LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Owner Frank McCourt celebrates after winning the National League West against the Colorado Rockies on October 3, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
There was a time when the Dodgers were considered a classy organization. Back before many readers of this site were born. Back before the McCourts used the franchise as an ATM machine, before Fox seemingly tried to invent new ways to mismanage an organization.
For 47 years the O’Malley family owned and operated the Dodgers in the manner of a family business. You can certainly pick out flaws from that era as well, but with the O’Malley’s at the helm you never could question the very credibility of the franchise.
"The current Dodger ownership has lost all credibility throughout the city. In my judgment, it would be best for the franchise and the city if there was new ownership. For many years, the Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious institutions in our city and throughout professional sports. Sadly, that is not the case today."
The McCourts are in divorce court now giving us new and salacious headlines daily. They are paying an army of lawyers to argue over how to split up their numerous homes, and who gets how much of the $100 million they got by both pulling it out of the Dodgers organization and borrowing against it. We are greeted with tales of a Russian faith healer sending positive vibes to the team for a six-figure salary, or the fact Frank’s yes-man got a $400,000 a year salary paid out of the team charity.
Today is a time of little hope for the Dodgers fans. Not just because this year’s team faded from the playoff race, but also because the prospects of that changing for next season — or in the near future — are minimal. Dodger payroll has been steadily on the decline while the McCourts stuffed their pockets and that is not likely to change. Which means the Dodgers are not going to spend to fix their problems, they are going to try and do it on the cheap. And that will not work.
O’Malley offered to be a consultant, to help with the transition to a new owner. But ownership will not change.
It will not change because to Frank McCourt the Dodgers are still an ATM machine spitting out cash. Something he can borrow more against if need be. It will be shameless and disgusting to fans, but the McCourts are not changing.
Frank McCourt will give lip service to restoring the image and tradition of the Dodgers, and he will believe it. He thinks he is doing the right thing. He will turn a blind eye to the reality of how people think of him and the franchise. He will tune out the cognitive dissonance.
Dodger fans should prepare for the winter of their discontent. Things will not be getting better soon.