Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The moment we've all been waiting for....

Frank McCourt is selling the Dodgers. I'll provide a link to the LA Times story in a moment. But first I want to shout like Howard Dean.



Full Story.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Frank McCourt: your name is now Parasitic Asshole

I'm only happy when I'm bellowing my contempt for Frank McCourt, and I spend more time on my Facebook page than anywhere else doing just that. So a week has gone by since Red China offered $1.2 billion to take the Dodgers off McCourt's hand, and since then McCourt has pretty much stayed out of the news. Well, whatever goes through a smoker's mind and body after a week of cold turkey is happening to me. I'm getting itchy. I need McCourt to perform one of his typically underhanded, self-serving and loathsome acts, so I can tell the world what a parasitic asshole he is.

'Parasitic asshole.' Now that has a nice ring to it. Come to think of it, why can't 'parasitic asshole' be a metonym for Frank McCourt much the same way that, let's say, 'Hollywood' is for the American film industry. You wouldn't say: "I'd rather watch baseball than that crap coming out of the American film industry." That's awkward, so instead you would say: "I'd rather watch baseball than that crap coming out of Hollywood." I envision a day when the following conversation actually takes place:

What's the name of that parking lot guy from Boston?
You mean parasitic asshole?
You know who I'm talking about. The guy who bought the Dodgers.
Yeah. Parasitic asshole.
No. It's Irish sounding. Mc-something...
Parasitic asshole.
Get over it, man. Who pissed in your cheerios?
Parasitic asshole did when he ran the Dodgers into the ground.

But the change has to extend to the mainstream media in order for Parasitic Asshole to have universal acceptance. For instance, the LA Times and other media outlets should be reporting stories in this vein:

Parasitic Asshole was offered $1.2 billion to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers. The all-cash bid came from Bill Burke, founder of the L.A. Marathon, plus Chinese investors and others. Burke and a spokesman for Parasitic Asshole have no comment.

It rolls right off the tongue, don't you think? Watch this clip from The Jerk (this is an example of something from Hollywood that isn't crap), and imagine that the dog in the scene is Frank...er...Parasitic Asshole. You need only watch the first 1:33.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The outgoings far exceed the incomings for F. McCourt

Frank McCourt has told the court that he can no longer afford to support Jamie McCourt's extravagant lifestyle, as reported by Steve Dilbeck. Frank claims he paid Jamie $7.76 million over the past year to cover temporary spousal support and maintenance on their seven homes...but that can't continue on his current income.

Note to Frank: there has never been a time when you could afford Jamie's lifestyle.

At any rate, he does make a pretty valid point. If we were to rephrase his request to the court in more casual terms it would sound something like this: "Hey Judge, tell my money-hungry sow of an ex-wife that the party's over. She needs to sell a house or two or three. I can barely afford the room service rate for caviar in my modest Montage suite."

Frank and Jamie are both responsible for the dire financial mess the Dodgers organization is in. Who can say if one is more responsible than the other. That said, for sheer laughs read this quote by one of Jamie's representatives: "It's inexplicable that Frank has single-handedly destroyed the value of the Dodgers in the nearly two years since Jamie was last involved with the team."

The sad part of it all is that Frank can wave all this misery away — the exorbitant cost of litigation, the usurious loan fees, Jamie's divorce lawyers chewing away at his heels, Bud Selig thwarting his every effort to keep the team, the uniform contempt of an entire city, etc. — with a magic wand if he just sold the damn team. But in the face of good judgment, he insists on continuing the war.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dodgers News & Notes

  • How is it that baseball didn't expect Frank McCourt to file Chapter 11? Bud Selig made an egregious blunder when he allowed Fox to sell the Dodgers to McCourt. He might have added to it when he shied away from staging a hostile takeover. But this would have gone strictly against precedent for a league known for sticking to the old ways of doing things, even at a time when one of it's most glorious franchises edges near financial collapse. Full story here.
  • Steve Dilbeck ponders why McCourt continues to employ Steve Garvey while the latter assembles a group to purchase the Dodgers? It's a a mystery that "rates slightly behind Charlie Sheen taking steroids for a baseball movie." Full story here.
  • The other potential suitor is a Dodger Stadium fixture too. Unlike Garv, he pays a small ransom to be be there. With an impressive list of credentials that includes a coaching stint with the San Fernando Orioles, you better believe Dennis Gilbert warrants serious consideration. Full story here

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Frankrupt!

Frank McCourt doesn't need you...he doesn't need anything! Except this ashtray, this paddle game and this remote control...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another weiner makes the news

At the risk of offending Juan Banda and Farmer John and perhaps even getting my head caved in, I know a lot of people — Dodger fans among them — who would rather eat their own feces than eat the current incarnation of the Dodger Dog. They sure don't look or taste like the O'Malley's used to make them. TMZ has the full story.

Pic courtesy of Wikipedia

A glimpse into Frank and Jamie McCourt's first date

This should give you a general idea of the conversation that took place between Frank and Jamie on their first date.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's starting to look like LAPD might have the wrong guy

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is still confident that Giovanni Ramirez is the prime suspect in the case of Bryan Stow beating, but that confidence seems to be waning, reports Eric Leonard of KFI.

Beck admitted yesterday that the investigation can go either way: "We go where the case takes. . . If it leads to a conviction, if it leads to exoneration, wherever it leads, we will follow the case."

This is a different cry from a month ago when Beck affirmed that the man in custody was "absolutely" the right man.

