Los Angeles Dodgers Are Spenders Again, Thus the McCourt Era Is over

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IAugust 2, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 25: Hanley Ramirez #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a triple against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 25, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

On my personal blog, I predicted this March that the Los Angeles Dodgers would win the National League West Division. One reason stated was that the money issues of former owner Frank McCourt were now gone.

When the Dodgers needed a critical part when Frank McCourt owned the team, they took the cheap way out. Sure, he made sure that Manny Ramirez came to Chavez Ravine—which was a good thing initially—but the Red Sox picked up most of his contract and the Dodgers gave up very little in the trade.

Those Dodgers teams desperately needed a front line starter. And while CC Sabathia moved twice, Cliff Lee moved three times and Roy Halladay was dealt. The Dodgers brought no top starter into the fold.

A bankruptcy, divorce and league takeover later, the new group led by Stan Kasten, with Magic Johnson front and center for media purposes, have given Dodger fans a chance to turn the page.

The Dodgers got off to their tremendous start but injuries and a grotesque scoring slump knocked them out of first place. The solution? The new ownership allowed General Manager Ned Colletti a chance to go on a shopping spree.

The Dodgers picked up a dynamic outfielder willing to crash into walls and to spark the team in Shane Victorino from the Phillies. They acquired bullpen depth in Brandon League. And, of course, they brought in Hanley Ramirez from Miami, who has the talent to be an MVP.

The moves may not all pan out, and the Giants could hold on and win the Division, or the Diamondbacks could pass them both.

But there is a change in the culture of Los Angeles baseball.

With the traditionally gluttonous New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox having a more reserved trading deadline, the Dodgers were able to feast as one of the big spenders.

They could have spent even more as, according to The Sporting News, the Dodgers were rumored to be one of the likely landing spots of Ryan Dempster before he ultimately was dealt to the Texas Rangers.

Dodgers fans who vilified the McCourts for dragging their beloved team to the ground can relax a little bit. There is no guarantee that the current ownership will deliver a championship.

But if this trade deadline is any indication, if they fail to win, it won't be because of a lack of effort from management.