Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Till Selig Do Us Part

Firsthand accounts by former Dodgers employees are tremendous bang for the buck. Michael K. Fox, a Dodger marketing executive from from 1978 to 1987, wrote an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times today about the O'Malley family's clear vision toward preserving Dodger baseball for future generations. Curiously, Fox never mentions McCourt by name, my guess being because he never worked for him. I can't gauge his personal feelings toward McCourt, but anyone who basically says "This is how the O'Malley's did things" can't help but characterize the current owner as inept and short-sided, whether they mean to or not.

You don't need an MBA from Stanford to realize that drawing families to Dodger Stadium was and continues to be a sound business model:
In 1997, a family of four could enjoy a Dodgers game for $104, which included a package deal of four $12 box seats, four hot dogs and four sodas, two beers, two game programs and two Dodger caps and parking. Today, the same experience can run $600 or more; an authentic Dodger cap alone now costs $35.
Here's my take on ticket prices. McCourt's outsider status troubled me from the outset. Coming from Boston, I felt the historical love affair between the Dodgers and its followers was foreign to him. To me and other observers, McCourt's twisted way of acknowledging this union came early and often in the form of higher ticket prices.  Everything else — from shoddy personnel decisions to extravagant lifestyle choices — was hostile to the bond between team and community.

How many times have the McCourts tried to sell the public on the concept of family ownership, as if they were the second coming of Ozzie and Harriet? When Frank sobs that he wants to pass the team along to his "boys", are we supposed to get all warm and fuzzy inside? The troubling truth is this: In the futile process of trying to pass themselves off as O'Malley-like, Frank and Jamie were sucking millions out the heirloom and driving it off a financial cliff.

If Bud Selig wants to fulfill the wishes of virtually every Dodger fan, he'll see to it that the McCourt boys never get the keys to daddy's kingdom.


  1. McCourt's outsider status was obvious from the beginning when he started off by firing numerous loyal lifelong Dodger employees, completely eroding into the tradition of stability that the Dodger had. This carpetbagger came in, put his son's on the payroll, paid a psychic non baseball fan a six figure salary, backloaded all new player contracts, forced players to donate to HIS charity, mishandled those charitable funds by paying his handpicked executive in charge of it a full 25% of what was collected (prompting the Calif. Attorney General to investigate), stopped paying into the farm system and international scouting, screwed over the city of Vero Beach, attempted to complete a back door deal for an NFL team, raised ticket prices 60% in 7 years, failed to pay taxes and let the whole world know of his personal life/troubles by failing to settle with his ex-wife in divorce court. The McCourt ownership is easily the worst in Los Angeles Sports Franchise History.

  2. Evan, that was a mouthful of solid gold.