Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Remember All Those Kids Dodger Fans Ruined By Signing Manny Ramirez?

Jamie McCourt, quoted in the LA Times on November 26, 2008:

Would Dodgers fans react negatively if the team were to pay big money to free agents when the nation's economy is in sharp decline and many Americans are losing their jobs?

That was the question posed by Dodgers President Jamie McCourt as she made an appearance with her husband, team owner Frank McCourt, Tuesday at an event where it was announced the club's charitable foundation would help build 42 youth fields around Southern California.

"If you bring somebody in to play and pay them, pick a number, $30 million, does that seem a little weird to you?" Jamie McCourt asked in an interview at the Evergreen Recreation Center in East Los Angeles. "That's what we're trying to figure out. We're really trying to see it through the eyes of our fans. We're really trying to understand, would they rather have the 50 fields?"

As you might recall, these words tried to put the responsibility solely upon the shoulders of Dodger fans, who would have to stomach the consequences of signing Ramirez; in Jamie McCourt's mind, it meant that we would be jeopardizing the lives of young underprivileged children. It was positioned as a tradeoff of the Dodgers' limited resources: either we can spend the money to get a big-time slugger, or we could help the needy.

We ended up signing Manny. And who knows what happened to the fields, or the kids that hoped to play baseball after school. The blood of poor children everywhere was on our dreadlock-wig-wearing hands (not that the hands were wearing the wigs, but you get the idea).

Except, maybe those resources aren't exactly as limited as they were made out to be. After all, the McCourts aren't exactly suffering.

Jamie McCourt, in the court documents filed yesterday (from TMZ):

Respondent is employed and actively working, with what is estimated as a multi-million dollar cash flow. He will continue to enjoy the marital life of luxury, reside in the fabulous homes, enjoy the lush gardens, the pools, the spas, and all the other amenities of the family properties. He will continue to travel in luxury on private jets and stay in the grandest hotels. His life will be virtually unaffected by this divorce action.

Petitioner, on the other hand, is unemployed, after being discharged without notice from her position as C.E.O. of the Dodgers. She will require both very substantial pendente lite support and fee awards to maintain her former lifestyle.

Remember, that lifestyle includes a $2M salary as Dodger CEO, which Jamie has requested as a spousal support payment of $487K/month (only $321K if she is reinstated with her CEO salary). This spousal payment amount is net of taxes, mind you. And of course, she needs access to all the lifestyle benefits that she listed in great detail in the filings, apparently to match the "life of luxury" that Frankie will enjoy.

I guess my question is, if Frank McCourt has to make these monthly spousal support payments, and continues to use his private jets and first-class travel to enjoy the lush gardens and high-powered security detail in any one of his eight multi-million dollar properties; and Jamie McCourt continues to fly all around the world to visit her children and stay in Ritz-Carlton suites and entertain at five business dinners per week and have monthly hair coloring treatments and wear designer clothing picked out by her stylist and relax at all seven of their exclusive country clubs; then HOW MANY KIDS WILL STARVE?

How many inner-city baseball fields will have potholes due to Jamie McCourt's purchases of Prada shoes? How many cleft palates will not be surgically corrected because the McCourts maintain two boats (you can't sail just one!)? How many homeless children will have to suffer in the cold because the McCourts still fund rents, housekeepers, and living expenses for each of their four children, all of whom are in adulthood, with one of them employed at Goldman Sachs in New York (which is basically the same thing as Teach for America)?

My god, I'm going to throw up.

Look, I don't hate the rich. With all the SoSG income we've made, that would be wholly hypocritical of me. But the McCourts were hard to stomach when they tried to play the guilt card, and now that the sordid details of their lifestyle have been made public, it's absolutely nauseating.

And I'm not alone here. Jon Weisman takes note of the McCourts' rampant greed. MSTI has moved on from marveling at the avarice to harboring unbridled hatred. Rob McMillin predicts catastrophe.

I'm somewhere between depressed and angry. There has been so much for Dodger fans to love and appreciate in the past couple of years, and now we're just pissing away stability and financial solvency and likely fielding a competitive team. It's only late October--not even a week since the team's season ended--and we're already in a kamikaze-like nosedive.

The McCourts and their silver-spoon behavior will be absolutely vilified by the press, who hate the vanity and luxury of the wealthy, who will go to great lenghts to draw weak analogies between the McCourt's lifestyle and the glamour and glitz of Los Angeles. The press will conveniently forget that we Angelenos never liked the McCourts, that we never entirely trusted them, that we had smelled a rat even before the light illuminated all the chinks in the armor. I mean, I had liked the fact that the national press started covering the Dodgers again when we signed Manny late in 2008. But this press coverage is going to suck.

And let the wild rumpus start!


