Archive for category Sports
Frank and Jamie McCourt reached a settlement today which will hopefully be the beginning of the end for this sordid chapter in Dodgers history. Ballpark attendance has plummeted this season, averaging merely 35,000 fans for a stadium which once regularly boasted an average of 44,000 fans in 2010. Following the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan several months ago, the stadium is no longer seen as a family-friendly venue, and the despair circling the team’s overall poor performance and ownership woes has heavily contributed to low ticket sales. Dodgers coach Don Mattingly recently said the Dodgers must “make a move” in order to rise in the standings, but with Frank struggling to even meet payroll on a monthly basis, that is a luxury we will not be able to afford. Fans can only root for the failure of Frank McCourt and the sale of the team to another owner.
In order for Frank McCourt to retain ownership of the team, two things must happen:
- Bud Selig must approve a long-term television deal between FOX and the Dodgers which Frank McCourt has been dreaming of ever since he took over the team. The deal would be to the detriment of the Dodgers, because it would arrest their ability to have their own cable network in the model of the Yankee’s YES, and would not generate the same profitability for the team. But it would fatten the wallet of Frank McCourt. Thankfully, Bud Selig has professed his inclination towards rejecting the deal, or at least postponing until the point of Frank’s insolvency.
- Frank will have to win a one-day trial under Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, who will make a final determination as to whether the Dodgers belong solely to Frank or is to be considered communal property with Jamie. If the judge rules the latter, then Frank will undoubtedly have to sell the team, as he will be unable to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars required to buy out Jamie.
Sounds like a tough deal for Frank, huh? Actually, I don’t think it’s harsh enough. This is a man who has skimmed literally hundreds of millions of dollars in profit off of the organization for the last several years, and refused to pony up for the landmark ace pitcher which could have helped the Dodgers win a World Series when the team made back-to-back NLCS appearances. Every year under his control, the Dodgers payroll has steadily decreased. His tight payroll budget dictated that General Manager Ned Colletti had to make risky, high-upside moves that have more-or-less backfired on the Dodgers, most notably paying Manny Ramirez over $20 million during a decline year (or signing Vicente Padilla for $5 million).
I pray that Frank loses control of the Dodgers and the team goes for sale. And I also pray that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, with a net-worth of over $2.5 billion, somehow makes it past the fraternity of baseball owners screening process and has the opportunity to buy the team. As we saw with the Mavericks over the last decade, Cuban is an owner willing to spend, spend, and spend to put a winner on the court/field. Los Angeles would love Mark Cuban as an owner, and we would be lucky to have him. But right now, even the Wilpons sounds better than the McCourts.
The Lakers-Mavericks series sweep was more than just humiliating. It marked the culmination of a season-long decline for the Lakers, a season marred by multiple 4+ game losing streaks and continual disappointment. Lakers fans, coming off back-to-back championships, expected far more than the effort this team put forth this year. It wasn’t that long ago that sports pundits were lauding the Lakers off-season moves, over-reacting to their scorching hot start, and making comparisons to Jordan’s 72-win Bulls squad. Oh, how things change.
Maybe it truly was that the team was out of gas and no longer had the desire to win it all. It certainly seemed that way in the end. There is a fair amount of argument right now between Lakers fans. A few come to the defense of the Lakers, calling out those criticizers as bandwagon fans who are now jumping off the wagon and forgetting about the Lakers’ recent back-to-back championships. These die-hards have a point – it seems almost ungrateful to not consider all that this team has delivered to the city of L.A. in recent years. Three finals appearances, two of which resulted in championships… that’s a great feat not many teams can hope to accomplish.
But to completely excuse the Lakers is to live in denial of how utterly complacent and unmotivated this team was towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. Losing five consecutive games at the end of the season to sub-.500 teams should have been a warning sign. Having the Hornets give us a real series was another – especially a Hornets team missing their second best player in David West. But I don’t think anything really prepared us for the smack-down at the hands of the Mavericks.
The Mavericks didn’t so much as win that series as the Lakers lost it. They lost it when they decided to sign veteran guard Derek Fisher to an extension, despite years of visibly increasing decline. They lost it again by failing to address mobility concerns by signing Fisher by giving a contract to Steve Blake. Pau Gasoft, missing since the 2008 Finals with the Celtics, re-appeared during the playoffs, settling for off-balance jump-shots, getting shut-down in the paint, and hardly playing any defense. When Andrew Bynum wasn’t busy bitching about his teammates’ trust issues, he was busy staring at his teammates not giving him the ball. Kobe was your standard Kobe… but not even the best player in the world can win the Finals all by himself.
