Readers of this blog know I am diehard when it comes to USC. Some of you older readers may know, my other love is baseball. Dodger baseball. I grew up playing baseball. I love it on a level that is different than football. Baseball is where I do my thinking. It so aspirational and I am one of those people that love it for being slow, calculating and filled with unlucky breaks. I simply love the metaphor for life the national pastime is. I love how imperfect it is.
I have been a season ticket holder at Chavez Ravine for some seven years now. My father and I go together, splitting a season with a family friend. those 41 nights in the summer are some of my favorites. They are the things I picture when I am in the hospital. When I am in bed nursing 35+ stitches in my body, I am thinking about the color of afternoon sunlight at the ballpark and the hope that our hits find their way to the outfield. USC football is the world’s greatest and most arrogant party. Dodger games for me feel like a day on the beach with a warm glass of rum and nothing but weekend ahead of you. Whether you agree with me or not, I am sure you agree with this:
Frank McCourt is a total dickhead.
I have largely kept it cool during his tenure as “steward” of the Dodgers, but I can’t hold my tongue any more. This is my manifesto and my plea to Frank, please get the hell out of Los Angeles and let us forget about you. Take your kids, take your ex-wife and take your friends. Please stop choking a civic treasure to death.
The Dodgers broke the racial barrier of baseball. The Dodgers created West Coast baseball. The Dodgers have won six glorious World Championships, five here in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are is iconic in this city as the Hollywood sign, Pink’s hot dogs, Venice Beach, the Walk of Fame and the Sunset Strip. They are being treated like a dilapidated building and what’s worse, it was you Frank that put it in disrepair.
I remember listening to you say you’d be a “steward” of the Dodgers, Frank. You should look up the definition of that word. I’m sure you have a Websters in one of the ten houses you were buying and maintaining with money that could have gone to renovating the upper decks of the stadium or God-forbid, signing us a left fielder or top line pitcher. A steward is someone who is there to guide something that belongs to a greater contingency, in this case, the City of Los Angeles.
You are so lucky you didn’t buy the Red Sox in your home city as you attempted to. You’d have ruined them too and have gone down as the greatest ally of the New York Yankees of all time. How on earth are you a businessman? You were charging THE DODGERS rent in a stadium YOU OWN and then tossing in prospects in deals so we wouldn’t have to spend any money. For 600,000 dollars, we’d have Carlos Santana catching. The Indians were down to give us Casey Blake. I’m sure they shit their pants a little when they found out you’d sell our top catching prospect for a month of mortgage on one of your homes in Malibu. Some steward, Frank.
A steward doesn’t sell the team’s soul to a television network just to stay afloat. A steward takes care of business so when we make a deal, we have all the leverage. A steward doesn’t refer to the team as his property as you did yesterday when you called Bud Selig’s actions “un-American”. Hey Frank, most Dodger fans can be considered un-American then, because we’re so glad your time is running out. I’d argue destroying one of sport’s finest organizations is un-American. You are a steward for greed. You are the guy who thinks an apology will cover it.
Here’s how it works since my assumption most multi-millionaires had to understand the basic level of business and understanding their consumers was wrong. You don’t sue Major League Baseball. You can’t afford it. Jamie gets half of what this team sells for. You bought it for 400 million or so. I’ve heard it’s worth about 800 now. If you go into litigation against the MLB, who has a better case than you (remember when you charged the team to play in a stadium you owned, you douche?), they will bleed you dry until you are forced to sell and then you will lose money.
I am sorry you got a divorce and I know that’s rough, just don’t try to be the common man about it. You were both raping this organization and its fans. Most divorces don’t destroy something beloved by millions of people. Quit now so Vin Scully can call his last game without your dumb ass in the building. You dishonor the field Sandy Koufax pitched on. I can’t believe I shook your hand that time in the Stadium Club.
Look, I know we reached the playoffs four times in your tenure. I had some amazing moments during those “runs”, but in the end of the day, you never made the move to put us over the top. You never tried. You tried to do just enough and take the rest for yourself. If you didn’t want us to know, you shouldn’t have been airing all your soiled diapers during the divorce. It’s official, you and Jamie were greedy jerks who said things like “signing Manny would prevent the team from building ballparks for Little Leaguers in the inner city”.
How dare you two. How dare you when you were bleeding the team dry. We all support you building fields for kids. That’s great. But guess what, use the 14 million you were charging your team to use your stadium to build fields. Or use half of it to do that and the other half to sign us a left fielder (not anymore, Jerry Sands is the breath of fresh air these days).
In the end, do us the honor of a quick death, Frank. Leave now while Vin is still here. Leave now while someone else can come in and sign Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw to long term deals. They had to grow up in your broken home. Let someone else come in and make things right. On the field, this team is trying their ass off. They have an impressive 13 wins and a staggering 13 losses. Get out now, let someone come buy us who cares and knows the definition of “steward”.
Here’s what ESPN had you quoted saying yesterday:
“What I said was un-American was somebody’s property being seized unlawfully,” McCourt said. “There are core values in this country, and fairness is one of them. Transparency is another, and private property is another. Thankfully, it’s not appropriate for one person’s property to be seized by somebody else just because they get divorced or just because of some arbitrary reason. That is one of the great core principles and core values of this country, and that is what I’m referring to when I say it’s just un-American to me.”
One, since when has fairness been a core value in America? Remember when you get a raw deal when you are a kid and your parents tell you life is not fair? The Golden Rule is the Golden Rule because it’s the thing we most need to be reminded of, so yeah, fairness is awesome, but it doesn’t happen much. If fair happened all the time, Rudy wouldn’t be a popular movie. If fairness happened all the time, you wouldn’t own the Dodgers.
Also, you didn’t get the team seized for an arbitrary reason of for a divorce, Frank. You got seized because your divorce showed the world how many far from arbitrary failures and greedy decisions both of you made. You two should work it out. You deserve each other.
My final word is for Selig. I know you will have the desire to do the wrong thing here and get us another money strapped owner, like when you put Frank in the drivers seat. This mess you are cleaning up is one you made.
Give us someone with money, someone with passion and someone who wants to win.