Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Comes Early at Chavez Ravine

We just hit November 2nd but the Thanksgiving turkey has already been shot, plucked and carved up at Chavez Ravine. Tuesday Night’s announcement from the Dodgers and Major League Baseball that owner Frank McCourt would agree to sell the team thru a court-supervised process, has Dodger fans all over the country giving thanks that the nightmare of the McCourt era is ending and there is hope for the 2012 season!

Although the courts will decide who gets to join baseball’s elite owners club, it’s up to Commissioner Bud Selig to make sure the next man or men who run one of sports most storied franchises; has A, the money to do it; and B, runs the franchise correctly. The Commish is almost just as much at fault for the fiasco the Dodgers have endured this past season as much as Frank and Jamie McCourt themselves. This, want to be power couple from Boston should have never been allowed to purchases the club in 2004, for 421 million when they didn’t have the necessary financing to do so comfortable. But in his haste to get the Dodgers away from a previous bad ownership group in Fox, Selig made another judgment in error.

How bad was that error? Let us count the ways. On the field the Blue- Crew reached back to back National League Championship Series. Now for some teams that would be considered an accomplishment but for the Dodgers and their history of titles, it was a shortcoming. All that was needed to put this group over the top was a solid veteran number one ace pitcher, who McCourt never purchased. What he did purchase off the field however, is the main reason he won’t be the owner on opening day in 2012. The couple allegedly purged 189 million of Dodgers money, to spend on houses, jets, swimming pools and other luxuries while the needs of the team and franchise were ignored. The only reason the imposters were caught is because neither was smart enough to figure out all their financial holdings and expenditures would come into public record during their divorce. Frank’s accusation that wife Jamie was nailing the body guard or chauffer, whoever it was blew the lid off the entire spending spree at the expense of the organization and it’s product on the field. From there the end was in sight. The franchise filed for bankruptcy in a Delaware court. Upon receiving the information, even the loyalist of Dodgers fans boycotted the Ravine. Empty seats took over the historic stadium, as did the gangster element in the pavilion seats due to a lack of security. The Dodgers failed to break the three-million mark in attendance for the first time in over a decade and the franchise received a black eye when San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow was beat nearly to death in one of the dark parking lots after leaving the rivalry game on opening day with little security in the vicinity. Once the reputation of the franchise and McCourt’s integrity came into play, he tried to sell the television rights in a multi-billion dollar deal to ease he financial worries. But Selig and baseball blocked the move, stating McBroke would just use the funds for his personnel debts including the divorce cost and payoff. After this ruling was upheld it was game over for the fraud.

McCourt will sell the franchise for around one billion dollars. Hard to believe after all the mismanagement he’ll still make a stiff profit off the sale. But there is justice in his debt that needs to be paid off which is mounting and stands in the hundreds of millions of dollars. All in all McCourt won’t be broke, but he’ll leave Los Angeles stripped of his dignity, celebrity status, and team which is the most important thing for the City of Angels. Dodgers fans can once again root for their team proudly, feel good about spending money on the franchise, knowing the best interest of the club is at heart of whomever the owner ends up being. There is a lot to be thankful for this November, after one of the roughest rides in the storied history of The Los Angeles Dodgers.

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