So what is there to do in the aftermath? Well, for starters, the Lakers need a new head coach. Brian Shaw is the lead candidate, and I’ve got no qualms with that decision. Secondly, the Lakers need to trade Andrew Bynum while the rest of the league still believes he has value. His attitude is piss-poor, as evidenced by his elbow-throw and ejection in Game 4. His work ethic is even worse, as he opted to refrain from getting surgery on his knee during the off-season to attend the World Cup and missed several months of the regular season. It would be fantastic if Mitch Kupchak could get Dwight for Bynum somehow, someway, as well as speedy, defensive-minded guard who would help the Lakers not get anally penetrated by the likes of JJ Barea. And I wouldn’t put it past him from performing such a miracle, after having acquired Pau Gasol for a bunch of spare parts. Speaking of Pau Gasol, they need to help him find his balls and reattach it to his body.
But most importantly, the entire Lakers team needs a make-over in mentality. Only Kobe played this season with any motivation. Odom was too busy with a reality TV show with his hideous excuse of a wife. Bynum was always complaining about being hurt. Pau Gasol never was quite the same after playing so many heavy minutes early in the season when Kobe missed a few games. The Fisher/Blake combo gave us fits. We don’t need to blow it up and rebuild, but we do need to retool if we want to see Kobe get his sixth ring.
And you’re not jumping off the bandwagon if you think so.
Yesterday marked a turning point for the embarrassing ordeal Dodgers fans everywhere have had to endure for the past several seasons – MLB officially took over the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers franchise. On the heels of a shady $30 million loan against the Dodgers that Frank McCourt received from FOX, Bud Selig, commissioner of MLB, relieved Frank McCourt of control over the team and released this statement:
“I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership.”
When Frank McCourt isn’t leveraging the Dodgers future to pay off his over-extended loans and debts, he is busy fighting his cunt of an ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, in a bitter divorce case that is just now winding down into the settlement phase. In this potential settlement, Frank McCourt would retain sole ownership of the Dodgers, but have to pay off his ex-wife with vast sums of money, which he currently does not possess.
The examples of Frank McCourt’s dire economic straits are clear to anyone who has been watching this beleaguered team. Stadium security was heavily scrutinized following the attack on a San Francisco Giants fan, as many critics claimed police presence was inadequate to poor in many areas of the park and parking lot. Payroll has been steadily decreasing from year-to-year, and the McCourt’s divorce has paralyzed the franchise from acquiring top free agents.
While both Frank and Jamie McCourt are easy to despise at this point, I urge all Dodgers fans to funnel their hatred towards Jamie. When the couple moved to L.A., and bought lavish amounts of properties using Frank’s money, most property holdings were listed in Jamie’s name to take advantage of tax loopholes. The Dodgers were purchased, and to be retained, solely in Frank’s name. Like any woman nearing the end of a divorce, however, Jamie claimed she owned half of the Dodgers and spiraled this team into the financial abyss it currently finds itself in.
It’s not enough that Jamie retains all the property holdings she basically stole from her ex-husband. Nor is it enough that she receives over $637,000 a month from a court-ordered ruling from Frank for spousal support and mortgage payments. This woman is so vile that she is willing to destroy the Dodgers in order to receive financial payments which she doesn’t deserve in the first place.
Jamie McCourt, you are an evil, greedy, lying bitch. You have ruined the Dodgers franchise and arrested our ability to capitalize on this incredible group of talent. Women such as yourself infest our society, whoring themselves around with their personal trainers behind their husbands’ backs, stealing their husbands’ money, and bitching about how you are entitled to half of your husbands’ assets during divorce proceedings. Cunt, you did nothing for the Dodgers. You are entitled to half of my left nut. California divorce law is a sham, yet another shining example of our broken legal system fucking over the entrepreneurs and bread-winners and protecting the undeserved wenches of society.
I’m done with the McCourts, and you should be too. Hopefully the next owners to buy the Dodgers won’t have a succubus as CEO.