Posted 08/04/2008 at 02:51 PM
Though we can't recommend looking for wagering opportunities with the LA Dodgers as there will likely be a dearth of value on the team with current attention, the buzz around the team right now is exciting to see with one of the storied franchises in the National League. The Dodgers have been a playoff team a few times in the last two decades but there has not been much to get excited about in recent seasons. Los Angeles has had plenty of good players since the 1988 World Series team such as Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Mike Piazza, Adrian Beltre, Eric Gagne, among others but there have been few players that have really generated a transcendent buzz to make them extremely relevant in a city like Los Angeles.
Sports teams in Los Angeles not only need great players, they need dynamic and interesting stars to compete with the lifestyle and celebrity focus of the city. Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant have fit the bill to continue the greatness of the Lakers. The Los Angeles Kings have never won a championship but they made the big move to get Wayne Gretzky and garner some attention and made a Stanley Cup run. Even the MLS has had more star power than the Dodgers with David Beckham joining the Los Angeles Galaxy. Los Angeles does not have professional football at the moment but USC has filled that void with championship caliber teams and big name players that were able to establish star power even in college. Even though they only played one season of college basketball more people would probably recognize Kevin Love and O. J. Mayo than the top players on the Dodgers. Even the manager Joe Torre is a bigger star than anyone on the team. Until now that is.
Manny Ramirez may be a headache at times, he may not be the best teammate in most people's sense of the term, he may get headlines for the wrong reasons at times, but he sure is interesting. He can also hit pretty well too. The huge series he had this last weekend could be the start of great run for the Dodgers as they have now become relevant in the big city and people are going to pay attention to the team and the division race. He also fills a huge need for the team and can produce in a lineup that was lacking punch but features some quality young hitters. Arizona will still be a tough team in the NL West with great top end pitching but this is now a race that people will care about even if both teams can barely stay above .500.