Thursday, April 21, 2011
Selig Protects Dodgertown from Mass Destruction, McCorrupted
My great concern for one of the prestigious ballclubs in the majors, marred in ultimate chaos with a financial collapse, if only briefly, is that the beloved Dodgers will descend in the Chavez Ravine, a location in the hillsides of Los Angeles where the well-known ballpark overlooks the landscape.
For Frank McCourt, an embattled, inept owner who lacks the funds within the organization, he is ridiculed and ripped profoundly for allowing his franchise to suffer in a major market financially, for allowing soulless thugs to invade Dodger Stadium and initiate brawls in a brutal attack of an innocent fan for wearing a Giants jersey. Once upon a time, here in the origin of a fallen baseball town, it was a birthright to accept the Dodgers as the most respected franchise other than the Lakers.
There's a reason baseball is slowly relinquishing life in a diverse town. If you haven't noticed, unwilling to accept the truth on why the Dodgers plummeted, it's because you haven't observed McCourt running a horrific business that gradually declined over the years. By now, this unbelievably dreadful story is a stunning development, and fans all over the Los Angeles basin are breathing in relief, graceful that commissioner Bud Selig has protected the Dodgers and its fans from an abhorrent nightmare.
By now, the nausea of the Dodgers not surviving mass destruction is scaring the worrywarts to death, with the gloomy era crippling the essence of baseball. By now, the killjoy chairman publicly embarrassed himself with financial difficulties, a ballclub which almost threatened to file bankruptcy, and have no business running an insolvent franchise. It is, however, the most unprecedented move in Major League history -- greater than the moment when the league seized control of the formerly known Montreal Expos, or the moment the NHL stepped in to claim rights of the Phoenix Coyotes, or the moment the NBA took over the New Orleans Hornets.
From Selig's viewpoint, for a team embroiled in divorce proceedings between McCourt and his wife Jamie, a personal burden affects not only the players, but the fans as well. It's the way the majors plan on forcing the McCourts to sell the franchise. It sounds like the proper time, if ever, to place a FOR SALE SIGN outside of Dodger Stadium, a volatile environment where senseless acts have manifested near-fatal crime scenes for the lack of police officers and security to make it a safe, family-friendly ballpark.
It used to be a place where a family of four could come out and enjoy a nice afternoon in the beaming sunshine, not having to worry about safety and surviving after the game in one piece. So now that Major League Baseball announced its intentions to take over all operations for the Dodgers due to the financial debacles within the organization, Selig has finally reacted to the wreckage in baseball, aware of the blunders having an effect on the game, and has lately been immersed in rescuing the misplaced sport.
He is suddenly a progressive overseer in his dysfunctional league, but once was a softy when he allowed umpires to blow calls, when he allowed and never responded to the outrageous violence on the field during benches-clearing melees, or when he never had interest to declare periodic drug testing on performance-enhancers. Tired of the shame, after he never reacted to dire situations in the past, he promptly broadcasted that the MLB will take over all financial operations, likely delaying any future plans the Dodgers had as far as increasingly adding payroll.
The McCourt divorce situation, which has been the ugliest personal issue involving a sports franchise, has created hapless events when the lingering publicity had undoubtedly ravaged and trashed the Dodgers. Most notably, with him at the helm, it could've turned incredibly worse, had he still been in charge of running the damaged business. It shouldn't come as any surprise that he suffered a financial disaster, but no one could have seen the madness hitting this point.
This is a time when political news inflamed, and when a lifeless, helpless venue waited patiently for McCourt to be removed as owner, a position where he failed so miserably ever since he refused to sell his share of the franchise. After a flurry of corruptions, the marketability for a franchise devalued continuously with the McCourts living an extravagant lifestyle, a preposterous lifestyle that wouldn't even had last on reality TV.
The analogy for the McCourts' battle is that it is the equivalent of an ugly episode from Divorce Court or the People's Court for a complex standpoint. Not even Perry Mason could've helped resolve this personal rift. The entire town couldn't be more ecstatic that McCourt is not running the Dodgers, since the league took over. The fans are certainly smiling widely, ready to put the horrendous drama behind their minds and wish for a better outcome in the future.
