20 games in 20 days is the most games played without an off-day permissible under the Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement. Just when we thought we would have a day to enjoy the Dodgers come from behind victory yesterday, and Andre Ethier’s 24 game hitting streak, Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt decides to come out of the shadows. He was nowhere to be seen for days after the tragic opening day beating of Giants fans Brian Stow.
But on the same day as Tom Schieffer the MLB appointee holds his first press conference in LA, saying all the right things about restoring the Dodgers,
"I’m here to try to help, Nothing would make us happier than for the Dodgers to be in the World Series."
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is thousands of miles away sounding like a spoiled child,
"Nobody handed the Dodgers to me, nobody is going to take them away."
But the fun just starts there, with McCourt saying in a press conference that MLB rejected a fully negotiated deal the Dodgers had agreed upon with FOX, that Bud Selig refuses to return his calls, and that the treatment of the Dodgers by MLB is an anti-American seizure of personal property. From that perspective it sounds like McCourt is getting a raw deal from MLB.
However, when you hear MLB spokesman Rob Manfred speak on the meeting you get a totally different perspective,
"It is unfortunate that Mr. McCourt felt it necessary to publicize the content of a private meeting. It is even more unfortunate that Mr. McCourt’s public recitation was not accurate. Most fundamental, Commissioner Selig did not ‘veto’ a proposed transaction. Rather, Mr. McCourt was clearly told that the Commissioner would make no decision on any transaction until after his investigation into the Club and its finances is complete so that he can properly evaluate all of the facts and circumstances."
This is starting to turn into a schoolyard battle of “he started it…uh uh he started it.” I”m not going to go into all of the details, mainly because I don’t want to throw up all over my keyboard and that others have already done a fine job of recapping all of the details of what was a bizarre 2 hours. Check out John Weisman at ESPN’s Dodger Thoughts, he does a great job of summing up exactly how I’m sure most Dodger fans feel about this tired and sordid subject.
Also Tony Jackson at ESPN Los Angeles has probably the most in-depth article on yesterday’s press conference. What I find so interesting is McCourt says, “These are my hard-earned dollars I put into this franchise, and I am going to protect my rights.” Unfortunately McCourt must be suffering from selective memory loss as very few of his hard earned dollars were actually put in to purchasing the Dodgers.
His purchase of the Dodgers was financed mostly by debt and required special approval by Major League Baseball because so little of his own money was actually being used to purchase the club. Now the same guy who used millions of dollars of other people’s money to buy the team, has since grossly mismanaged it, tried to hide the amount of money he and his wife took from the team to fuel their excessive and luxurious lifestyles, has the nerve to talk about his “hard-earned dollars.”
Excuse me if I can’t but help feel a little leery of the same financially irresponsible individual suddenly being given millions of dollars meant to “supposedly” be spent on digging the Dodgers out of the massive financial hole Mr. McCourt himself has dug. Check out the video below of his appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box and be sure to follow Lasorda’s Lair on Twitter by clicking here