Ramirez has been in custody since May 22, and so far no formal charges have been filed against him.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dodgers News & Notes

Rupert Murdoch should kiss Frank McCourt goodbye
  • FOX acknowledges that MLB is a bigger meal ticket than Frank McCourt. Forbes 
  • In a series of questions and answers, Bill Shaikin forecasts what the near future may have in store for Frank McCourt. LA Times 
  • Heading into the freeway series, former Dodgers and now current Angels reminiscence about the good old O'Malley days. LA Times 
  • The Dodgers' woeful record in interleague play is part of a League trend. LA Times
  • Great moments of the Freeway Series. You better believe Chan Ho Park's karate kick is on that list. OC Register
  • Freeway Series preview. Yahoo Sports 
  • Along with pitching matchups. SB Nation 
  • James Loney turns it around in June. Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness 
  • Everyone is talking about Matt Kemp, and it has nothing to do with Rhianna. MLB.com 
  • Sheriff Kevin Malone has found a higher purpose than baseball. TJ Simers
Updates:
  • Mark Cuban doesn't fit the typical MLB owner profile. Jayson Stark
  • Dodger attendance continues to slide — an average of 9319 fewer folks per game compared to 2010. LA Times



    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Kershaw dominates Tigers; McCourt dominates headlines. And that's a problem

    ESPN LA's Tony Jackson blisters Frank McCourt for stealing the spotlight from Clayton Kershaw and his two-hit, complete-game shutout against the Detroit Tigers Monday night:

    "So, I now write directly to Frank to just please go away and leave us all alone. And, most importantly, leave this once-proud franchise alone. Forever. Because the next time one of your pitchers goes out and paints a masterpiece like this, the story needs to be that masterpiece. Not some letter you got from the commissioner and what it means, and how long it might take to mean what it's going to mean."

    I was at this game and the discussion around me was about Bud Selig's decision to reject the FOX TV deal and what a scumbag McCourt is.

    If you were too consumed with off-the-field events to enjoy Kershaw's mastery of the Tigers, MLB.com gives you all eleven strikeouts for your viewing pleasure:

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Bryan Stow upgraded from critical to serious condition

    Brian Stow — the victim of a beating on opening day at Dodger Stadium — opened his eyes and showed movement in one arm, doctors at San Francisco General Hospital announced today.

    Come on, Bryan! It's a longshot, but all of Dodgerland is hoping for your full recovery. 

    Read full story here.

    Yes, we know: It's a mess!


    Harvey Levin of TMZ sat down with Mark Cuban to discuss buying the Dodgers. The conversation summed up the "mess" the Dodgers are in due to Frank McCourt's mangling of the ballclub's finances.

    Nine variations of "mess" are used in the conversation, along with a sprinkle each of "chaos", "screwed up", and "disarray." Here, they are itemized:
    HL: The Dodgers are in chaos right now… 
    HL: You see what it looks like. It's a frickin' mess!
    MC: I have an interest in Major league baseball for the right deal, but it's just such a mess. 
    MC: I can't imagine that it's not going to be such a mess that's it's going to make it hard to turn around. 
    HL:  But if it's a mess and you turn it around, look at what it does to you. 
    MC: It's like when I got the Mavericks. It was a mess. 
    MC: But if it's just so screwed up...that the pieces are so messed up that it takes twenty years to fix . . .
    MC: There's literally franchises out there that are in such disarray and in such [a] mess... in multiple leagues… that no one can fix them. 
    MC: They [MLB] might just take...[the Dodgers]...back and decide not to sell it for a while. . . So they might say "We'll take it back, we'll fix it up some and clean up some of the mess". . . and sell it then. 
    MC: I don't know how big a mess [it is]. It's not for sale yet.
    Cuban admits he's conscious of the wishes of many Dodgers fans for him to buy the team. So, at least we know the countless cries of "Mark, save the Dodgers!" via Twitter and Facebook aren't falling on deaf ears.

    And to Cuban's credit, he didn't shy away from the question of buying the Dodgers. A simple "no comment" is what you would have gotten from most people faced with this opportunity. Quite frankly, it was refreshing to hear him end with: "We'll see what happens."

    Watch full interview here.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Rejected! Bud Selig says no to Frank McCourt. No Fox TV contract (updated)


    Bill Shaikin of the LA Times is reporting that Bud Selig has rejected the proposed television contract between the Dodgers and Fox Sports.

    The reasoning was laid out explicitly in the Commissioner's statement:
    It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with FOX would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of Baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club.
    The $385 million up front would have likely rescued McCourt from his current financial hole and secured his role as owner of the Dodgers. The Commissioner's Office would have preferred all of the up front money to be put back into the team, but "last week's divorce settlement earmarked up to $173.5 million for the McCourts and their attorneys."

    Selig's decision now invalidates the divorce settlement and opens the door for Frank to sell the team or sue Major League Baseball.

    Read full story here.

    Update 1: Lawsuit looms
    Frank McCourt's lawyer just released a statement in response to MLB's rejection of Dodgers/FOX TV deal. This excerpt is pretty laughable:
    Commissioner Selig’s letter of rejection is not only a disappointment, but worse, is potentially destructive to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Major League Baseball.  Accordingly, we plan to explore vigorously our options and remedies with respect to Commissioner Selig’s rejection of the proposed FOX transaction and our commitment to protect the long-term best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    I like a man that doesn't shy away from hyperbole.

    Read full statement here.

    Update 2 This is gonna get ugly
    One of the few cool people associated with ESPN, Molly Knight was on the air today with Steve Mason and John Ireland. Knight brought up a possible — and horrific — scenario in which Frank McCourt would sell the team alone but continue as landlord of the stadium and parking lot. She also mentioned that a McCourt lawsuit could "force" MLB to open their books, but that Selig is willing to sustain "collateral damage" in order to get carpetbagger McCourt out of baseball.

    The Knight segment starts at about the 7:30 mark. Listen here.

