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No Time, No Crime
Theo Epstein spoiled baseball.
Not every sabremetric-oriented general manager who assumes control over a legendary franchise can propel his team to the World Series within two years, but I’m sure Dodgers owner Frank McCourt knew that.
McCourt fired GM Paul DePodestaafter two years of service littered with solid moves, bad luck and often undeserved criticism.
In his first year McCourt delivered a division title, more than most Dodger fans were hoping for. This inflated expectations for his second year in charge, but suspicious moves brought unease to True Blue stomachs everywhere. Adrian Beltre fled to the Mariners, and in his place DePodesta brought in Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew. Kent was, by all measures, a success, while Drew’s injury bug struck again (although, to his credit, his broken wrist was from a hit by pitch - nothing chronic).
Meanwhile, Beltre stunk up the joint in Seattle, which didn't stop Dodger fans from crying over his loss when the Dodgers plummeted down the NL West after a hot start. DePodesta hasn't been perfect by any means, as LAist continues to wonder about the Derek Lowe signing (groundball pitcher and an average defense are not a happy marriage) and the catching situation through most of the year, but nobody can make a mark in two years.
Rome wasn't built in a day and, despite unwarranted assumptions, contenders aren't constructed overnight. General managers need time to apply their philosophies to a team, and the transition period from one braintrust to the next is usually a rough one. Firing somebody after two years on the job is simply unwarranted.
Clearly, Frank McCourt is not a patient man, as Jim Tracy could tell you, but this is bordering on ridiculous. Some people love DePodesta, and significantly more hate him, but you have to give a person time to make his mark before getting rid of him.
This isn't a scene out of Minority Report - you can't arrest someone for the crimes they will commit and you shouldn't be able to fire someone for the bad job you think they'll do.
These things take time. Now, Dodger fans will have to wait even longer for the second most important team in Southern California to get things going once again.