The world against Frank McCourt
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Frank McCourt lives on your world, I promise you. His prism just bathes it a different light, one of his choosing.
McCourt went talking again Tuesday, this time on a couple of radio shows. If I tell you he was a virtual disaster, rest assured he believes he just nailed it. He’s clearing up the air, righting wrongs, paving the way for winning back your trust.
There wasn’t a whole lot new in either interview, McCourt sticking closely to his now familiar talking points. He seemed nervous, constantly stammering and struggling to find his words, particularly in the second radio interview with Petros Papadakis and Matt Smith on KLAC-AM (570). You could almost imagine him sweating.
In his world, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, ESPN, the California attorney general, the Los Angeles Superior Court, Major League Baseball, his ex-wife’s lawyers, his own lawyers, me and you, all have it wrong.
‘If the things written about me were true, I wouldn’t like me either,’ McCourt said to a caller on Steve Mason and John Ireland‘s show on ESPN’s KSPN-AM (710).
He attempted to debunk several stories, curiously denying that the Dodgers Dream Foundation paid Howard Sunkin $400,000 of its approximate $1.6-million budget in 2007. This despite the team saying it recently repaid the money to the charity; there is an ongoing investigation by the attorney general’s office.
Of the reported $108 million he and ex-wife Jamie McCourt pulled out of the team to pay for their lavish personal lifestyle he said: ‘It’s just not true.’ This despite all those court documents.
His explanation was from 2004-2010 he was paid $5 million per year -- ‘It wasn’t from the Dodgers, but my overall businesses.’ -- Jamie earned $2 million per year, and they took out a $50-million loan not from the team but real estate.
I get so dizzy. Let’s see, first off he fired Jamie after the 2009 season, so she would not have been earning $2 million in 2010. And I’ll go out on a limb here and say the land he borrowed the money from was Dodger Stadium, as the Dodgers are his only real business. Supposed loan or not, that’s still $50 million taken away from the Dodgers -- I don’t care if he did break away the land into a separate company.
He did admit to one thing.
‘What’s fair is, it became an excessive lifestyle,’ he said. ‘It was not sustainable, and it was unhealthy as far as I’m concerned.
‘Since this all started and unfortunately my marriage broke up, I’m living in a one-bedroom place, OK? It’s a nice hotel, I’m not complaining. I’m happy other than all this drama in my life. A lot of people, I look around, have it a lot worse than I do.’
Yeah, think I’ll just leave that one alone.
He also intimated that his problems were the creation of Jamie.
‘I’ve made a lifestyle decision and it’s not to live that way anymore,’ he said. ‘And look, I’m not married anymore, so that’s all I’m going to say. It’s time to move on.’
If only it were true. Look, McCourt is not stupid. He has to see the writing on the wall, same as the rest of us. But he’s talked himself into believing everything he says, talked himself into a corner.
In one way, he cannot win. He didn’t talk for 18 months and was rightly blasted. Now the more he talks, the worse it sounds. Unless, of course, you have that special prism.
-- Steve Dilbeck