Sunday, May 10, 2009

Frank Speaks

Frank McCourt joined Vin Scully in the booth during the third inning of today's game. Here's a transcript:

Scully: With us on this big day, and we're delighted to have him in the booth, he doesn't pop around that often up here, but the owner, Frank McCourt. And Frank, pure and simple, the one question on everybody's mind: What's new in the Manny Ramirez situation?

McCourt: Well Vin, I received a call from Manny yesterday, and it was quite clear to me that he really knows he's made a mistake. He was very apologetic and really acknowledged the disappointment he's created and we decided we would get together, talk about it. I think this was a conversation that was much better eyeball-to-eyeball and what I sensed in the conversation was confirmed as we met.

Scully: What I'm going to do, rather than just call balls and strikes, I'm not going to say anything until the position player has a result, so you go ahead.

McCourt: Well, it was I think an important moment in the rebuilding process here. When Manny called, I was very pleased, 'cause I think only Manny can speak to this. He's the voice that everybody wants to hear, myself included. And so when he called, we agreed to get together, we spent some time. Very clear to me that he's just—he's hurting right now. But he brought that hurt on himself.

Scully: Absolutely.

McCourt: And he knows now he has to speak out and he has to repair the relationships he's damaged.

"He needs to speak to the fans and to this community at large because they've really embraced him."

Scully: I'm trying to think of questions that people would ask you. One of them we keep reading about: Will he talk to his teammates?

McCourt: Well, there's no question in my mind that he needs to do that. Again, there are several constituencies here that he needs to speak with. I was pleased as well that he spoke directly with Ned yesterday. He needs to visit with Joe and his teammates. He needs to speak to the fans and to this community at large because they've really embraced him.

Scully: Now when could that be?

McCourt: I think the timeline is really up to Manny. As I said earlier, Vin, it's very clear that he's hurting. He's embarrassed, and everybody has a different timeline for working through that. And on a very human level here, I think we've got to give Manny time to work through that. It takes a real man to step up and admit a mistake and have the courage to speak publicly about that, so he'll know when he's ready to do that.

Scully: And, of course, let's face it: You have paid him an awful lot of money to lead this ballclub. How do you feel?

McCourt: I...disappointed. I feel better today than I did yesterday.

Scully: Were you angry?

McCourt: Initially? I—I was a little ticked off.

Scully: That'd be a human reaction, I would think.

McCourt: It's one of those things that a good night's sleep helps, and you wake up and you realize that anger gets you nowhere. It's how we're going to be constructive about dealing with this. But the disappointment lingered, and what has started to make the disappointment go away is the fact that the man picked up the phone and called. And hearing his voice, and then visiting with him and hearing him take responsibility, you start moving to a different place.

Scully: High fly ball down the left field line, Juan Pierre on the track, right in the corner, reaches in fair, now foul ground. So even had the ball had gone into the seats, it would have been a foul ball. And an out. One away as Molina is retired and the batter is Randy Winn.

In your conversation with Manny, did he give you any kind of a time schedule, I'm going to be here, I'm going to do that?

McCourt: No, we didn't get into timelines. What he did say to me was that he recognizes that he needs to address this, and that he's going to. To me, I was very satisfied when I heard that. I didn't feel it was appropriate for—this was the first time I'd had a conversation with Manny.

"The only way to fix it is to address it and then make amends. It's more than words. You have to do some things to fix it."

Scully: Winn hits a high fly ball to shallow right, in comes Andre Ethier to make the catch. Two down.

McCourt: I just didn't feel it was appropriate in that first conversation to—you know, I was there in way to try to help him as well through this because you see an individual hurting and the natural reaction is, when you put the disappointment aside, if the person wants to make things right, your reaction is to try to make it right. So it just didn't feel like the right time to say, "Okay, what's happening on Monday? What's happening on Tuesday?" We'll get to that, and I think Manny needs to get to that, because his is the voice that people want to hear from. Not mine, or anybody else's, quite frankly.

Scully: In talking about Monday or Tuesday, did you say, Well okay, I will talk to you in x number of days? How did you leave the very final words of your conversation?

McCourt: He said he would be in touch with me. And we'll talk, and then things will start to roll. He was already talking about needing to get back into working out and being with his teammates and so on and so forth. So he's clearly moving along the process in his own mind. You know, this is going to take some healing. There was damage done, there was disappointment created. We've all made mistakes, and we've all disappointed people and it's a lousy feeling to do that. But once you realize that, the only way to fix it is to address it and then make amends. It's more than words. You have to do some things to fix it, and I think he's in that place right now.

Scully: Now, he could come out and work out at Dodger Stadium, and then he has to get off the field when the gates open. He could even spend the game in the Dodger clubhouse, I believe.

McCourt: Yeah, he's part of the team. And he made it very clear to me yesterday that boy, does he love being part of this team. I think that's another part of all this, that he had such a good thing going here, in the way the community has embraced him and so forth, so I think he'll start to work out with the club fairly soon.

Scully: Well, that's it as the strikeout three with Aaron Rowand, and at the end of two-and-a-half innings, Giants 2, Dodgers 1.

McCourt: Happy Mother's Day to everybody.

Earlier official reactions at SoSG: Ned & Joe Speak, Jamie Speaks, Manny Speaks


Chappy said...

McCourt was candid as always, and it was nice to hear this as a fan, but until Manny starts doing what they discussed and reaching out to fix this, nothing positive can come of this.

NicJ said...

haha, a little ironic that Frank McCourt is saying manny needs to come and face the music.

Im still waiting for my explanation of why the parking lot is such a debacle.

Alex Cora said...

Thanks for printing the transcript. I am traveling and it is hard to get the local news. Manny seems to have a lot of explaining to do - to everyone. The more that he drags it out though the more it will continue to be in the headlines. He has to get this thing behind him.

Rob said...

Thanks for putting the time in to transcribe this guys, always welcome.

McCourt was the owner when the Dodgers booted Paul LoDuca, not because he was juicing, but because he had stopped. McCourt wants this thing over ASAP. Privately, I suspect he's tolerant of steroid use (and even in fact supports it, within reason), but he can't come out and say that.

Rob said...