Sarah's Take: Kevin Brown
In 1999 the performances by the Dodgers have displeased many of their fans. Since Kevin Brown has a large contract, many blame him for the Dodgers’ struggles. This criticism is unfair to Brown because he has performed admirably while wearing a Dodger uniform. Although his win-loss record is poor, he played a major factor in the Dodgers’ success in 2000.
Kevin Malone has made several questionable moves during his tenure as Dodger general manager, but signing Brown is not one of them. Malone and the Dodgers have received much criticism from other baseball teams, the media, and the fans when they signed Brown to a seven-year $105 million contract. Though it is questionable in my mind if any baseball player should earn more than the president of the United States, Brown is considered among the best pitchers in baseball, so he deserves to be among the highest paid.
Though Brown won only thirteen this season, he could have won a lot more with acceptable offensive support. Despite missing three starts because of a broken little finger, he started 33 games, but he had a decision in only 19 games. He allowed more than three runs in five games. He lost six, but three of them were when the Dodgers scored two runs or less. His 2.58 ERA (earned-run-average) was the lowest in the National League. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was awesome of 4.60 with 216 strikeouts and 47 walks ranking him second in the National League. His 216 strikeouts rank third in the league. Brown allowed a .213 batting average against him, the lowest batting average in the league. Many hitters consider Brown as the toughest right-handed pitcher in the league.
Kevin Brown brings something other than super pitching. Brown is an intense competitor. His tough competitiveness has helped to teach his teammates never to quit on a game. When he had a broken pinkie, he wanted to pitch through the injury, but the Dodger management did not allow him to do it. His pitching has set a good example for the younger pitchers on the Dodger staff. He has never complained about a lack of offensive support or defensive errors behind him. When Brown was not pitching, his sense of humor has helped to keep the clubhouse loose.
Kevin Brown has been valuable to the Dodgers since they signed him in December 1998. If the Dodgers gave a Cy Young award, Brown would receive it. Fans should applaud Brown’s accomplishments and not criticize his salary.