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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Random thoughts: Dodgers strike it rich

By David Schoenfield

According to reports, the Los Angeles Dodgers could strike a new local TV deal with FOX Sports that would pay them $6 to $7 billion over 25 years -- or $240 million to $280 million per season.

Enough money, in other words, to buy Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton and turn Carl Crawford into an expensive fourth outfielder.

Without turning this into the business section, the ramifications are certainly huge, and not just for the Dodgers. FOX recently purchased 49 percent of the Yankees' YES Network, as it gears up to launch a national sports network to challenge ESPN. Having the the Yankees and Dodgers as part of that network is apparently part of their master plan.

There seems to be some panic out there that this will put the Dodgers on an unfair playing field, especially since their ownership doesn't seem concerned with keeping payroll below the luxury tax threshold. An unfair playing field -- you know, like one owned by the Yankees, the team that has one World Series appearance in the past nine seasons and one World Series title in the past 12.

Maybe the Dodgers will sign Greinke and Hamilton. But they are long way from a powerhouse team right now. They have one great pitcher in Clayton Kershaw. They have Matt Kemp, who has had one superstar season. And then ... Adrian Gonzalez fell off last year, Hanley Ramirez isn't Hanley Ramirez any more, Crawford hasn't been good since 2010, Andre Ethier is a nice complementary player, Dee Gordon hasn't proven himself at shortstop and Mark Ellis is getting up there in age at second base. Greinke and Hamilton are terrific players, but it's not like you would be signing 1999 Pedro Martinez or 1993 Barry Bonds.

Some other thoughts out there in cyberspace: