On Monday, in the latest chapter of the sad Frank McCourt saga as owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team filed for bankruptcy protection. Today, the team will learn whether an interim financing plan proposed by ownership will be approved, allowing them to meet their end-of-June payroll obligations.
Maybe this should have been done earlier, from the Dodgers' standpoint. The Dodgers piled on the Twins Monday night for 15 runs, matching the Target Field record for runs by a Minnesota opponent, which was set April 28 by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Even more impressively, every starting Dodger got at least one hit, drove in at least one run and scored at least once. This feat had not been accomplished by a Dodgers team since 1930, and it's only been done 45 times since 1919, less than once every two years on average.
The attack was led by Matt Kemp, whose 22nd home run gave him the National League lead. Kemp had four hits and drove in a pair in five at-bats. Perhaps more impressive was Trent Oeltjen, who was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI; Oeltjen was playing in Triple-A Albuquerque until about three weeks ago.
The Dodgers also scored in seven of the nine innings and had a runner on base (Oeltjen) in both innings they did not score (the second and ninth). It was the type of game where a manager sometimes brings out a position player to save his bullpen, but Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire kept trotting out his regular pitching staff until he found someone who wouldn't allow a run (Matt Capps, who threw the ninth).
Dodgers players claimed the bankruptcy news had nothing to do with this offensive explosion:
“We’ve been dealing with it pretty much all season,” said outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who finished with four hits. “It goes away for a month and then something comes up. Guys know they’ve got a job to do and baseball’s hard enough as it is without those other worries. Guys pay no attention to it.”
“We’re not really that worried too much about what else is going on other than playing baseball,” Kemp said. “Our job is to go out here every day and win games, and try to win games. We can’t worry really about too much.”
Sure, guys. This from a team close to bringing up the rear in the NL West. They're still nine games out of first place. Let's see if today's announcement of a financing plan helps them win again.