Moving the Dodgers forward

By Erik Carr

Ever since the Los Angeles Dodgers were taken over by Major
League Baseball on April 20, people have said that it was a sad day
for baseball.

Whenever a team is taken over, contrary to the wishes of its
owners, of course it’s going to be a tragic day for that team.

However unfortunate this occurrence is though, it’s something
that needed to be done.

Around the time it was announced last year Frank and Jamie
McCourt were getting divorced after 31 years of marriage is when
all the crap started to hit the fan (no pun intended towards the
Dodger faithful).

According to an article entitled “Frank McCourt and the Demise
of the Dodgers” on Newsweek’s website, court documents indicate his
two sons were hired at $600,000 even though they haven’t done any
work to earn it.

Other things indicated in the documents include the purchase of
two homes in Malibu and two homes in Holmby Hills, totaling $46
million and $26.5 million, respectively; seven country-club
memberships and $150,000 for haircuts per year.

The worst part: all of these were bought with the franchise’s
money.

Perhaps the most unusual thing that was revealed occurred on
“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” During his monologue, Leno said
the McCourts at one point noticed the team looked depressed and
hired an American Indian to perform a ceremony on the team so it
would be in better spirits.

No offense to my American Indian ancestors, but this hiring
along with other purchases only promote the idea that McCourt was a
disconnected owner.

No wonder McCourt had to take money out of his own pockets so
the Dodgers could make payroll.

If McCourt was a politician, these expenses would be regarded as
“pork barrel spending.” In baseball, it shouldn’t be any
different.

What the Dodgers need now is an owner who not only has his
team’s and fans’ best interests at heart but also is fiscally
responsible. Tom Schieffer, the man MLB Commissioner Bud Selig
named to take over the Dodgers, is the perfect man for the job.

Schieffer has strong ties to media, baseball and politics. He is
the younger brother of respected journalist Bob Schieffer, was club
president of the Texas Rangers during the 1990s in which they made
the playoffs three times, and as a Democrat, served three terms as
a U.S. Representative in his native Texas.

In order to erase the bad taste of the McCourt era, here is what
Schieffer needs to do.

First, he needs to assure the fans the ownership nightmare is
over, which can be done via spoken word and through his actions
with the payroll.

Secondly, establish a good relationship with the players and
coaches.

While the Dodgers haven’t done terrible during their years under
McCourt, they haven’t done great either. If the players and coaches
like who they play for, then they’ll be motivated to play
better.

Finally, if at all possible, he should reinvest a portion of his
earnings into the team.

Though he was notorious for love-hate relationships with players
and coaches, the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner
did this during his 37 years in that position. Seven World Series
titles prove this wasn’t a dumb strategy.

Schieffer should do this though to as a way to establish trust
with the Dodger fans.

When all is said and done though, the Dodgers are better off
without McCourt at the helm and should do their best to forget
about that whole era and strive for the eras of greatness they
experienced under the late Branch Rickey.

Women of Winter

Erik Carr, Sports Editor / The Poly Post

Women of Winter

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