The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

March 30, 2013

Rick Teverbaugh: Nothing wrong with free-agent spending

Since when is spending money in professional sports a bad idea?

Certainly pulling out the checkbook to fill the monetary requirements of enormous contracts isn’t a guarantee of a winning season. I will be the first to admit that is true.

But it isn’t like it has never worked either.

The New York Yankees have made it a successful strategy from the time the late George Steinbrenner purchased the team through today’s edition. The team has rarely been out of contention through that period.

The Miami Heat didn’t have a lot of success the first year after emptying the wallet, but the second year turned out well for them and the third year has produced the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.

So with that for a history lesson and with a firm grasp that the Oakland Athletics’ “Moneyball” theory produced an engaging movie but no World Series ring, I wonder why all of the hate’s being directed toward my own favorite team — the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Sure L.A. has new owners and they have a deep pocket of resources. They decided they would use those resources to purchase players who are better than the ones they had previously paid large sums of money. Sounds good to me so far.

Another thing the critics haven’t taken into account is that the previous owner, Frank McCourt, spent almost nothing in the free agent market for three or four years before selling the team. So it seems to me that the Dodgers had some catching up to do.

They had to spend money to upgrade the pitching rotation. Why? Look at the team that Los Angeles has to battle each season for a postseason berth. The San Francisco Giants have had the best rotation in baseball for several years. The Dodgers had to fight fire with fire and now might have a staff that rivals the one the Giants possess.

The MLB season opens tonight and then goes full bore on Monday. The Indianapolis Indians are right behind them. I wonder if it is OK to spend money on tickets?

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