Los Angeles offense should improve

The Dodgers might already have enough to compete in a division that is in a state of downward flux.

Updated: January 26, 2004, 11:07 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Maybe it's because I am more cognizant of the publishing industry than I am of who the big players are in Boston parking lots, but whenever I hear the name "Frank McCourt" and his desire to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers I always ask myself, "Did Angela's Ashes sell that well that its author can afford to buy one of the most expensive franchises in baseball?

From what is being said, the other Frank McCourt -- the one who didn't have the miserable childhood in Ireland and the bestseller about it -- doesn't really have the money either. As Ross Newhan writes in the Los Angeles Times, "Why would a man whose assets are tied up in real estate go so deeply in debt to acquire an entity claiming losses of $40 million or more a year if this isn't simply a property acquisition in which McCourt is more interested in the terrain than the team?" Because of this pending sale (or non-sale), little has been done to address the Dodgers most pressing need: some offense. The only significant moves made by the team so far this offseason have been off-loading richly-compensated star pitcher, Kevin Brown and trading for outfielder Juan Encarnacion.

Paul LoDuca
APThe Dodgers need more production from Paul Lo Duca.
While it is more than likely that beleaguered general manager Dan Evans will make one or two more moves before the beginning of the season, one must wonder if the Dodgers might already have enough to compete in a division that is, for lack of a better phrase, in a state of downward flux. The victims of a terrible offense last year, the players in question could not possibly perform as poorly once again, could they? The natural tendency for players to go up and down from season to season is bound to work in the Dodgers' favor, is it not?
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at