    Update 3 Open letter to McCourt  
    Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times writes a open letter to Frank McCourt: "You say you love the Dodgers? Then do what’s best for the team and the franchise. Sell the club and move on." Read entire letter here.

    Update 4: "Take the team. But I'll keep everything else."
    The Wall Street Journal reports that people close to Frank McCourt are saying that he has long considered suing MLB in the event that Selig rejected Fox TV deal. The article also mentions that ol' carpetbagger will try to claim that the team is separate from the stadium and parking lot:
    A person familiar with Mr. McCourt's thinking said he plans to argue that Major League Baseball can only make a claim on the team itself, and not on his other properties or companies connected to the franchise. However, while Major League Baseball signed off on these deals, including the $367 million loan against ticket sales, another person familiar with the agreements said all of the entities are subject to the governance of Major League Baseball, which can move to take control of each of them.
    Read full story here.

    Update 5: Don't expect any of that Stockholm Syndrome
    From the LA Weekly, more on this underhanded strategy by McCourt to sell the team but hold the parking lot hostage:
    McCourt seems to believe that MLB can seize just the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium, but it can't seize the other entities which collect revenue from Dodger tickets or parking fees. Clearly those are functions that are integral to the operation of a baseball team, but Frank believes that by spinning them off into separate entities, he's put them out of MLB's grasp. If that were true, it would be all but impossible to sell the team. 
    Read full story here.

    Update 6: Save us, Mark Cuban!
    Closing the door on Frank McCourt and opening the door to Mark Cuban. The money wizards at Forbes write that Bud Selig would be a fool not to invite Cuban to buy the Dodgers. Here's one of the writer' stronger yet pretty obvious points:
    Oh, and if you didn’t already know this, he’s liquid baby.  As in cash liquid, homey.  Financially, he’s as liquid as the ocean while Frank McCourt has been a desert as his resources are all dried up.
    Makes complete sense to me, but the crusty old fogies at MLB headquarters don't see it that way. Read full story here.

    Update 7: Sorry, Frank. But you agreed not to sue
    Via 6-4-2, the MLB Constitution explicitly prohibits team owners from taking the league to court:
    The Major League Clubs recognize that it is in the best interests of Baseball that all actions taken by the Commissioner under the authority of this Constitution, including, without limitation, Article II and this Article VI, be accepted and complied with by the Clubs, and that the Clubs not otherwise engage in any form of litigation between or among themselves or with any Major League Baseball entity, but resolve their differences pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution. In furtherance thereof, the Clubs (on their own behalf and including, without limitation, on behalf of their owners, officers, directors and employees) severally agree to be finally and unappealably bound by actions of the Commissioner and all other actions, decisions or interpretations taken or reached pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution and severally waive such right of recourse to the courts as would otherwise have existed in their favor. 
     Source material originally provided by The Biz of Baseball.

    Giovanni Ramirez going back to prison

     Giovanni Ramirez was ordered back to prison to serve 10 months on a parole violation:
    After an hours-long hearing, Deputy Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam ruled that Giovanni Ramirez, 31, violated the terms of his parole by being a felon with access to a weapon. Police found the gun during a search warrant served as part of the investigation into the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.
    The LA Times has the full story. Please read what Abort McCourt posted earlier today while the parole hearing was still in process.

    Giovanni Ramirez update: Parole hearing today

    A parole commissioner will decide today whether Giovanni Ramirez — the LAPD's suspect in the beating of Bryan Stow — violated his parole by "being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition." The ruling will determine if he goes to state prison or is set free.

    Full story here.

    Ramirez' name has been out of the news recently. The suspect has been in custody since May 22, but the LAPD still lacks sufficient evidence against to file formal charges against him.

    Meanwhile, Ramirez's legal team has been pretty quiet, too. We use to get a claim of week of Ramirez's innocence since his apprehension. In the first week of June, attorney Anthony Brooklier cited the existence video captured by a motel surveillance camera that would exonerate his client (read more on this at Abort McCourt). According to Brooklier, the video shows that his client didn't have a shaved head at the time of the opening day attack, and, therefore, doesn't match the description of Bryan Stow's attackers.

    The Times article linked above makes a brief reference to the surveillance video:
    Although Judge Patricia Schnegg said she did not have jurisdiction, authorities agreed to provide such video if it existed, and Brooklier received significant publicity concerning the issue.
    I don't understand what this means. Does the video exist or is this a bluff job by the attorney? It seems that a video showing Ramirez with grown-out hair the day after Stow's attack would immediately exonerate him of that particular crime. If you're Brooklier, wouldn't you acquire that video by any means necessary, show it to the cops and say: "Bam! This investigation is over."

    If there's a defense attorney out there who can shed some light on this, please send me an email.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Frank and Jamie McCourt reach a settlement (updated)

    I will make an effort to update this page throughout the day:

    Fine reporting from Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. Here are the key points:
    • The settlement is contingent upon MLB's approval of McCourt's $3 billion television contract with Fox.
    • If Bud Selig were to reject the agreement, the settlement would be voided and divorce court proceedings would resume.
    • If Selig were to approve the agreement, Jamie McCourt has agreed not to challenge the Fox contract.
    • The McCourts agreed to a one-day trial so that the judge can determine whether the Dodgers belong solely to Frank or should be considered community property.
    • If the judge rules that the Dodgers are community property, the McCourts would split their assets 50-50, which would most likely force a sale of the team.
    • If the judge rules that the team belongs solely to Frank, then Jamie would receive "$100 million, keep the couple's homes and receive indemnity from tax liability."

