Dodgers’ Kasten Speaks About Offseason, Criticism

In one sense, the new ownership and front office have given fans something they haven’t had in quite some time: Expectations — which can be both gift and curse.

Put this way: I’ve been a Dodgers fan for all 29 years of my life. Not til these last few seasons have I been truly disappointed in how the season ended. We headed into each campaign having looked at the roster and having seen the payroll inflate (though, for the millionth time, that’s no way to gauge quality of talent on the roster) and expected more than just another early-round exit.

ICYMI: Trayce Thompson Hopes To Play With Joc Pederson

So, while I’m obviously thankful the team heads into another season as a competitive team (which it is and anyone who says otherwise is overreacting to the nth degree), the downside is that expectations can fail to be met just by definition of having expectations.

Honestly, it’s pretty crazy how quickly Dodgers fans became so spoiled given how poorly the organization was run before this new ownership group.

Team President Stan Kasten would never say as much, but he did speak recently to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and what he said was pretty damn impressive.

“I remind the thin-skinned people in front offices of the smart words Hyman Roth gave Michael Corleone in that hotel room in Havana — ‘This is the business we have chosen,’ ” Kasten said by phone. “The criticism and fishbowl scrutiny is just part of the business. … I am really proud to represent a team that has won 90 games and the division title [each of the last three years]. Yet, that is not good enough for our fans, the media, ownership and me. That is the way it should be. We are the Dodgers, we represent Los Angeles. We should expect to compete for the top every year. Criticism is what goes along with that, which is just fine.”

I’d put it in other words, but wouldn’t come anywhere close to how perfectly Kasten said it; so I won’t even try.

With the recent regular season success the team has enjoyed recently has come the desire for more. This is perfectly fine so long as said desire doesn’t blind fans and the organization alike to the process it takes to get there.

For Kasten, it definitely sounds like the criticism isn’t having that affect, which lends itself to the patience needed to be successful in this hyper-competitive city we call home.

NEXT: Dodgers Showing Interest in Kenta Maeda

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  1. I disagree that the team was run poorly before this ownership group. Colletti might not be as good as Brian Sabean and whoever runs the Cardinals and Royals but they’ve done well. The best thing Colletti did was not trading Kershaw and Kemp when they were young even though fans wanted Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Dodgers went to the NLCS multiple times before this ownership group. And most of this team was built by the previous ownership group.
    It can be argued that this ownership group has done way worse than Colletti. How can they defend trading Dee Gordon, when the only piece remaining in that trade is a draft pick compensation. One of the Dodgers biggest weaknesses was not having a leadoff hitter. Having a controllable asset like Gordon is way better than the money they spent on Utley and Rollins. I seriously can’t believe Utley was their priority so far this offseason. Even though it’s a business like Kasten refers to, you still have to have baseball knowledge to run things.
    We still have Ethier, Van Slyke, Puig, Crawford, And Pederson in the outfield. Are they seriously going to try the same approach as last season? I’m fine with letting Greinke leave but why didn’t they trade for Hammels last year before the trade deadline? He has a team friendly contract for a couple of years and would have filled one of the biggest weaknesses in the playoffs. A starting pitcher that knows how to win in the playoffs.the other glaring weaknesses are the bullpen and a power bat. Besides what I mentioned earlier about a leadoff hitter.
    I try not to criticize without giving an opinion. Can’t do anything about what’s done already. Going forward there’s a lot of work to do. They have no identity besides Kershaw. They have to resolve the outfield and it’s doubtful Pederson has the plate discipline to be successful in MLB. He might still have value though but they still have to keep Urias and Seagar. Puig is on a low so have to keep him and hope he comes out hungry. I’m surprised nobody wants Ethier. He’s solid player and only 2 years left on his contract. Crawford needs to go too. It’s a money grab for him and he can’t be counted on. With the salaries of today it’s so important to buy low sell high. That’s why it was so important last season to get a guy like Cole. But in my opinion they need to clear the roster and start with young hungry players. Gonzalez is the only guy I really like along with Turner. Utley better only be a bench guy. I’d keep Puig over any other outfielder at this point and trade Pederson. Unless he fell off a cliff last season he’s overmatched by major league pitching. Gordon makes me wonder how wrong I am.
    Come on Dodgers! I always have your back except lately. I still can’t watch the Dodgers on tv and as a very serious fan I have no idea what you’re trying to do with the roster. It’s easy to give excuses but you’re getting schooled by Brian Sabean! This fan has paid enough and been cery patient. I’m leaving until I have a reason to come back, like a World Series appearance. I don’t care about the number of wins of how good of a regular season pitcher our ace is.

