When a team’s owners spend vast amounts of money improving and remodeling the team’s home stadium, you would assume it was because the team had plans of sticking around for a while. Unfortunately, recent developments shed light on the unsettling fact that no promises have been made as to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ staying power at the stadium. According to the article, team owners put up the funds for a new scoreboard and sound system, among other frivolities, but the team president Stan Kasten gave an indecisive answer when questioned about how long the team would play in the stadium. Obviously many feel that this belies a commitment problem on the part of the team and its owners.
Other Changes on the Horizon
A new and impressive stadium is not the only change the Dodgers are dealing with. According to Mercury News, pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, who was signed just inside of the deadline, received a six-year contract for $36,000,000. Another pitcher, Zack Greinke, reportedly received his own nice little package, also for six years but for an incredible $147,000,000. This means that the Dodgers are going to be spending big this season and in the seasons to come; their payroll is estimated to be well over the $230,000,000 mark. This figure doesn’t even take into account the fee paid to negotiate for Hyun-jin, which comes in at $25.7 million. Though it appears that the team can afford the big bucks right now, many are speculating about overspending and worrying that the Dodgers could eventually find themselves in financial trouble. Even if they don’t, many feel the gross display of wealth is lacking in good taste.
A Tainted Past
While many are displeased with the current state of the Dodgers and their spending spree, trouble is lurking in history as well. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mike Piazza’s rumored past drug usage might keep him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Piazza, who served as a catcher for the Dodgers, has an impressive amount of home runs and a batting average that’s close to toppling .300. Despite those stats, things aren’t looking good for Piazza, who must win enough votes to make it into the Hall of Fame. Many believe that he used steroids during his stint with the Dodgers, though he was never officially tested. Though rumors circulated, the most hurtful appeared in a Roger Clemens biography written by Jeff Pearlman, who claimed that Piazza not only used steroids but confessed doing so to reporters. Furthermore, he claimed that other players, including Reggie Jefferson, were aware of the drug usage. Piazza, of course, maintains that the allegations are false, though he does admit to initially using drugs that had not yet been banned at the time.
What Will the Future Hold?
In the end, only time will tell how the Dodgers will be received by fans, which stadium they will eventually call home, and even whether or not Mike Piazza will go down in history positively as an honored Dodgers player. While many fans still have great faith in the team and excuse or even condone its recent actions, others are not quite so forgiving. All things considered, the next season should be an interesting one.
Heather Rothman is a freelance sports and lifestyle blogger currently residing in Denver, CO. When she’s not watching her Colorado Rockies take on the other teams in the NL West, she spends her days hunting, fishing, and using a variety of meats in her Professional Meat Grinder.