    Update 1: 
    Molly Knight via Twitter posted the following in two successive tweets:
    Source: Selig unlikely to approve Fox deal partly because if judge rules team is community property and orders sale on Aug 4 then . . . the new owner is saddled with potentially below market television deal that devalues the franchise.
    Update 2:  
    Via 6-4-2, reaction from Frank and Jamie McCourt following the settlement. Here's Frank being pollyannaish:
    I fully expect MLB to approve the Fox transaction. MLB has taken the position that, before they approved the transaction, they wanted to see either a settlement of the divorce, or Jamie's consent, or an order from the judge. Today, they received all three. I fully expect that they will be good to their word, and they'll approve the transaction in a timely way.
    Full story here

    Update 3: 
    In a follow up to his earlier report of a settlement between Frank and Jamie McCourt, Bill Shaikin writes that before Frank can secure ownership of the Dodgers, two things have to happen:
    • MLB must approve the proposed TV deal between McCourt and Fox.  
    • McCourt must establish that he is the sole owner of the Dodgers in a one-day trial on Aug. 4. If not, the settlement stipulates that the team must be sold. 
    The rejection by Bud Selig of the Fox TV contract would cause unmitigated delight to the Dodger fanbase. But with the celebration comes a grim admonishment, per Shaikin:
    The settlement announcement dramatically increases the likelihood of a confrontation between McCourt and Bud Selig, baseball's commissioner.
     Full story here.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Frank on a hot tin roof

    Steve Dilbeck is confirming that Frank McCourt will meet the Dodgers' payroll obligations that are due Wednesday.

    So far, I haven't found any reports indicating how he came up with the money. If I had to guess, he probably drew cash advances from future sponsorship deals like he did May 31.

    Nonetheless, it appears highly unlikely ("no chance") that McCourt will meet the team's June 30 payroll, as reported yesterday by Bill Shaikin. That's when several deferred salaries become due, ballooning the payroll amount to $30 million — that's roughly triple the normal amount.
    McCourt has often been likened to a feline, due to his nine lives. Maybe it's time to try a new cat metaphor, and with that I give you two lines of dialogue from the playwright Tennessee Williams:
    Brick Pollitt: What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
    Maggie Pollitt: Just staying on it I guess, long as she can. 
    It's not a matter of if he'll lose the team, but when he'll lose the team. McCourt can keep dancing, but at some point — post June 30? — Bud Selig will take action that will force the roof to cave in.


    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Bank of America is a little wiser because of Frank McCourt

    When Frank McCourt purchased the Dodgers in 2004, he borrowed $225 million from Bank of America. Mike Ozanian of Forbes believes that the specter of default by McCourt has scared BOA into taking a more conservative approach with Houston Astros buyer Jim Crane:
    The bank is reportedly loaning Jim Crane just $220 million towards his $680 million purchase of the Houston Astros from billionaire Drayton McLane, or only about one-third of the enterprise value. Although the deal is still highly leveraged by MLB’s guidelines, it is much better capitalized than McCourt’s purchase of the Dodgers.
    Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway: The McCourt precedent will alter the way business is done in and around baseball, if it hasn't already.

    Source says McCourt has "no chance" of making June 30 payroll

    Frank McCourt is expected to meet his payroll obligations Wednesday. But here's the good news: A source "familiar with McCourt's finances" is saying that he has "no chance" of making the team's June 30 payroll, according to Bill Shakin. The article goes on to say:
    The Dodgers owe about $10 million in payroll Wednesday, according to one of the people, but that figure roughly triples for the June 30 payment as several deferred salaries come due, including more than $8 million to Manny Ramirez. 
    If McCourt misses payroll, how long before Selig is forced to seize and sell the team? Hang on to your seats, folks. This is going to get bumpy.

    Local papers rip McCourt for pandering to religious, minority leaders

    Frank McCourt is playing the role of martyr to keep the Dodgers, and something has induced local religious and minority leaders to play along with his act. A couple of newspaper bloggers weigh in on this matter.

    Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly:
    If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, then religion is a close second. The much-loathed Dodger (co-?)owner, Frank McCourt, has already wrapped himself in the flag, trotting out "God Bless America" for the 7th inning stretch. That hasn't gotten people off his case, so now it's time to come to Jesus.
    Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times:
    Hard to believe these church leaders and minority organizations can be so out of touch with their own people. OK, no it’s not. McCourt has built 12 baseball fields in largely minority areas, which is commendable but hardly reason to be turned into a puppet . . . Stay tuned, though, there are still those who will claim to represent Asian, gay, short people, feminists, the elderly and Justin Bieber fans, yet to be heard from.

    Frank McCourt must pay $8.33 million to Manny Ramirez by June 30

    You better cover your jewels, Frank. They'll come after those next.
    Manny is still ramming it to Frank McCourt. Molly Knight of ESPN reports:
    The cash-strapped Los Angeles Dodgers must pay Manny Ramirez $8.33 million by June 30....[Ramirez] is due the deferred money from the $42 million contract he signed with Los Angeles before the 2009 season.
    I'm almost tempted to take back all the bad things I've said about Scott Boras. History, however, tells me not to pop the cork on the Champagne just yet. If McCourt has a strong suit, it's his cockroach-like resiliency. As the writer Knight noted earlier in a tweet, he's certainly not making it easy for Bud Selig to seize the team.

    I'll add this last note: Blue Heaven blog makes a sobering observation about the collective glee Dodger fans feel whenever McCourt has a setback: "On a side note, how sad is it that I and many of my brethren seek this kind of ending, any kind of ending, for the current ownership of the team?"

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Now's the perfect time...

    Now's the perfect time for Mark Cuban to buy the Dodgers. The two-sizes too small t-shirt look works in LA.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    The ungodly duo of Frank McCourt and Rev. John J. Hunter

    Prior to yesterday, I knew almost nothing about Rev. John J. Hunter, senior minister of First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles and now clerical champion of Frank McCourt's struggle to persuade Commissioner Bud Selig to approve a $3 billion deal between McCourt and Fox Television.

    Hunter doesn't have a household name like his predecessor Rev. Cecil M. Murray, the man credited with growing FAME's congregation from 250 to roughly 18,000 and a tireless voice of pacifism during the Rodney King riots in 1992.

    When Hunter took over the helm of the church in 2004, he knew he had some big shoes to fill. So what did he do? He bought new shoes.

    An IRS audit in 2008 revealed that the reverend used church credit cards to pay for "at least $122,000 in personal expenses over a three-year period, including jewelry, family vacations, clothing and auto supplies, according to documents and church sources." (Source: LA Times)

    Stupid me. And here I thought the role of a spiritual leader was to comfort the sick, feed the poor, cloth the naked and organize bake sales.

    Quiz time:

    _________________ is basically a wolf disguised as a shepherd who used his organization like an ATM machine.
    A. Rev. John J. Hunter
    B. Frank McCourt
    C. All of the above
    But wait, Hunter's sins aren't only financial, allegedly. In a lawsuit filed against Hunter in 2009, a subordinate named Rev. Brenda Lamothe claimed that he pressured her to perform "on-demand sex" as a way to fulfill her church duties.  (Source: LA Weekly)

    The following is an excerpt from Lamothe’s statement (courtesy of Mo’Kelly):
    The time has now come for John Hunter to tell the truth. To reconcile with God and his congregation. John Hunter has said that I am lying about the things he’s done....I know that John Hunter has a 4-5 inch vertical scar on the right side of his buttocks and hip area.  It is a very clean scar, like fine brown line. I know this because of the abuse I have suffered, and it is the truth.
    A mere few minutes on Google turned up quite a bit of dirt on Hunter. What I couldn't find were the results of Lamothe's lawsuit. But given that unsavory facts about Hunter are so readily available on the web, why would McCourt welcome his support? If you're a scoundrel, would you enlist a fellow scoundrel to publicly plead your case? Conversely, Hunter may now have to readdress inquiries into his checkered past as a result of his association with McCourt. Honor among thieves, they say; but don't expect us non-thieves to go along.

    McCourt made the same blunder when he hired Steve Soboroff as his mouthpiece. As a guest on KPCC on May 5, an incoherent-sounding Soboroff claimed that MLB's investigation of McCourt's mishandling of the team had a predetermined outcome. You can listen to the full audio here.

    It's a cliche, but you got to choose your friends wisely.

    Rev. John J. Hunter's biography can be found here.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    What has happened to the Dodgers?


    "What has happened to the Dodgers?" CNN asks.

    From a fan quoted in the piece:
    People have lost trust. You used to come here, and it wouldn't matter if the team was winning. It was fun. It just doesn't feel that way anymore, and I think in essence people are boycotting until something turns around.
    That about sums it up for me.

    This article doesn't tell us anything that the majority of us don't already know about the demise of the Dodgers organization under the care of the McCourt regime.

    Nevertheless, it's another poke at the McCourts. So, for those who've been been living under a rock the past year or so, please read.

    See Frank McCourt worship

    I bet the twenty pastors never saw this coming.

    Photo credit: irish
    For more on Frank McCourt's spontaneous flirtation with faith, please click here.

    Letter to Bud Selig on behalf of church representatives

    A letter signed by twenty Los Angeles area pastors was sent to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig asking him to approve Frank McCourt's $3 billion deal with Fox Television.

    "Frank McCourt is a man of conviction, courage and integrity," appeal the pastors. Ok, that's not supposed to make us laugh, is it?

    And besides, shouldn't their prayers be directed toward a worthier cause, like the Dodger bullpen? Click here to read the entire letter.

    McCourt shoots for divine intervention


    Frank McCourt has found religion, but for reasons that are likely less than pure. 

    CBS 2 News is reporting that McCourt has asked the faith community to go to bat for him with Bud Selig. At the time of this writing, the news station hasn't posted a link to this story. For the time being, you may enjoy this partial transcription:   
    Anchorwoman Pat Harvey: Several local religious leaders have rallied behind McCourt and are sending a message to Major League Baseball. Twenty pastors have signed a 4-page letter asking Major League Baseball to approve the $3 billion TV deal McCourt brokered with Fox Television.
    Of course, the pastors are only doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Then it cuts to this one pastor, John J. Hunter of the First AME Church:
    Hunter: We heard his story. Very, very transparent. His pain both personal and his challenges professional. We prayed with him. We're interested in moving the Dodgers and the community forward.
    Does the pastor know that his prayers, if answered, would annul the prayers of the entire Dodger fan base? I would hope God's response would be something like this: "Hey Pastor, I hear your prayers and all but what about the million daily requests I get to run the bum out of town? By the way, is that a Rolex you're wearing?"

    Not to say that this to date is McCourt's most desperate gimmick to retain ownership of the team, but it ranks up there. If the all-mighty Fox network couldn't persuade Selig to approve the television deal, then it's safe to say that the good pastors got no prayer.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Potential legal challenges for Stow family; Garv and Orel team up to buy the Dodgers


    It won't be an open and shut case
    The SF Chronicle examines the possible challenges that the Stow family may face in their lawsuit against Frank McCourt. In the article, Robert Rabin, a Stanford law professor, thinks McCourt should settle out of court to avoid more negative publicity. I have a strong feeling that the litigation-happy owner isn't going to heed the professor's advice.

    Either way, here's hoping McCourt gets hung out to dry on this.

    Orel satisfaction
    The Daily News reported Sunday that Orel Hershiser is allying with Steve Garvey in a move to buy the Dodgers. The fan in me says, "Please, God! Let this happen!" I also recognize that an ownership team of Carlos Perez and Gary Sheffield would be a favorable alternative to McCourt. I do love Orel's quote in article: "The fan base, they deserve better....The Los Angeles Dodgers are part of the fabric of Los Angeles. Their pride and their heart have been hurt by what's gone on and what's happening. It will take a large effort to restore that and I'm pulling for McCourt and MLB....It hurts my heart. It's about restoring the confidence of the fan base and significant pride of the city."

    The mantra of the fans this year has been "Anyone but McCourt!" At least with Garv and Orel, we're not getting just 'anyone.'



    Friday, June 3, 2011

    The Dodgers not the only team in violation of MLB's debt service...plus more Dodger news

    The Dodgers and Mets aren't the only MLB teams with debt issues. The LA Times reports that nine teams are in violation of debt service rules. The key difference, however, separating the McCourts from the other leveraged owners is the more than $100 million they sucked out of the team to underwrite their lavish lifestyles. "Don't underestimate that issue," says Marc Ganis, a Chicago-based sports business consultant.

    DE-FENSE!!
    They've been sketchy at the plate, but Don Mattingly has whipped the Dodgers into a fine defensive unit, writes Steve Dilbeck.

    Tough love
    Dylan Hernandez writes that Hiroki Kuroda spent most of high school on the bench due to his inability to find the strike zone. During bullpen sessions, his coach would instruct the catcher to let the ball go pass him if it wasn't a strike. Kuroda: "I would have to run to retrieve the ball, then run back to the mound to make the next pitch." The tough love thing worked.

    Fanning the flames
    Can anyone at Dodger Stadium get anything right. By not removing flammable material and switching on a fan, personnel may have rekindled the second fire, per the LA Times.

    Click to see photo gallery of Jerry Sand's milestone baseballs.
    JERRY!! JERRY!!
    Despite his almost rock-star status with the fans, Jerry Sands remains a small-town boy, writes Jill Painter of the Daily News. And, speaking of Sands, Ned Colletti is kind enough to give True Blue L.A. a prospect status update. More on Colletti, he gave an interview on Petros & Money that's worth a listen.










    Scully gets the red carpet treatment
    Steve Dilbeck updates us on Vin Scully's Hollywood Walk-of-Fame star, which continues to be shamefully obscured by a dirty red carpet (as originally discovered by Roberto Baly of Vin Scully is My Homeboy).

    Giovanni Ramirez update
    Per Eric Leonard of KFI, a parole commissioner says no evidence links Ramirez to Bryan Stow's attack.














    Click here to find out more!

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    The Dodgers' modest win streak comes to an end........plus more Dodger news


    The hot Dodger offense of late goes Rockie cold; Ubaldo Ramirez registers his first win of the season. Recap courtesy of the LA Times.

    Vincente Padilla is expected to return Friday. Even so, Don Mattingly says that he will continue with a closer-by-committee operation. Also reported, Juan Uribe should make it back in time for the team's upcoming 10-game road trip. 

    SI's Tom Verducci estimates that the Dodgers have a minimal chance of making the playoffs. Not so fast, says Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness.

    Part 2 look at the Dodgers' 2011 draft, courtesy of True Blue L.A.

    As reported by the LA Times, MLB looks to end its investigation into the Dodgers' finances by January 22.

    Tony Jackson of ESPN has lunch with Tom Schieffer.

    Both the defense and prosecution agree not to comment on the results of Giovanni Ramirez' lie detector test, per the Daily News.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    The Orioles want Prince Fielder (updated)


    Per Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, sources in the Orioles organization are indicating that the team wants to sign Prince Fielder next winter.

    So, it's Baltimore's turn now to show up Ned Colletti in the off-season.

    I miss the pre-McCourt days when the thought of the Dodgers signing a big free agent was more than just a distant fantasy? These days, we're fettered to an owner who has to dig between proverbial couch cushions to pay his current players.

    McCourt will have to do a lot of digging if he expects to make payroll in June. It's a pathetic era for Dodger baseball when the owner has to call everyone in his black book for a quick and easy cash advance.

    What an image! If you're a fan of Westerns, Tuco's frantic and circular search for Arch Stanton's grave in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly might come to mind.

    If there's hair, Giovanni wasn't there

    Giovanni Ramirez' defense team says he didn't have a shaved head at the time of the opening day attack; therefore, he doesn't match the description of Bryan Stow's attackers, according to NBC LA.


    Ramirez' attorneys admit that their client periodically shaves his head, but let his hair grow back in March and didn't shave it again until shortly after the day of the attack.

    The defense hopes that a security camera at an East Hollywood motel where Ramirez and his girlfriend spent the night March 31 will prove that he had some growth on his dome, also per the NBC LA report.

    It should be asked, if the video shows Ramirez emerging from his seedy room with a Trump-like comb-over, will Charlie Beck still adamantly believe he got his man?

    Bryan Stow beating suspect is a wanted man in Nevada

    The LA Times reports today that:
    Giovanni Ramirez, the man accused by Los Angeles police in the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, also is a suspect in a gang shooting in Nevada, LAPD officials said Wednesday.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    To meet payroll, Frank McCourt cashed in on future sales...once again

    Nobody likes you, Frank. Sell the team already.
    Frank McCourt was able to meet the Dodgers' team payroll by drawing cash advances from future sponsorship deals, as reported by Molly Knight.

    It seems impossible that McCourt can pull this off every two weeks. In June, it gets worse as $6 million in deferred salary to Manny Ramirez becomes due. He'll have to devise some other clever ways to leverage the club's future. Dodger Dog futures?