  2. dnice4life77 Personally, it makes me feel good that the “average fan” is upset with this regime. Because the “average fan” are idiots who would not have a clue how to build a team!

  3. the dodgers have dumped greinke, kemp, Gordon, uribe, ramirez. They have spent money on NO ONE. They don’t care about “beat LA” by the putrid AZ or the bumgardnered SF. No memory of the past. But the bottom line looks pretty good to kasten et al.

  4. Don’t insult us by calling us thin-skinned. The Dodger management has NOT done their job, and they try to spin saying that we need be patient, or we need to see what happens or maybe some miracle would happen. We’re not spoiled and we’re not children who do not understand the nuance of the game. The team is weaker now than the team that got kicked out of the playoffs 3 years straight. And we have a right to expect more, we’re paying for it. Biggest payroll in baseball, and when they try to make the team better, they come up with Latos and Wood. Come on, they need to use their big brains, and build a better team, and you know it. It’s ridiculous to assume this team will be better than the 2015 team. They’re not ready to contend, that’s just optimistic fluff to keep Kasten happy. Call it like it is: Friedman and Zaidi haven’t built a better team, and they need to learn how to play with the big boys, and get the job done. And Kasten needs to stop this nonsense with Time Warner and get the games on TV. Stop with the excuses and give your fans what they want. The Dodgers have a credibility problem with their fans, and the rest of sports media, and no amount of spin is going to change it. Remember who pays the bills.

  5. SteveFrediani dnice4life77 That’s nonsense, and don’t insult us. Most fans know a lot about what makes a good team. It’s not apparent that “the regime” does. The team as it stands today is NOT better than last year’s team, and everyone knows it, even us “idiots”.

  6. I’m still mad about the Kemp and Gordon trades…they both had good season…..but Gordon said ” in your face “!!!!!

  7. RMRuby SteveFrediani dnice4life77 An organization is much more than the first 20 guys on the field.  Most people see Greinke leave and say “we’re weaker” without looking at the entire organization.  Hey, I’ll miss Greinke too, but the ORGANIZATION is stronger then it was a year ago. And eventually, all of these assets will result in an unstoppable dynasty.. We have an opportunity here to study and learn from the best baseball minds in the biz, and I plan on enjoying the WHOLE ride, not just the payoff.

  8. How could any dodgers fan forgive the front office for letting Greinke sign with anyone else no matter the price it would have been well spent

  9. Anthony,
    You do not sound like a true journalist in this article. You sound like a corporate mouth piece. Additionally, you offend Dodger fans in your article. Pretty sad, definitely not true journalism.
    Learn your history before trying to guide it.

  10. RMRuby  your right RMRuby, they can raise the prices of tickets but they cant get what we need to win. wheres that money going in there pockets? I don’t see any of it going to signing anybody worth squat.theyve passed on everybody so far. I think there just going through the motions to make them selves look good.there not going to sign anybody.baseball is nothing but money anymore.i remember when it was a game not a big market business.ive been a Dodgers fan since I was 5 and went to ebbetts field with my dad and ive been through thick and thin with the dodgers.im 65 now and all I want for any Christmas is one more world series championship before I leave this world. GO DODGER BLUE IM IN.

