Without question, the Los Angeles Dodgers have struck out in regards to making a splash move this winter. While everyone has been patient in waiting for the big move to happen, ownership has remained mostly silent.
The last time we heard from part owner Stan Kasten, he said the playoff losses hurt worse for him then it did the fan base.
Now Kasten is talking with the LA Times in regards to the Dodgers’ pursuits of star players. It’s a great read that you can access at the full length below. Within it, Kasten hones in on what it was like to negotiate with Scott Boras and Gerrit Cole.
Stan Kasten debates the #Dodgers' ownership philosophy with @BillPlaschke. Kasten does not hold back on his adjectives–wrong, silly, childish, superficial, ludicrous–but does not shy away from pointed questions. https://t.co/2GxwVEbtuY
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) January 5, 2020
Notably, Kasten says that he likes star players too. However, he wants to win year in and year out. The brand that creates is more important in his eyes then just getting star players.
“There are guys that we think could be difference makers and we have pursued them, we are continuing to pursue them, when there is an opportunity we will certainly jump at it,” he said. “I like stars too … it’s cool, it’s fun, it’s fun for the team, it’s fun for the fans. But what’s most important is winning. And for the Dodgers, it’s winning year in and year out; that’s what I’m trying to build.”
It seems while reading this initially, I realized that the two things are not mutually exclusive. Kasten seems to state it in a way that he would almost rather prove you can win without star players.
Reading the quote a second time, Kasten should have went towards the elephant in the room. Indeed, he should have just said ‘the goal is to win a championship at all costs’. However, that’s not what he said. The Dodgers have been winning year in and year out, and people still aren’t fully satisfied.
Next, Kasten comes off a little bit snarky in a way. In fact, he says ‘we all’ were fixated on getting Bryce Harper. Truthfully, I think many of us realize Harper has his warts. Still, people are so starved for a title; they’re just willing to settle for anyone that can get the team closer to winning it all.
“There are a lot of players who went to the World Series, weren’t successful, until the one time they finally were, it’s not a thing you can predict very easily. Last year you were all fixated on us getting Bryce Harper. … Not one of you were screaming, ‘You’ve got to re-sign Daniel Hudson’ [Washington’s postseason closer]. Two years ago, not one of you were saying, ‘You have to go out and make a trade for Steve Pearce’ [2017 World Series most valuable player with Boston]. I’m sorry, I just don’t agree with your thesis.”
Clearly Kasten has a ways to go to understand the emotion of his fan base. The thesis he disagrees with is that Los Angeles needs a star player to get over the top. He says the notion that the city is championship starved does not exist.
Finally, Stan Kasten has gone full heel.