As part of our twice-weekly Dodgers Dugout online newsletter (you can sign up for free at www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers), former Dodgers announcer Ross Porter answers questions from readers.
In Thursday’s newsletter, Porter spoke about his unceremonious departure from the team after the 2004 season, a topic he had not spoken about.
Here is his response as it appears in the newsletter:
Gregg Gellman asks: Of the many injustices committed by the McCourts or under their regime (e.g. Lon Rosen), their treatment of Ross was one of the most egregious. Would Ross share his thoughts?
Ross: Thank you, Gregg, for your kind words, and I’m grateful to all the others who have voiced their support. For 11 years, I have chosen the high road and remained silent about my situation, choosing to take an “Attitude of Gratitude,” being thankful for the 28 blessed years as a Dodger announcer. Given an opportunity now to voice some feelings about my termination in 2004, I would like to go on record for the first time so my views are not forever unknown.
To this day, it is a mystery to me who made the decision not to renew my contract. Jamie McCourt? Frank McCourt? Lon Rosen? I don’t expect to ever find out the truth. What is the truth is that no one in the Dodger organization ever talked to me face to face or on the telephone about the dismissal. The word was passed to my agent in a meeting at the stadium. He was left to give me the news.
I was less than an hour away from guest-hosting a radio sports talk show. Asked if they planned to notify me before I went on the air, the Dodger executives not only said, “No,” but reported they were releasing the story at the same time I was going on the air. My agent said, “So, Ross may learn about this from a caller to the show? This isn’t right.” He raced to his car and drove 30 minutes to reach me before airtime and give me the news.
Several minutes later, we inquired of the Dodgers whether I could make a statement to be included in the news release announcing my departure, a few words thanking Vin Scully, Peter O’Malley and Fred Claire, the three men responsible for my getting the job, and also the fans. The response was negative. The man who broadcast over 5,000 Dodger games would not be allowed to make any farewell quotes.
Thanks. I am glad that I could finally tell this story.