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Friday, September 16, 2011

I Don't Bleed Dodger Blue, But Enough is Enough

Back in my playing days, the Dodgers were considered the classiest organization in professional baseball. They treated their players great, built their major league team from their minor league system (unlike the Yankees who bought everybody and a player could get stuck for years in the minors), never gave up on a (minor league) player too soon, giving them time to develop (e.g., Danny Bilardello from Santa Cruz), and so on. Even guys like me, a life-long Giant fan, would gladly have been drafted by the Dodgers. You just knew that you'd be given a fair shot at making the big club.

But now, the Dodgers are the dregs of Major League Baseball. The August issue of Vanity Fair has a great article on the Dodgers' current owners (Frank and Jamie McCourt) and how they have essentially used the Dodger franchise as their own personal ATM machine ("A Major League Divorce"), causing the Dodgers to have a tremendous amount of debt and a hard time making payroll. Major League Baseball has taken over its finances and is trying to force the McCourts to sell the team. The McCourts could possibly be the worst owners ever:
There are good baseball owners and bad baseball owners, but Frank McCourt really stands by himself in terms of destroying a marquee franchise through extravagance, inappropriate expenditures, and financial commitments (Andrew Zimbalist, Sports Economist, quoted in the Vanity Fair article).
While the Dodger's travails are good for the Giants win-loss percentage (its nice to have a team that you can count on beating most of the time), they aren't good for baseball.  Plus, it would be nice for the Giant-Dodger rivalry to mean something. So, although this is hard for me (as a Giants fan) to say, here it is: "Is there any chance of bringing back the O'Malley's?"

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