- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
The first part of the plan was to significantly improve the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately, to turn them into a contender immediately, to the alter perception of them immediately. Cost be damned. These were the first broad strokes, because the Dodgers' new ownership was thinking big picture, and assumed that inefficiencies along the way would be overwhelmed by the forthcoming television contract and an overwhelming response of fans.
So in the first 19 months since Frank McCourt was bought out, the Dodgers saw their attendance increase by more than 25 percent in one year, their season-ticket sales rocket upward, and they had a shot at winning their first World Series since 1988. Some of L.A.'s deal-making for expensive veteran players has confused an industry of value-counters who loathe the idea of an overpay, but the perspective of the Dodgers' ownership has been: Why worry about millions when there are billions in potential at stake?
Now the Dodgers can work in earnest on the finer points, on rebuilding their farm system, on using the massive stack of chips to create a deep, well-designed roster -- a younger roster. This is part of the reason why the Dodgers have indicated a willingness to absorb some salary in order to move Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp.
The first part of the plan was to significantly improve the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately, to turn them into a contender immediately, to the alter perception of them immediately.