The uncertainty is still a factor as far as the team's future arrangements, but the Dodgers have a greater chance of renovating a winning mentality. The McCourts, formally known as the helpless owners of a dying ballclub, at one point took out a $140 million loan that catered for future ticket sales, but $20 million was invested exactly for an ailing lifestyle. After all of this, fortunately, the McCourts paid no federal income taxes for $108 million in earnings with the organization. It's very telling, suppressed by an infighting divorce since Jamie filed divorce papers during a hideous recession with inflated gas prices and unemployment rates lingering in double digits, that he's limited in spending and doesn't have enough money to operate one of the precious franchises.
All of which, Selig plans to appoint a trustee in the next week to oversee "all business and day-to-day operations" within the ballclub. It was a smart choice by Selig for the sake of Dodgers' faithful, supporting Dodgers' Blue at a ballpark where there is a billboard that reads "Think Blue" when it really should read "Think Red," following a near-fatal beaten in the parking-lot at Dodger Stadium on opening day that left a Giants fan in a medically-induced coma.
With countless issues involving the Dodgers, including McCourt's current receipt of him taking out a $30 million personal loan to meet payroll, not to mention previous problems with finances that escalated to the lack of security at Dodger Stadium, that disregarded aspirations of a potential World Series really soon and that resulted in a holocaust to break down a professional franchise as a whole.
Incredible. Crestfallen. Ridiculous.
This announcement, many say, couldn't have come at a better time to put a boundless soap opera to rest that unmasked in the public view. The only good news is that the league will now have approval rights over the franchise itself. The worst-case scenario is that the ballclub is unable to balance its own salary and acquire big-name free-agents on the market next winter. The best-case scenario is that somebody hurries and purchases the franchise by investing their profit in a troubled organization to redirect the Dodgers down the right path.
In relations, in reference to all the troubles this season, the population at Dodger Stadium has declined, and McCourt watched attendance shrink. Nobody was even showing up for the Dodger Dogs, the ice cream, the All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion, or the beer. According to sources, McCourt has recently been preparing to sue Major League Baseball, for whatever reason furious with the league because of alleged falsification.
"I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the club," Selig said in a released statement.
It wasn't long after McCourt issued a statement baffled with the sudden news.
"Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines, which all 30 teams must follow," McCourt said. "The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the commissioner's action today."
The anonymity of the latest move in baseball remains stunning to McCourt, even though he felt he had enough money to run the franchise, even though he felt he never had to address the issue following the terrible incident on opening day in the parking-lot, and even though he mishandled his personal business in an irresponsible fashion.
Rename McCourt to McCorrupted.
Even his general manager, Ned Colletti, touched on the shocking news.
"I consider it a sad day for baseball and a sad day for the Dodgers," he said.
There was Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who has taken over the managerial role as Joe Torre's successor, I guess you can say, and celebrated his 50th birthday Wednesday. Torre knew exactly what he was doing when he departed emotionally last season and forged his signature on his retirement documents, after migrating from the urban lifestyle in New York and landing in Southern California to soak in the new scenery of residing near the beach and warmer climate.
"It's hard to imagine it would happen somewhere like the Dodgers, but there's crazy stuff going on everywhere. You're seeing monster major banks going down, so obviously it can happen," Mattingly said before the game against Atlanta at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
Rumor has it that Mark Cuban is bidding to purchase the Dodgers. There's no doubt in our minds that he'll build a championship ballclub, but the only problem with Cuban is that he brings aboard too much baggage with his infantile moaning or complaining to create unnecessary headlines publicly. We can't, by any means, recall the time in the modern era when the commissioner claimed control of a franchise from its owner.
"This is one of the great franchises. It's hard to imagine a mess like this ever having happened," former commissioner Fay Vincent said. "It's a very sad situation. I feel very bad for baseball and for Bud."
It's been painful to watch the Dodgers weaken and unimaginably be portrayed as the laughingstock of baseball. It's nice to know that he is gone for good, and that he no longer controls the leverage in Dodgertown.
Good riddance, Hallelujah!!! Good bye. LA doesn't miss you.
"It's unfortunate what the organization and the team is going under the last couple of years," Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier said Wednesday. "There's a lot of people in the city and the fans who want to see a good Dodgers organization, a good Dodgers team and be proud of it. I know there's a lot of players in this locker room that want to make this come true for the fans in this city, the die-hards that want to be here every day for us. There's nothing we want to do more than win and make them proud of us."
Selig was triggered to make this surprising move because McCourt had ordered a $30 million loan from Fox, a television partner for the Dodgers, but he had never approved a $200 million loan from Fox. This historically court drama compelled the commissioner to take a powerful swing at the bat and act in the "best interest of baseball."
This is also for the best interest of the Dodgers and their fans.