on 60day to free up roster?

DBrim
DBrim moderator

 @Cadtalfryn My roommate's girlfriend's family is apparently very good friends with the Long family.

Lobo
Lobo

 @EephusBlue I think, I saw reports saying he was working out but separate from the rest of the team because he can't risk being hit by a ball.  If he threw bullpen sessions way before the game (as in before batting practice and before anyone else throws a bullpen session) it sounds like he might be able to.

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

 @EephusBlue he did last time. I  believe it's what allowed him a chance to refine his change up.He just can't compete for fear of getting a cut while on blood thinners. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@Lobo@Doyer

Eric Stephen ‏@truebluela

Jansen mentioned the 17th as a possible return but Dodgers are off that day

 

Apparently somebody needs to learn to count to 10.

 

HarryDoyle
HarryDoyle

 @EephusBlue  @Doyer I haven't been able to figure out exactly what he has got, but it sounds like atrial fibrillation, which'll mean he'll be under general anesthesia and they will catheterize him through his femoral artery in his leg.  They'll insert the catheter backwards into his heart and electrically map his heart tissue to figure out what location is out of rhythm and is causing his irregular heartbeat.  Once they figure out where the problem area is, they will stick the catheter up to it and burn that small area and remove the problem.  He shouldn't see much of a hit to his off-season routine.  Minor recovery time from minimally invasive surgery.  

No incisions.  

No chest cracking.  

No open heart.  

Hopefully, problem solved...

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Doyer Bro had bypass surgery. It was the most painful thing he has ever experienced. It fucking scared the hell out of me.

Carlos Flores
Carlos Flores

 @EephusBlue Heart surgery sounds scary as hell, I hope he has it the day after the Dodgers final game, whenever that is.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

@EephusBlue I'm going with no, based on this 

Risks of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation include, but are not limited to: stroke, esophageal injury and death.

[edit]

 

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @EephusBlue I did find out that all NL West teams will play the Red Sox next year, with the Rockies getting them twice.  Since we're getting the Yankees twice, that's fair...right?

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Cadtalfryn Funny enough I am wearing my UH warriors cap since Saturday. And depending on how you look at it, it helped the warriors haha.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Cadtalfryn I try not to be but cant help it. Been wearing a different cap since we started winning these last 3

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Doyer can't. Not good to have WS victory champagne in your system just before surgery