Friday, May 20, 2011

Jamie McCourt as anti-heroine to Dodger fans

Driving yesterday, I was listening to Matt 'Money' Smith explain why Jamie McCourt is a heroine to Dodger fans. This was in response to a number of emails from listeners to the The Petros and Money Show asking: "Why the hell would you celebrate this woman?" First, let me say that Money always does a wonderful job at encapsulating a full day of news in 4 minutes. Here's how he put recent events in the McCourt saga:
She was the impetus for all the equity being pulled out of the Dodgers to buy these homes, to live this lifestyle, to immerse herself in the midst of LA's in-crowd with all her new found wealth. She was the one that wanted side-by-side homes in Holmby Hills and on Broad Beach, jackhammering up the floor in one to put in a lap pool. She was the one who requested a $1 million a month in living expenses. And she was the person that had the goofy aspirations of eventually becoming mayor of Los Angeles. Why in God's name would we side with this wretch of a woman?
To Money, the answer is very simple: "She wants to sell the team, unlike her husband. She loves her money more than she loves owning the Dodgers." Let's keep in mind here: Mother Teresa she is not. Jamie's motivation isn't born out of any sense of goodwill toward the Dodger fanbase but out of her lust for wealth. Each day that she sees her assets diminishing is pissing her off even more. So Money goes on to say:
She wants her money, and she wants as much of it as possible. And the contention in her request that she submitted to the court is that Frank is killing the value of the franchise, that as long as he sticks around he is the face of the franchise.
And what a stomach-turning face it is. The days are gone when Tommy Lasorda was the proud and plump face of the franchise. Thanks to the McCourts, the Dodger name currently conjures up negative connotations:
If someone says 'Los Angeles Dodgers', what's the first thing that pops in your mind? Divorce, strife, Frank McCourt, pulling a $100 million out the team....In [Jamie's] opinion [that's the reason why] in a time when all of baseball attendance numbers are down, the Dodgers lead the pack by a long shot. They have percentage declines that are pushing...nearly 20% [each] year. People don't want to give Frank McCourt their money.
Boom! That's why I haven't been to a Dodger game since 2008. Money goes on to say that based on current projections, the Dodgers are going to come in under 3 million fans for the first time since 1992 (with the exception of strike-shortened 1994). All three Dodger losing seasons that fell between 1993 and 2010 still brought more than 3 million fans to the ballpark: 

Year     Record    Attendance
1992     63-99       2,473,266
1999     77-85       3,095,346
2005     71-91       3,603,646
2010     80-82       3,562,320

But it gets better. If a legal battle ensues over the next 18 months, you can expect the season ticket fan base to drop off even more, and with it the value of the team. Jamie's seeing dollar bills fly out of their faster than a Jonathon Broxton fastball, and she wants to stop it immediately. Basically, she knows Frank won't make payroll and fears that baseball will eventually take control of the sale of the team. According to Money's analysis:
I think she's putting that MIT degree to use here….she's kind of got the angles working. If she can convince Selig: "Look...I want to control the sale. I don't want you controlling it and holding an auction where one of your dudes is going to get a price of $690 million when I think that I can get $750 million." 
Here Money is wrong about one thing. Jamie's price tag is reportedly closer to $2 billion.

If Jamie has her way in the end, everyone will get what they wished for. Selig will get a rich and responsible owner. Jamie will get more money than any of us can spend in 100 lifetimes. And the fans will finally get rid of the McCourts. Hail Jamie!

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