Thursday, April 21, 2011

Selig was right to step in with the Dodgers

By The Boss

I am not Bud Selig's biggest fan. I think he has done some things as commissioner that were dumb, stupid and idiotic (read: the whole home-field advantage in the all-star game among others, such as the Game 5 rain-filled debacle known as the 2008 World Series).

However, I am on Commissioner Selig's side today for the stance he took on the Dodgers ownership situation. We can debate whether this stance should be adopted with the Mets on another day (although in a way, I think it already has with Selig-cronie Sandy Alderson running the baseball operations/personnel) and we also debate how active MLB will allow the Dodgers to be if they are in contention (based on their track record with the Expos and Rangers, I would say the team will be able to make moves). Hell, Dodgers fans have been taking to the airwaves and columns to praise the move to get McCourt out now. (I listened to an interview of Meet the Press host David Gregory, a lifelong Dodger fan who grew up in Southern California, and you could hear how relieved he was that this irresponsible person was not in charge of the team he roots for anymore. From the sounds of it much of Southern California agrees as it is still a Dodger town.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is in the middle of a nasty divorce that has seen things come to light that he probably wished didn't. Such as the fact that his wife was made CEO and used team money for haircuts.

McCourt, who knew he was hurting financially before the 2011 season began, approved GM Ned Colletti spending over $90 million to retain or bringing in free agents such as Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland, Juan Uribe, Rod Barajas and Matt Guerrier. On top of that, in the middle of all his troubles the team signed Chad Billingsley to $35 million extension. It is no wonder that McCourt had to take a loan from Fox to meet the team's payroll last week.

If that wasn't enough, under McCourt's watch, Dodger Stadium has gone in the tank attendance-wise. And on top of that there was his rather 'such is life'-type response to the brutal attack on Giants fan Brian Stow in the parking lots of Dodger Stadium (the stadium McCourt's team plays in and also the one whose security force or lack there of, McCourt is responsible for), in which Stow is now in a medically-enduced coma.

McCourt also had his fingerprints on the decision to move the team from its long time spring training home in Vero Beach, Fla. (also known as Dodgertown) to Arizona for spring training. A decision that angered much of the Vero Beach community as spring training was a strong source of their tourism income and a decision that angered many long-time Dodgers as well.

What's real sad, is that one of baseball's most storied franchises is being trashed. I do not like the Dodgers, but they are arguably one of the five most storied franchise in the sport. Here's hoping that someone like Tommy LaSorda, a lifelong Dodger, can help put together an ownership group to take the rains in a similar fashion to what Nolan Ryan did in Texas.

Frank McCourt and his ex-wife were completely irresponsible in their running of the Dodgers, and also apparently their own lives. While they will have to fix their personal issues, Selig and baseball were right to step and in and fix the Dodgers' issues.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think teams that are taken over by the league should be allowed to take on any additional salary. I'm OK with them making a trade or picking up a player, but their spending has to stay the same as it was before the move. It just seems wrong for the league to control a team and try to win. It makes it appear as though the league has an extra incentive in seeing the team do well.