Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Angels, Dodgers Prove Money Not Everything

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Angels, Dodgers Prove Money Not Everything

Article excerpt

Don Mattingly talked about moving furniture around, though the way the Dodgers have played this season there must be a couple of chairs missing in Chavez Ravine. A seven-game losing streak following a six-game losing streak and sole possession of last place in the National League West isn't exactly what Magic Johnson and company had in mind when they coughed up $2 billion for the team and $215 million for their first opening-day roster.

Things aren't much better 31 miles down Interstate 5, where the team that always seems to be playing in the shadow of the Dodgers is shadowing them loss for loss. The Angels lineup that was supposed to instill fear in opposing pitchers is sputtering so badly that starter C.J. Wilson suggested the club either needed to get a pin cushion out or sacrifice something other than a fly ball.

Money can't buy happiness, at least so far in Los Angeles, where two teams full of big-money players are floundering. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton have done little to justify their massive salaries, while the Dodgers were better at this time last year with a lineup that consisted largely of Matt Kemp and an assortment of utility infielders.

The Dodgers, of course, were the grand experiment in spending, with new owners acting like George Steinbrenner in his prime, swinging big trades and throwing wads of cash at free agents. But even the Yankees have learned in recent years that big salaries don't necessarily translate into big World Series celebrations.

The Dodgers have had injuries, yes, but all teams have injuries. What they may not have is team chemistry.

That's partly the manager's fault, since it's his job to integrate new talent and put the team in a position to win. Indeed, the jury is still out on Mattingly, who served an apprenticeship under Joe Torre but failed in his first two seasons at the helm to get the Dodgers in the playoffs.

The same could be said about general manager Ned Colletti, who was handed the combination to the bank vault under new Dodger owners and promptly began throwing money at any player he could find.

That got the Dodgers Carl Crawford, who so far has been a pleasant surprise. …

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