Sunday, April 01, 2012

He Only Wanted the Best...for Us

I know what you're thinking: Screw McCourt! Banish Frank! Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out! And I know the feeling.

Yet, as Dodger fans, we owe it to ourselves to take a deep breath and conduct a rational discussion about all the positive things Frank McCourt has bestowed upon this organization.

Did the Dodgers win the World Series under his stewardship? No, but they made the playoffs four times — which is four more times than when Fox owned the team.

Did the Dodgers spend the most money on payroll? No, but they were competitive until the very end of McCourt's tenure. It's not McCourt's fault Ned Colletti chose to spend his money on the likes of Jason Schmidt and Andruw Jones.

And when McCourt needed to pull the purse strings for players who were actually worth it, he didn't hesitate. $45 million for two years to Manny Ramirez, and a reported $160 million, seven-year offer to Prince Fielder.

Sure, Frank and Jamie spent some of their dough on themselves. But ask yourself this: would you rather them have lost it to Bernie Madoff? Then where would we be? The West Coast Mess, that's where.

Best of all, McCourt resisted temptation. He forsook the easy way out. Tantalizing as it may have been, he didn't part with the franchise's crown jewels: Matt Kemp. Clayton Kershaw. And Dodger Stadium.

Don't think the Yankees weren't fitting Kemp for pinstripes until the Dodgers locked him up ($160 million for eight years, by the way). Kershaw is in prime position to be locked up beyond his current $19 million, two-year deal.

And not only is Dodger Stadium (1) still in its original location and (2) still named Dodger Stadium, but it got a facelift and all its seats have recently been replaced. Did McCourt dig into the bedrock of Chavez Ravine so we could get our Dodger Dogs and beer faster? He did.

Okay, so Frank and Jamie spent some money on a psychic. You know what else they did? They kept former VP of Communications (and friend of Dodger bloggers everywhere) Josh Rawitch for as long as they possibly could. They created ThinkCure!, the west coast version of the Jimmy Fund. They built Dodgers Dreamfields — twenty and counting — to benefit underprivileged baseball-loving kids around the city.

So burn your effigies, sing Ding dong, the witch is dead all you want. I will say thank you, Frank McCourt. Your contributions may be overshadowed in light of Magic's jazzy $2 billion bid, but true Dodger fans will always remember the good things you left behind.

AP photo

3 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

I'll never forget how McCourt recognized that previously there had been a sort of classist system in seating and amenities, and was able to break down those walls to truly give those from every socioeconomic background such a wonderful fan experience, whether it be Field Level or Top Deck.

jmk said...

April Fool!

Frank McCourt said...

Finally somebody sees all the good I did! And I do mean all the good.