The Dodgers owners have changed but one thing has remained unchanged since the O'Malley years - the owners, at least publicly, have been and are extremely closemouthed.
If we were in Washington or New York or almost everyplace else, there would already be a leak about what went on behind closed doors when Grady and Ned got their good news. But you can betcha' is wasn't all smiles and backslapping.
The players are upset. The fans are upset. The owner is upset.
LA has never had the cadre of writers they did in Brooklyn. Dick Young and a half a dozen others would have known the behind-closed-doors stuff 60 minutes after the meeting. And they'd have told us. LA's Bob Nightengale might have told us, before got run off the beat. There was a day when Kenny Gurnick would have told us, but he's a house man now.
Even so, even a dummy doesn't need a crystal ball to figure out some of the things said.
One, boys, this is the last time we finish so bad - at least under your direction.
Two, I don't want you to work scared, but any more of this and you are gone.
Three, as a new owner, I relied on your judgment. From now on, I am going to be more involved in some of the decisions I left to you up to now.
Four, we couldn't care less about the Mets collapse. Or the Braves finishing out of the running. The only thing we care about is the Dodgers. Period. No more excuses.
Five, I have been patient. But there is a limit. And I have reached my limit.
Six, this ain't the AARP. And it ain't the Giants. This is the Dodgers. We like five tool players, not two or three tool players with experience. The experience we got is in losing. And it is not a good experience.
Seven, if we are going to reach four million paying customers again, or regularly, we got to give them more than sunshine, better seats, better parking and good food. We have got to begin giving them better baseball.
Now Ned Colletti has already said he would take a share of the blame. And so did Grady Little. Fact is they get more of the blame than they admitted and publicly apologizing is one way of saying the message they got from the boss.
Over the next weeks and months, you can bet to hear more honesty from the players, especially after the ones who will have left feel a little less inhibited.
Americans have become known as an impatient lot. They are impatient with long wars, with $3 a gallon fuel prices, and lot of other things. Among them are 4th place finishes in sports.
Colletti and Little Stay in Charge
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