What else can baseball fans do in January but dream of October? In You May Say I’m a Dreamer, the Outside Corner staff will imagine the route to a World Series in 2012 title for all 30 teams.
Considering the state of flux that the once fabled Dodger franchise currently finds itself in, it almost seems cruel to even think about them winning a World Series.
The ill-fated ownership of the McCourt family is finally in its death throes, but several weeks still remain before he selects the team’s next owner and frees Dodger fans from this nearly decade-long living nightmare. At least now though there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, and in this dream, that light is the brightest of all because it leads to the Dodgers returning to championship glory.
The dream begins where the nightmare began, at the ownership level. With the April 30th deadline looming and the bidding for the Dodger franchise heating up, one of the groups decided that they just can’t take it anymore. It is a group eager to take control of the franchise as soon as possible, so instead continuing to play by the rules of the bidding process, they decided to jump the line and offered McCourt just shy of $2 billion for the Dodgers, their stadium, the parking lots and, just to be safe, an agreement that anyone from the McCourt stay at least 500 miles away from the team at all times. Frank McCourt, eager to settle his many, many debts, eagerly accepted the bid making beloved LA sports legend Magic Johnson the proud new owner of the team. But the fantastical part of the arrangement is that Magic’s acquisition was financed by his good friend, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who just so happens to be the richest man in Los Angeles and an avid sports fan himself. Factor in that Johnson also included former MLB executive Stan Kasten, the man who helped build the great Braves teams of the 1990’s and thus already has a seal of approval from Bud Selig, and it was dream come true for fans and baseball alike.
All that cash. All that executive experience. All that built in goodwill with the fans. It was a perfect recipe for the transfer of the Dodgers to be approved by the league and the bankruptcy court in record time, allowing the new ownership group to take control less than month after the regular season began.
And then the real fun started.
Not content to stand by and watch their lame duck roster wallow in mediocrity for the entire season while their burgeoning rivals in red down the freeway hogged the national spotlight, Magic, Kasten and Dr. Soon-Shiong’s checkbook were unleashed upon the baseball world.
Juan Uribe at third base? Yuck. A few prospects and a large wad of cash later and… POOF! Say hello to David Wright, your starting third baseman for the LA Dodgers!
Roy Oswalt still a free agent? Not anymore! Move over, Chris Capuano, your very limited services are no longer needed.
What? Juan Rivera is our starting left fielder? That simply won’t do. Bring me Adam Jones!
Before anyone realized it, the patchwork Dodger roster was both sneakily talented and surprisingly deep. Come mid-season, they were breathing down the necks of the Arizona Diamondbacks before overtaking them for good in August backed by an 18-game home winning streak that was fueled by a reinvigorated Los Angeles fan base selling out every single game and turning Chavez Ravine into one of the hardest places for opposing team to visit.
The Dodgers rode that wave of fandom into the post-season. Once there, well, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp took care of the rest. Turns out having the 2012 NL Cy Young winner and 2012 NL MVP on the same roster is a pretty good combination. Just give them a half-decent supporting cast and the championship couldn’t help but follow.