Thursday, April 21, 2011

Olney: "They Should Be Great. They Are The Dodgers."

Buster Olney has a great piece, "Done with dodging history", reflecting on the end of the McCourt era with the Dodgers, with words that should serve as inspiration for suffering Dodger fans frustrated with McCourt management:

To be clear, MLB commissioner Bud Selig ordered a takeover of the Dodgers -- like the repossession of a car -- because of the team's massive debts and financial instability.

But there is something more to this, as well. Major League Baseball wants the Dodgers to be great; it needs for the Dodgers to be great.

A trustee will oversee day-to-day operations of the franchise, writes Bill Shaikin.

Overnight, the Dodgers issued a statement from McCourt: "Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner's action today."

Time will tell if McCourt has more, if he will take legal steps. But a rival executive who has shared a table with him at owners' meetings has doubts about that. "Why would he want to do that?" said the executive. "He's not going to win -- these guys [MLB] are going to go after him -- and all it would do is cost him a lot of money and aggravation.

"When he took over the Dodgers, he actually didn't come in with a lot of money. Bud will make sure he'll get a good sale price for the team and he'll walk away with millions. The value of that team will probably be something like $750 million, so he's going to leave with a lot more money than he put into the team."

Assuming that McCourt's ejection is permanent, executives at the team level fully expect that Selig will pick the next Dodgers owner carefully. It'll be someone who has much more money than McCourt. It'll be someone very well known within baseball circles -- someone whose actions are predictable, someone safe.

Already there is speculation among executives that former agent Dennis Gilbert -- who has worked with White Sox owner and Selig ally Jerry Reinsdorf and who finished second to the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan group in pursuing the Rangers -- will be involved in the next Dodgers ownership. Tom Werner, currently part of the Red Sox ownership, is thought to be a possible ownership candidate. Another owner wonders if Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, who is perceived to have done an excellent job with Milwaukee, might be given the opportunity to assume the Dodgers, like a home owner who wants to trade up his nice home in a fine neighborhood to the Taj Mahal. Athletics owner Lew Wolff, who lives in the Los Angeles area, would finally find a solution to his Oakland ballpark quandary if he moved to take over the Dodgers.

No matter who the next owner is, he could not ask for better circumstances, because anything he (or she) does will be weighed and measured against McCourt's disastrous stewardship. The next owner will step into his office like Franklin Roosevelt replacing Herbert Hoover in the midst of the Great Depression.

However the Dodgers got to this moment in their history, they should be better. They should be great. They are the Dodgers.

Fuck, yeah.


spank said...


Neeebs (The Original) said...

Hoover to Roosevelt?

I'd prefer the Carter to Reagan analogy.

But then again, politics is taboo here, right?

MR.F said...

Taboo, or Sweetest Taboo?

rbnlaw said...

Holy shit. I agree with Buster Olney.

*checks pulse*

Yep. I'm not dead (yet).

Fernie V said...

I know this sucks, but I couldn't be happier about this move. Then again I also thought Rupert was going to be a spender like Turner and Steinbrenner.