Yo, Adrian! Dodgers See Gonzalez As Vehicle To Reclaim Fans Of Mexican Descent
The Dodgers' "ferver to land" 1B Adrian Gonzalez in last year's blockbuster trade with the Red Sox was about a lot of things, but the team is "perfectly willing to acknowledge the importance of Gonzalez's heritage in their efforts to court fans," according to Mark Saxon of ESPN L.A. Gonzalez gives the Dodgers "their biggest star of Mexican heritage since Fernando Valenzuela." The team was "not shy about taking advantage of Gonzalez's bicultural roots" during the offseason, as no Dodgers player made "more public appearances this winter than Gonzalez, who often had to drive 100 miles north" from his La Jolla home. Dodgers Assistant Dir of Multicultural & Business PR Yvonne Carrasco said, "I've only seen that level of excitement and connection with the fans in events I've done with Fernando." Saxon noted the excitement level "might never reach the pitch of Fernandomania in the 1980s," but Valenzuela "senses something like it could be building with Gonzalez." Valenzuela said, "They're receiving him pretty good and I think it's going to be great for all the Latins and Mexicans living in Los Angeles. It's going to be good, not only for the team but for the community" (ESPNLA.com, 3/7).
BALANCE OF POWER MOVING WEST: With the start of the MLB season a little over three weeks away, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow wondered whether the Dodgers “are becoming the new New York Yankees” and whether the “center of baseball gravity moved from the East Coast to the West Coast." Kudlow asked, "Are these big California payrolls going to produce World Series victories?” CNBC’s Brian Shactman, reporting live from the Dodgers' Spring Training home in Glendale, said, “In terms of wins and losses, who knows if they’ll supplant the Yankees. But when it comes to money, they already have.” Dodgers Owner Guggenheim Partners “want to win (and) they’re willing to spend to do it.” Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said having a large payroll “allows us to think about any player that we think can help our club instead of being restrictive and looking at a salary figure and saying, ‘We have no chance to go there.’" Colletti: "Now we can make a baseball decision” ("The Kudlow Report," CNBC, 3/7).