The Black Swan and the Rise of the Dodgers

In my rundown of The Palace Hotel Putsch, I noted that there was one possible outcome that we wouldn’t see coming. Actually, it was a category of possible outcomes: the Black Swan. Here’s what I wrote:

A black swan is an event that very few, if any, people see coming, but ultimately changes lots of things. The idea’s names comes from the fact that everybody thought that a swan couldn’t be black, until they found a species of swan that was black. The creation and wide-scale adoption of the internet, for example, was a black swan event. While it’s unlikely that there will be some earthshaking revelation or breakout player that will change the situation in the Boston clubhouse, it also is key that the possibility is not completely abandoned. In other words: expect the unexpected.

The Black Swan came into being with the trade that shook the world: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto (who I can only presume was thrown in to make it a nice even number) for James Loney, prospects, and money. And all of this happened after the trade deadline.

While many have focused on the Red Sox, and deservedly so, what’s being lost in this is how this is another step in the rebirth of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just think, last year at this time, they were one of the saddest stories in baseball, having been ravaged from their old glories by the decadence and divorce drama of the McCourt family. Now, they are ascendant, on the heels of the Giants in the NL West race and close to a Wild Card spot. They have good baseball men running things behind the scenes, the smile of Magic Johnson (which, if it could be harnessed as energy, would be able to light all of Southern California) as the public face, Vin Scully still on the call and Don Mattingly managing in his forever-hunt for a World Series ring (he is, by my calculation, the only person to ever play for the Yankees who remains in the hunt for a World Series ring. Okay, him and Mike Mussina.)

And it is only beginning for the Dodger Blues. This coming winter, the Dodgers will be selling the local TV rights to various interested buyers. Those rights, it should be noted, will be big. Very, very big. We’re talking billions of dollars,or a similarly high amount that is in Scrooge McDuck territory. Why, they could start making so much money, the Yankees will call for more revenue sharing…

…Okay, that last one is an exaggeration. The fact remains, though: the Dodgers are moving on up, and the big trades they have pulled this year could just be the beginning of a new era of Dodger Green. While there are some pitfalls that could strike this rise down- trading prospects, for example, could very easily come back to bite the Dodgers- it is clear that this new era might last awhile.

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