    Knight also reports that sponsors were offered discounts as an incentive to pay up front. In Jamie McCourt's eyes, the end result of this trade-off is reduced revenue. Plus, with about 7000 fewer fans a day passing through the turnstile, no wonder Jamie recently told a judge that her ex-hubbie's mismanaging of the Dodgers is causing the team's value to go down the toilet.

    Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but the new owner won't like it either that McCourt has already sold future sponsorship deals.

    Parole department omission may have delayed apprehension of Bryan Stow beating suspect

    According the San Francisco Examiner, Giovanni Ramirez would have been identified sooner, but oops! Someone in the state's parole department didn't bother to enter into the computer database "key descriptive details" that include a really obvious teardrop tattoo and a Dodger logo neck tattoo.


    Back when Ramirez was apprehended, I predicted that the parole department would get flack for their lax monitoring of parolee Ramirez. I won't take credit for something that was so blatantly inevitable. Remember, it's not the first time a California parole officer failed to live up the standards of his or her occupation.

    The Examiner article also confirms that Ramirez is a member of the Boyle Heights-based LA Varrio Nuevo Estrada street gang.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    McCourt pulls a $9.8 million rabbit out of his hat; Dodger Stadium fire (updated)


    Per ESPN, McCourt has "apparently" met payroll this month, thereby managing "to stave off the latest concern that could threaten his ability to retain the team."

    The $300 million up front should alleviate most of McCourt's short term financial ills.

    TV revenue trumps ballpark revenue. Do you trust McCourt with $3 billion? Would you trust Al Qaeda with a nuclear missile? With $3 billion guaranteed over twenty years, what incentive does McCourt have to reinvest in payroll? I see not only fans getting screwed, but Fox as well. If attendance continues to decline, TV viewership will tail off too.

    Dodger Stadium on fire
    A small fire has erupted at Dodger Stadium. Vin Scully has announced that the fire started in a warehouse, perhaps a stash of old Manny wigs. Meanwhile, McCourt's in his Beverly Hills room playing the fiddle. LA Times just posted a link minutes ago.

    Courtesy of AV Fire News via Twitter
    Courtesy of LA Times
    A pathetic observation about tonight's game
    Sparse Dodger Stadium looked like a Marlin home game. See pics below.

    Courtesy of AV Fire News via Twitter
    Dry May 
    Per Joe Block via Twitter, the Dodgers have scored 0 or 1 runs ten times in May and are 0-10 in those games.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Matt Kemp's 100th home run ball

    Upon arriving at Dodger Stadium today, Matt Kemp proudly received this baseball commemorating his 100th career home run.

    I'll take painted balls over painted nails any day. Congrats to Matt Kemp!!

    No formal charges yet against Giovanni Ramirez.


    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck believes they have a solid case against Giovanni Ramirez, the suspect arrested in the beating of Bryan Stow, according to the LA Times.

    Nevertheless, Beck admits that he is not yet ready to bring formal charges against Ramirez: "We continue down that road in our preparation of presenting a case to the district attorney in the near future. But we will not present that case until we have an abundance of evidence, and we have looked at a number of things that are still being examined."

    Twenty detectives continue to work on the investigation, as emphasized by the Chief.

    On Wednesday, LAPD released a statement saying that investigators were "satisfied with the results" of the lineup at Men’s Central Jail, but shied away from going into any details on the matter. Both sides have agreed not to release any information about what happened during the lineup.

    All of this has raised speculation that Ramirez was not properly identified.

    This begs a question. Why were cameras not installed at the entrances of Dodger Stadium prior to the date of the attack to monitor who goes in and out of there? No lights. No cameras. No action on the part of security team, who chose to bury their heads rather than impose measures to improve safety at Dodger Stadium.

    Is there any doubt that the Stow family will win their negligence lawsuit against the Dodgers?

    So, investigators have no photographic or video evidence of Ramirez in or around Dodger Stadium on opening day. But family members have released pictures of him not at Dodger Stadium on the day of the attack. Go to TMZ, and you'll see what I mean.


    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Dodgers can't produce runs; McCourt can produce $9.8 million out of thin air

    Tony Jackson writes about the a familiar Dodgers plague: the woeful lack of hitting with men in scoring position.

    Steve Dilbeck wonders where Frank McCourt found the money to fund payroll?

    Buster Posey's agent wants MLB to consider a rule change in light of  his client's injury, per ESPN.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    When Frank McCourt tells MLB he can meet payroll next week, do you believe him?

    According to the LA Times, Frank McCourt has told MLB that he expects to meet the Dodgers' payroll obligations next week. McCourt needs about $9.8 million to meet the May 31 payroll; however, the amount will increase in June when more than $6 million in deferred compensation to Manny Ramirez becomes due. He's back!

    If McCourt can meet the May 31 payroll deadline, it will buy him approximately two weeks with MLB to accelerate efforts to settle his divorce and secure approval of the Fox television contract that's buried under dust and a pile of bratwurst casings on Bud Selig's desk. Sadly for McCourt, sources close to Selig seemingly have this little habit of issuing statements that run somewhat contrary to the team owner's ultimate ambition of retaining ownership. The Times reports:
    Commissioner Bud Selig is "not anxious to get embroiled in a marital dispute," according to a person familiar with his thinking. The person also said that Fox's plan not to move forward with the contract unless Jamie McCourt agrees not to challenge it has left Selig with the belief he has no deal to consider. "As of right now, there's nothing for him to do," the person said. 
    With all the cards stacked against him, McCourt pushes on.

    Suspect identified in lineup:
    In the Bryan Stow beating investigation, the Daily News reports that suspect Giovanni Ramirez was identified in a photo lineup and that LAPD says it was "satisfied with the results" of the live lineup.

