Chavez Ravine–Hi folks, WCC here reporting from a more appropriate West Coast time today, and as your honorable Angelino coorespondent, how could I not write about the big deal that just took place? Last week the crowds at Dodger Stadium were thrilled by a surprise visit…K-Pop star PSY, whose imminently, almost indescribably watchable Gangnam Style video has shot past 50 million YouTube views. Gangnam is the toniest of tony neighborhoods in Seoul, a 15-square mile place of such wealth that even Mitt Romney might blush at, built on what looks like an expanding bubble, high hopes, and an overextension of credit. In the video, an “invisible horse” dancing PSY (a Berklee College of Music grad, Bostonians) is kind of mocking it…
…but that subtelty is lost on the Dodgers and their eager new owners, the Guggenheim Group, who are suddenly aspiring to become the Gangnam of the MLB. My buddy Steve calls it Guggenheim Style. In perhaps the biggest August baseball deal of all time, the Dodgers–a team that as recently as last year were keeping the lights off even during games because they couldn’t pay their electric bill–have just taken on over $230 million in payroll from the Red Sox. Some of the less clever MLB officials are trying to call them the “Yankees West,” but wouldn’t it be more accurate to call them the “Red Sox West” now that they have half their team and most of their payroll? Heck, even Hanley Ramirez was once in the Sox organization, and besides, didn’t the Dodgers not too long ago have some luck with a certain dreadlocked Sox player who had grown disgruntled and impossible in the Boston crucible, only to flourish in the laid back sun of Los Angeles?
One year ago today, the Red Sox completed a rain soaked double header sweep of the Oakland A’s, putting them two games up over the Yanks in the East. Despite the downpour, that was perhaps the last bit of sun to shine on Red Sox Nation as it’s been pretty much all gloom and doom since. Tito Francona lost control, Bobby V never had any, and new GM Ben Cherington decided the time is right to cut bait, cut salary, and cut the cheese while he’s at it. For Red Sox fans it may stink now, but at least a window’s open and some fresh air could be coming in.
For the Dodgers, Magic’s Limo picked up the Gugenheim’s new playthings, brought them straight to Dodger Stadium, and dividends were paid right away when centerpiece Adrian Gonzalez, the big hitting left handed first baseman the Dodgers have craved since they realized James Loney hits more like My Little Pony, knocked a three run jack in his first at bat in Blue. Gangnam style indeed! Sure, Carl Crawford just had Tommy John surgery, and Josh Beckett now has a whole new fan base to disappoint…but of all the players in the deal, only Nick Punto is a current World Series champion. Yankees West? Well, there’s another West Coast team that (fraudulently) uses the L.A. moniker that tried the same kind of stunt over the winter, and so far that hasn’t worked out so well.
For now, though, until the bubble inevitably bursts, it’s Gangnam Style time in Los Angeles.
Riding his invisible horse, Grote2DMax tomorrow.