Silence is Golden

Ever since the cross-town signing of Torii Hunter by the Angels, a veil of silence has fallen upon things Dodgers. All, it says here, as long as silence continues, all is well for the Boys in Blue and their long suffering fans everywhere.

The Dodgers are clearly  sitting and waiting and sifting, not rushing into more and more Juan Pierre type deals that paralyze the team payroll and bring the team no closer to a World Series or a baseball championship.

Next week's winter meetings will be  a parallel to the Annapolis "peace" talks, i.e., many are called but few are chosen and no victory cometh nigh.

Big salaries don't bring big seasons, surely the Dodgers have learned that by now, and learned the hard way.

Like everyone else, we'd like to see both Jeff Kent and Nomar Garciaparra return, but return in productive roles commensurate with their age and current ability to contribute. Being a veteran shouldn't meet either a lock on everyday playing status, or the right to criticize at will. Who do they think they are, the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Jeff and Nomar - don't mess with Andy LaRoche or Matt Kemp or James Loney or anybody else. That should be the Christmas message Joe Torre sends out, even six weeks before spring training begins.

Torre got Yankees Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi to accept reduce roles. The reduction in time did not carry with it automatic rights to any sidesaddle roles as everyday second guessers or commentators. Torre has done this job before - and well - and now he has to do it again.

The Dodgers have been infected by the backbiting and grousing viruses for too, too long. It was not only on the 25 man players roster, it also has been rampant in the front office and close to the president/owners suite. Brothers and sisters, this kind of stuff never, but never, wins games.

The media silence of late - of mega deals NOT made - has brought a season of silence and peace upon Dodgerland. What a marvelous holiday present. We have learned the past is not always a predictor of what will happen now or this year. In fact we have learned the opposite.

Past numbers only bring present high salaries but often not a whole lot more.

Just look at what the Dodgers did a year ago in filling the backup catcher role. They went and spent a million plus for Mike Lieberthal instead of settling for Kenny Huckaby who'd have been thrilled with the major league minimum and the chance to help mentor the star Russ Martin.

Now a million in baseball is considered chump change by the legions of union members, players agents and others. But ask a real fan if a million means anything to them and you will get a more down to earth view.

As the old Senate minority leader Everett McKinley Dirksen once opted: "Boys, a million here and a million there, and pretty soon you will be talking about real money."  

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