Dodgers Win 2011 World Series: A What If? Timeline

Todd Boldizsar@@toddboldizsarAnalyst IAugust 10, 2010

Dodgers Win 2011 World Series: A What If? Timeline

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers are fading fast, and are already eying the San Francisco Giants with a fleeting hope of making a remarkable comeback and a wild-card berth.

    Realistically, the Dodgers are most likely turning their focus to 2011, and the uncertainty that lies on the horizon.

    It is becoming more possible that the McCourts, Frank and Jamie, will be ordered to sell the team while they can't settle marital differences. A new owner would likely provide some financial stability.

    Several Dodgers will be free agents at the end of the 2010 season, including James LoneyHiroki Kuroda, Manny Ramirez, and Vicente Padilla.

    In addition to the potential loss of key players, the Dodgers will still be paying estranged outfielders Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones.

    With all the turmoil of under-performing players along with injuries and soap-opera drama in the front office, there is a brighter outlook for devoted fans...

Mark Cuban buys Dodgers

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    Last week, we discussed the possibility of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban putting in a bid for the Dodgers should the team become available. 

    (Article located here: Smoking a Cuban: Examining a Potential Change in L.A. Dodgers ...)

    The major hurdle for this idea will be Commissioner Bud Selig and the league's reputation for zero tolerance. 

    It's no secret that Cuban has a flamboyant personality that can sometimes be disruptive and distracting.

    However, he has the cash and the desire to put together a championship franchise.

    If the only drama he creates is on the field, and not in the courtroom, things would be looking up for the Boys in Blue in 2011. 

Boys of old gone, new faces in

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    With Cuban now at the reins of a team with one of the largest fan bases in sports, the Dodgers now have rolls of hundreds held together with rubber bands in their pockets.

    The list of 2011 free agents is eye-popping and exciting. Some players would be too thoroughly intertwined with their current organizations to be lured away, but the promise of change with the means for success may net the Dodgers some key additions in the wake of key losses.

    L.A.'s rotation will once again come into question, as Vicente Padilla and Ted Lilly will be free agents. 

    Cliff Lee, and Brandon Webb, are just a couple of the big names on the starting pitching list. Relievers Huston Street and Rafael Soriano will also be available.

    These pitchers all have a decent possibility  of signing with new clubs.

    The Dodgers would certainly miss Padilla and the left-handed Lilly, but just imagine a healthy Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb on the roster, with Ronald Belisario and Rafael Soriano anchoring a hard-throwing, dependable bullpen.

Finally, the power and production arrives

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    James Loney is a solid fielder at first base with a productive bat. That said, the power is significantly lacking in his swing. 

    The Dodgers have hoped his power numbers would improve over the last few seasons, but it may finally be time to look for power and sacrifice a little fielding for some run production.

    Unfortunately, two runs a game won't be enough to sustain any pitching staff.

    Bringing Prince Fielder to L.A. would certainly bring its fair share of strikeouts, but an average of 40 home runs and 110 RBI is tough to ignore. 

    Other first baseman include Carlos Peña, Adam Dunn and Derrek Lee. Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth will likely also be out there. 

    Even big-name catchers will see significant free agent attention next season. Veteran swtich-hitter Victor Martinez will lead a cast of valuable backstops.

    With Brad Ausmus likely to retire, and Russell Martin underperforming while out for the remainder of 2010, Martinez could be chased by the Dodgers this upcoming offseason.

    Another convincing sign Martinez may not have a home in Boston is the trade-deadline Red Sox acquisition of Jarrod Saltalamacchia

    The divorce has hampered the Dodgers' payroll all season, and some of these players should already be on the roster.

    Maybe 2011 will make up for lost time with a new owner and premier athletes added to an already-promising roster.

Finale: Playoff run with consistent, successful team

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    With a new owner, power in the middle of the line-up, and consistent pitching in the rotation and bullpen, the Dodgers would be poised for a playoff run in 2011. 

    If the team can reach the National League Championship Series two years in a row with a roster similar to the current one, they stand a pretty good chance of getting there with new faces and a solid line-up.

    Of course, this is a hypothetical situation with a lot of maybe's and high hopes, but it is certainly not out of the question.

    The city of Los Angeles has continuously filled Dodger Stadium despite a 22-year World Series drought.

    The ol' silver lining for the Dodgers is the concept that it can't really get any worse. But I think it will get better sooner than most think, if just a few things fall into place.

    Dodgers fans have something to look forward to at the end of the 2010 season.

    As we've seen with the Yankees, it's a winning formula to have money to blow and available talent to buy.

    A lack of big moves at the non-waiver trade deadline could be replaced and forgotten by sensational free agent signings and "The Divorce" could be replaced with Mark Cuban, or even Dennis Gilbert

    "There's always next year...."