"I've heard that criticism before," said Thompson. "It's true our clubs aren't finishing as well as they usually do, but there's a reason for it. It doesn't mean we don't have as many good young players as the other big league farms, but just that we've spread our talent thin. While others have retrenched, we continue to operate 13 farm clubs."
Where are these future Dodgers coming from? You rarely read about the Brooks signing up one of the big bonus babies; always some other team is getting those headlines.
Thompson's full face crinkled in a pink smile. His fingers combed his glistening gray hair. He seemed happy to be asked.
"We spend money," he said, "but not that way. We always operate on the premise that it is better to give 10 boys $2,500 each than one boy $25,000. We figure you have the law of averages riding for you and, if the scouts are sufficiently capable in judging talent, we'll wind up with more good ballplayers than the club that goes for the high-priced kid. This year, up to August 1, we had spent $85,000 on 80 kids. I'd estimate we'll spend another $30,000 by the end of the year."
Surmise: The Dodger organization is very much alive and quite efficient.
Between the pessimism of some critics and the optimism of the Brooklyn front office, I am inclined to think the latter the more justified.