Who's On First? (I Don't Know)

Until the recent comedy of errors both on an of the field by the Dodgers, the most famous baseball comedy of all time was the incomparable "Who's on First" by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. The Dodgers seem to be using the "Who's on First" transcript as a current playbook.

Needing revitalization in a new GM, field manager, coaching staff and on the field, the following are responses to Dodgers' interest:

Pat Gillick, without bothering to listen to the Dodgers face to face, said Philadelphia was obviously better. Philadelphia?

Garry Hunsicker, don't bother with an interview, said Tampa Bay was better for stability. Tampa Bay!

Mike Scioscia, who should know enough about the Dodgers from both a lifetime of experience plus watching from across town, showed his interest by extending his contract with the rival Angels to 2010. Now that is a statement. When was the last time it was better to be an Angel than a Dodger?

Another sign how times have changed and fortunes fallen.

Frank McCourt personally asked to speak with the Rangers longtime GM, Mr. Hart, and immediately press reports said the prescient Mr. Hart was tepid or lukewarm at best. Texas over the Dodgers? That's right.

Glenn Hoffman, the most taciturn and loyal of souls, took his third base coaching skills down the road to the division rival Padres.

The Dodgers director of international scouting -- read that the main link to the productive Carribean -- voluntarily jumped ship and rejoined the Braves, the current symbol of the stability the Dodgers once had a lock on.

It isn't so much a matter of who will be the new GM, it is "is anybody at all interested" in the Dodgers opening. The Dodgers landscape these days for all the world looks like a Beirut postcard.

When assistant GM Roy Smith on Friday announced the resigning of Jose Cruz Jr., it was the first sign that anybody at all was home in the Dodgers front office. It also may have been a sign that since few if any in baseball are willing to come in, SOMEBODY, anybody (is there anybody left?) had to begin doing something. The Cruz signing was notable because it was a tangible sign of the futility of progress on the new GM front, as well as the first sign from the Dodgers that they realize time is passing and passing and passing, to the detriment of the Dodgers.

Abbott and Costello were funny. The Dodgers are not.

The Yankees might be willing takers (maybe the only ones) for Milton Bradley. Might they be willing to give the Dodgers back swift outfielder Bubba Crosby and hard throwing Scott Proctor? But who is there to make the offer? Is anybody home? A few more weeks and the only thing the Dodgers will get for non-tendering Bradley will be a big fat zero. Zilch.

The annual general managers meetings are always a spot for trades. The 40 man rosters have to be set by then (partly in preparation for the December Rule 5 minor league draft). But who is/will be there to represent the Dodgers? What kind of authority will they have? For how many weeks? How will any other teams consider dealing with the Dodgers stand-ins, with or without a straight face?

Trying to put a positive and pleasant face on the situation, the Dodgers managed to get an article written that Kim Ng is a serious candidate for the GM spot. The only two lists that Kim Ng leads is the list of top female paid execs in baseball (she'd be the top female of anybody if Mrs. McCourt hadn't come in as president) and the top baseball executives without any vowels in their names.

The happiest Dodgers these days are EX-Dodgers. Mssrs. Tracy, Colburn, Lett, Hoffman et. al. Happy to be back in the real baseball world. Happy also are the Ex Dodgers as yet not even back in baseball. Ross Porter, Paul DePodesta. At least they are out of the circus. And not a very entertaining circus at that.

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