  11. Have been a Dodger fan all 66 years of my life; you are a jackass, if you are going to be a mouth piece for these clowns have the integrity and character to say so. You are disgusting

  12. Fan 65 years. “Geniuses” in front office fanned at trade deadline, on greinke, chapman, Seattle pitcher, etc. Hey, Kasten only reason you guys won 90+ last thre years is kersh/greinke, not anything your team has done. Wake up and get some action for a 2016 improvement, tired of hearing about your great plans for the future. Need some of that Magic competitiveness, get more aggressive Magic with these non-baseball analysts, need fire in their bellies not rhetoric.

  13. Look, Friedman and friend are trying to rake in chips for 1 of 2 reasons. 1. To build for the future or 2. Have trade chips ??? To both of those. Either way they should never have traded Dee, he should be our leadoff man. GET HIM BACK NO MATTERs HOW! I don’t care they let Grieke go but damn, use the money you saved by doing somethin good! Check this, Last year, the pitching prospect we got from Miami was shot down the drain to LA AUTO to rent Howie for a year, so there went Dee and that great prospect. The new GM we have says it’s a long way to season opener, implying there’s time to get the pitching and bats to compete. I keep thinking if we had Dee against the Mets, our chances would’ve been A LOT better against NY. We probably win that series and played in the WS. LA Regime! Give Dave something to fight with and let’s stop wasting Claytons best years, his prime. He should be pitching in the WS now that the Guerrilla is off his back and he’s still in his best years. If things don’t get better I won’t blame him for flying the couple and opting out in 3 years . Finally, get rid of Crawford or play him every day, I like Either but his best days are running out, let him go or trade him to the Mets along with Puig and give Thompson the key and don’t give up on Joc.

  14. I’m sure you are well compensated by the dodgers so I don’t expect you to criticallyrics analyse this team. Position by position we are a disaster, left hoping for a miracle in the outfield, 2nd base, catcher shortstop and even 3rd base. The screwed up pitching staff speaks for itself. This front office has built us the worst team in ages. Oh yeah but we have prospects (almost all from the previous regime)

  15. Spoiled?? Spoiled by what? Winning a division title? Are you kidding me? These guys may have stats coming out of their butt, but that doesn’t translate to being negotiators or the ability to avoid being run over by more experienced, albeit “old school” general managers. These guys appear to be the 98 lb weaklings that can recite to you how many times a guy fanned at 2:00 pm  on the first Wednesday of the month, but were a disaster at the trade deadline and so far this offseason. If we settle for another division title, these “geniuses” need to go.

    I have been a fan for 62 years so, call me “old school” if you’d like, but we “old school” guys are not of the vein that settles for mediocrity. This team has not won anything more than they did under McCourt, who was a disaster. If Kasten is satisfied for having the 28th straight rebuilding year, maybe he should turn back to the NBA and take his trade to the Philadelphia basketball disaster. We “old school” fans want to field a championship team more than once every three decades; sorry for coming off greedy or “spoiled.” This is the Dodgers, who used to have a winning legacy, that extends back to Brooklyn where our Bums were in five World Series in the 1950″s alone, and just missing two more on the Sisler and Thomson home runs. Yes, we only won one of those, but that is because they went up against Yankee teams with all the money that could buy any player they wanted, jjust like the Dodgers have now, except we have guys running the show that are wet behind the ears, and are purely small time and small market. Look up those saber stats on how many World Series they have won, and you will see what I am talking about. Win now and often. That should be our motto. We are the Dodgers.

  16. RMRuby I’d like to know how many Dodger fans got shutout from Vin Scully’s broadcasts these past 2 years over that “TWC grab”, with a 3rd and final year coming?  I’ll never forgive this ownership group for this, and how many more millions of dollars do they really need???  As a Dodger fan since 1955 it makes me sick!!!!