Unknown said...

not to be a pain, but you do realise the monthly stipend > 2million/yr?

Kyle Baker said...

Goldman Sachs = Teach for America

Nice one!

Kyle Baker said...

As Josh alludes, the real problem after they (we) get through all this is the fact that Dodger fans paying any amount of attention will likely have far less trust in the ownership on issues such as ticket or parking price structures, player signings (or not signings), etc. It's one thing to know we're in an economic slump, and another to respect that the McCourts were putting some scratch into local sports communities, etc. But now that the curtain has been pulled back, and we have been exposed to their lifestyles and spending habits, we now know the curtain doesn't match the rug.

[re-posted from previous post to be more on topic]

Kyle Baker said...

I can't believe no one has made a "Jamie's Cryin'" reference yet. Come on, people - was Van Halen THAT long ago?

Steve Sax said...

@Alex 10:15a: You're right, though the stipend is post-tax, so it's even worse. I've corrected the language in the post. Thanks.

Steve Sax said...

@Dusty: We're working on it. Great idea. I need something for Frank, though.

Kyle Baker said...

Looking more and more like Jamie was the one with her skirt up, not Frank:

Steve Sax said...

Dusty: Remember, they're citing TMZ as a source.

And even if the infidelities were true, we have no idea if Frank had dalliances as well. Both of them seem to deserve each other; who knows.

Kyle Baker said...

Ahh, the Ombudsman has spoken.

You're right Sax. But I'm going on the "where there's smoke there's fire" theory. And all the flare-ups so far have been burning the same direction (e.g., this Fuller Doughboy character).

The thing about TMZ, National Enquirer, The Sun, etc. is that they are the slimiest of bottom-dwelling scum, but they often have the scoop mostly right. For instance, the John Edwards love child bit.

Jimbo said...

*said in Bill Clinton voice*

I did not have sexual relations with that McCourt.

Kyle Baker said...


"LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Wednesday filed papers opposing his wife's demand to be reinstated as the team's chief executive, citing insubordination and an affair she allegedly had with her bodyguard.

The documents were submitted one day after Jamie McCourt filed divorce papers seeking to regain her $2 million-a-year job.

In a filing submitted by the Dodgers that opposes her return to the team, Dodgers attorneys allege that Jamie McCourt took a trip with her bodyguard, Jeff Fuller, in early July to Israel on team business, but then headed to France for 2 1/2 weeks and billed the Dodgers for the trip. Jamie McCourt is also accused of not giving her husband any information about her assignments as chief executive and not providing the team with her schedule of public appearances.

In a declaration filed by Frank McCourt, he references Fuller as well, saying before his wife went on the trip she asked him for three things — one of which was to have Fuller be her driver.

Dodgers attorney Debra Fischer told The Associated Press that Fuller and Jamie McCourt told the team they had an affair. Fuller and Jamie McCourt were fired earlier this month.

Jamie McCourt's attorney, Dennis Wasser, declined to comment."

rbnlaw said...

No truth to the rumor that neeebs is really Jeff Fuller. Also, that Pilsbury Doughboy couldn't protect Jamie from the sun if he was laying on top of. . .oh wait.

To paraphrase Richie Rich:

Kyle Baker said...

Jamie always had it bad for Vulcans.

Paul said...

Can we file an epo against the McCourts on behalf of the dodgers. Maybe a preliminary injunction.

Just thoughts as I go to meeting number watching legislation being made.....which is a pretty gross sight.

Rather watch Dodger dogs being made.

Paul said...

That was meeting # 5. But who is counting at this point. Maybe the Dutch.

karina said...

Isn't this woman the same who fired an employee because the employee got romantically involved with another employee ruining marriages in the process?

Then she let the other employee go away under the same premise, which may or may not be prejudicial for the team, all done to keep the Dodgers "as a family team". Hypocrite.

I don't mind they both have a swanky lifestyle because even when money is inherited, you have to work hard to maintain this kind of wealth, but i do mind "When we fly, we usually fly on private planes, typically a Gulfstream-IV, through Net Jets paid by the Dodgers.", while ticket prices raise every year and parking is expensive. Why don't they do it on their dime? i bet they did the same before they bought the team.

Sell the team and i'll cross fingers new ownership keep Logan White, Kim Ng and "the kids"

Fred's Brim said...

i wonder if Joe Torre has called George Steinbrenner to apologize

Kyle Baker said...


No, watching legislation being made is actually worse than watching hot dogs being made. And considerably less sanitary.

Matt Kemp said...

This is getting ridiculous. We finally got a good team, and now this crap. I just watched the Dodgers get manhandled by the Phillies for the second year in a row, and all hopes of avenging that defeat are going down the toilet becuase of this. They need to sell the team for the sake of us fans.