    Beating suspect crying in his cell

    Per KFI's Eric Leonard, the attorney for Giovanni Ramirez says his client is crying in his cell and wants to take a polygraph to prove his innocence.

    Wait a second! Crying? From a three-time convicted felon and documented gang member? Even if Ramirez escapes conviction, I'm calling bulls**t on the crying part.

    Incidentally, the attorney who made this announcement is Anthony Brooklier. In an earlier TMZ story, Chip Matthews was reported as Ramirez' defense attorney. NBC LA now reports that Matthews is representing Ramirez' daughter, and not Ramirez.

    One final note. A lineup has been scheduled for 6 pm this evening.

    Barry Bonds offers to pay college tuition of Bryan Stow's kids

    Ultra-classy move by 'the hated one'

    Stow family attorney says Stow was harassed during game....plus more Dodger news

    Per LA Times, the family's attorney is claiming that Bryan Stow and his friends were subjected to "clear signs of intimidation" during the game, and security failed to address it.

    Daily News reports that the attorney for Giovanni Ramirez' family members is saying that the suspect's 10-year-old daughter is willing to testify that her father was not at Dodger Stadium that day.

    The Astros are a welcome sight to Ted Lilly's sore eyes, according to MLB.com.  

    Casey Blake could return as soon as Friday, says Don Mattingly.  

    The Dodgers are going to have have to make some moves next year to bolster their lineup, writes Jon Weisman in Dodger Thoughts.

    Gotta move them somehow. $7 Dodger tickets available at Groupon.

    The kids were better than all right last night



    Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa and Javy Guerrato make significant contributions in last night's 5-4 win over the Astros. And Bill Hall comes back down to earth. Read on per LA Times' Steve Dilbeck.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Jerry Sands' monster grand slam

    I couldn't embed the video, but check it out on MLB.com.

    Oh my God! Frank McCourt has made me into Shawn Green


    An unlikely contributor to my journey toward self-improvement is Frank McCourt. Because of him, I can watch the Dodgers squander a two-run lead in the ninth inning and not erupt like Grimsvotn.

    Take last night. Conditioned to expect the worse, I observed stoically as Kenley Jansen's world fell apart around him on the mound. Two years ago, the same situation would have sent me into a profanity-laced state of hysterics. In the course of witnessing Angel Sanchez draw the walk (after fouling off five two-strike pitches!) and the subsequent double steal, the old me would have jumped off the couch, cursed up a hellish storm, paced the living room, cursed more, moved to the porch, cursed the night air, the moon, the stars, challenged God to a fistfight, sucked in a deep breath of fresh air, come back in, cursed the television set, paced some more, etc. My wife would have said something like: "What are you, 11-years old?"

    Everything would have continued to go downhill after that. My mental state would have paralleled the team's collapse. The game-tying hit would have driven me to drink beer. The game winner would have had me reaching for the bottle of Jameson that sits atop my refrigerator.

    Remember the days when Shawn Green would fail to produce with men in scoring position and walk back automaton-like to the dugout when the moment called for helmet-tossing, bat-hurling or — if you can only imagine — an ejection?

    This is what has become of me. Because of diminishing expectations, McCourt has brought peace to my life.

    Stow family suing the Dodgers

    You knew this was coming. Another headache for the already beleaguered and financially-strapped Frank McCourt. Will this one tip the scale?
    "It's fairly simple," said Thomas Girardi, the attorney representing the family. "The Dodgers have shown a total disregard for public safety. They've gotten rid of security people. They've had all these incidents at their games, more than other teams. There's also a known gang presence. What did they think was going to happen?" 
    Courtesy of ESPN.com

    Rhianna-less Matt Kemp is having fun again....plus more Dodger news


    Now that the pop star is out of his love life, Kemp is enjoying baseball and life again. Perhaps not so much as Russell Martin, who likes to paint the town and his nails (courtesy of Vin Scully is My Homeboy).


    Other Dodger-related news:

    Per Jon Weisman, Dioner Navarro's double, which set up last night's go-ahead run, couldn't have played out any better for the Astros.

    The Dodgers are on course to have the worst May in their Los Angeles history, writes Tony Jackson at Dodger Thoughts. And via Twitter, Jackson reveals that Bill Hall wanted to sign with the Dodgers last winter.

    Giovanni Ramirez' lawyer tells TMZ that his client has an alibi.

    MLB Trade Rumors examines Dodger contract issues for 2010: "The Dodgers could see quite a bit of turnover next year."

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Photo of alleged attacker Giovanni Ramirez





    Did the parole department drop the ball?


    I have a feeling the parole department will eventually have to answer to charges that it was lax in its duty to monitor Giovanni Ramirez.

    According to reports from KFI's Eric Leonard, Ramirez is a high-control parolee. Because of staffing issues within the department, Ramirez' monitoring wasn't as strict as it should have been. Leonard raises two troubling issues. The first is that Ramirez moved and nobody knew. The second is the duration of time it took to record the covered-up tattoos.

    Today, the Los Angeles Times revealed that the parole agent had a mandatory check-in meeting with Ramirez shortly after the attack. By that time, the police sketches of the two assailants had already been released, and the agent noticed Ramirez' resemblance to one of the men depicted in the drawing.

    Meanwhile, the Stow family expresses their "deep gratitude to the LAPD for their exhaustive efforts.”

    Mother of Giovanni Ramirez says he's innocent

    Per Eric Leonard of KFI via his Twitter feed: "my son is innocent" and he "doesn't like baseball."

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Suspect in Dodger Stadium beating of Bryan Stow is in custody


    The Los Angeles Times is reporting that one of the men suspected in the beating of Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium was taken into custody early this morning.

    What still remains unsolved is the location of the other suspect and whether Frank McCourt will defer the reward payment.