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Asked and (Not Exactly) Answered
2004-12-15 11:35
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Dodger Vice Chairman and co-owner Jamie McCourt went online for a chat on USA Today this morning. Here's one exchange that stuck out:

Westlake Village California: Mrs. McCourt, I would like to understand where the Dodgers rank in turns of attendance and overall revenue, what the primary sources of revenue discrepency are between the club and those clubs that lead the league in revenue, and finally what percentage of revenue is being spent on the major league roster and how does that relate to other teams. Why can't we afford superstars like Carlos Beltran?

Jamie McCourt: This year the Dodgers ranked second in attendance, bringing in close to 3.5 million fans. We've set some high expectations of surpassing that figure next year. One of the ways to achieve that goal is to improve the fan experience and continue to field a winning team.

Pretty pointed question, huh? This is like the Dodger version of the recent soldier-talks-to-Donald Rumsfeld controversy. "We're great - why can't we do better?" "We're great - and our greatness will carry the day."

(Okay - I've just brought together the most controversial subject this site has ever seen and the most controversial subject it hasn't: the McCourts and politics. Easy, now. Stay cool.)

Anyway, while I would have like to have seen McCourt respond to everything in the question, she could have answered the final part easily enough: The Dodgers can afford superstars like Beltran. They are currently pursuing one, Adrian Beltre, while paying equivalent-to-superstar salaries for two, Darren Dreifort and Shawn Green.

Can the Dodgers afford to add Beltran while also adding a third baseman, starting pitchers and perhaps a catcher? Maybe. Maybe not. Given the current roster, maybe he's not the best target for their money.

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