  17. Great spinning there Stan…Dodgers have not won anything since 88…..division titles are great if they lead to the series. Otherwise, it is all window dressing…….yes, you won 3 straight. You also have not gotten beyond the 2nd round. Your high priced team has fallen short. The Cardinals have owned you, and the Met’s made the best 2 pitchers in the league an after thought..weak bench, bullpen inept…the fans deserve better,,,,no solid moves at the deadline, and the supposed 2 genius’s running the show were completely out played at the winter meetings..your big free agent signing disappeared, and your only blockbuster is to trade 3 prospects for 3 prospects? Looks pretty lame to the hard working fans who lay out their hard earned money to visit a ballpark where the prices have gone up, and the concessions are so over priced it is not funny, plus more than half your fans cannot watch the team on TV……So go spin your BS yarns to some thick headed moron who might believe you..

  18. Lets take a look at our experience with the new mgt of the Dodgers shall we? They inherited a team that won the west and was perhaps 1 injury or 1 pitch or hit away from advancing. All that was needed from Friedman and his co horts was a little tinkering. What did we get … a new roster; we dumped our 2nd basmand and lead off hitter (we still have not found a leadoff hitter), we got a new shortstop in an old body who was clearly, to be kind, past his prime. We got a new catcher who was at best marginal on defense. He did improve as the season progressed. We got a new centerfielder who struck out about 35% of the time in AAA in the thin air. How in the world would anyone expect him to succeed in the NL? We got two starters who combined had only a few innings pitched due to injury. Shocker one of them got hurt right away. We got a bullpen — well enough said about that.

    Here is the issue. Coming in they should have known that they had  just a few priorities; Bullpen, SS, starting pitching and maybe depth. Instead they revamped the roster (I assume  so Friedman can say look what I did). Well we are looking and it does not look good.

    Lets take a look at what we gave up….Dee Gordon the reigning batting champion and gold glove winner, Kemp # 4 in RBI with 100, Dan Haren 3.60 era and 187 innings pitched. Juan Uribe 20 hr. We did get Kendrick but we don’t need him if we keep Gordon. Latos, Beechy, Johnson need not be discussed.  

    If you want to taut 90 wins then you are  missing the boat….we want, need, deserve a championship. It is one thing to spend money it is another to spend it wisely.

  19. SteveFrediani RMRuby dnice4life77 Build for the future? You’re kidding me right? We have been doing that for 28 years now. All they apparently know how to do is build for the future, but when does the future become now for these “geniuses?” Remember, yesterday’s future is now. Now has arrived, the future is guaranteed to no one. They need to learn how to do less building and more winning. Too bad for them that baseball is played on a field and not on a computer. If the team doesn’t win this year, they should let these game boy brats take a hike.

  20. Spot on critique. It was all downhill after giving away Gordon and Haren AND paying them to play for Miami.
    These guys stress defense, fine, but they undervalue an awesome offensive weapon that DISRUPTS defense, SPEED. And Gordon is the best in the game at defensive disruption.

  21. A little history lesson. Call it the Ghost of Christmas past.

    In the 19760s and ’80s, the last great Dodger era, first baseman Steve Garvey was a fan favorite and a frequent all star, winning an MVP award, helping lead the team to three World Series appearances and one world championship and setting a National League record for consecutive games played that still stands. When his contract expired at age 34, the Dodger front office decided it would be foolish to pay him big money in his late 30s, especially since they had a deep and well-regarded farm system.

    Garvey’s heir apparent was Greg Brock, who one Dodger official declared was the organization’s best left-handed power hitter since Duke Snider. The Dodgers turned away Garvey, who signed a long-term deal with the San Diego Padres, and Brock became the new first baseman. Do you recall seeing Brock’s number up there with the Duke? No. He lasted four seasons with the Dodgers before they traded him to the Brewers. The team spent the next decade with a revolving door at first base until they finally brought up Eric Karros.

    Meanwhile, Garvey led the Padres to their first World Series and consistently was a better player in his late 30s than Brock was in his mid-20s. In his last full season, at age 37 and a year before an injury ended his career, Garvey hit 21 homers and drove in 81 runs, better numbers than Brock put up in any season for the Dodgers or Brewers.

    Just a reminder that some players are productive even into their late 30s and that prospects who put up big numbers in the minors and getting big hype don’t always work out the way you expect.

    Merry Christmas to all.

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