We are now less than a month away from April Fool’s Day, which is the deadline for Frank McCourt to choose the winning bid for Dodger ownership. By April 30th, the sale should be complete, and the new owner of the Dodgers will take control. If you were the new owner, what would you do first? I’m sure all of the prospective buyers (there are seven who have made the initial cuts) have all been imagining themselves talking trades, looking at current contracts, and envisioning a new World Championship trophy in their hands. Let’s look at the possible to-do list of the soon to be Dodgers owner.
Beef up security. After the tragic events of Opening Day last season, security was increased yet attendance still plummeted. I’ve personally never have had a bad experience at Dodger Stadium, but I know quite a few people who have. One of the top priorities of the new owner should be to provide a safe environment and great Dodger experience for the fans.
Lock up Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal. This should be on the top of Mr. Owner’s checklist as well. Kershaw avoided arbitration and agreed to a 2-year deal worth $19 million last month. Let’s not wait until 2014 to think about this.
Update Dodger Stadium with class and dignity. I’m sure the bidders all have their own agendas and design ideas for Chavez Ravine. Some newer amenities and spiffed up digs would be well received by fans, but drastic changes or new construction altogether should be forbidden especially during the harrowed 50th Anniversary celebratory year of Dodger Stadium.
Start looking at possible trades. Trades may not transpire until later in the season, but a new owner should be thinking about possibilities right away. Obviously a bat should be in the sightline of ownership if he wants to make an impact on offense and a run for a spot in the postseason. A lot may ride on the first half performances of Juan Uribe, James Loney, and Andre Ethier who are all looking to rebound from disappointing seasons last year.
Fire Ned Colletti. This should be self-explanatory. Colletti’s lackluster offseason signings left most of us Dodger fans underwhelmed and disappointed. Back loaded two-year contracts were being handed out like Tootsie Rolls on Halloween night. Let’s not forget the past years full of questionable trades and moves at the hands of management as well. I’d like to think that a new owner will be doing some housecleaning, and Spring is the perfect time to do said cleaning, correct?
The most important goal for the new owner is to bring back the fans to Dodger Stadium and reengage the brand with the people in Los Angeles. At the same time the new owner should be opening his pocket book in order to put out a competitive team on the field who has the World Championship in their crosshairs. The Frank McCourt era has stripped the Dodgers of their honorability and their status as the sports jewel in the City of Angels. We need to get that back, even if it takes a little Magic.
What do you think the new owner will do first? Will there be quiet stagnation or major ripples of change?