The McCourts may have had the best of intentions when buying the Dodgers in 2004 to forward this storied franchise to greater heights. However, with stewardship comes responsibility. They got drunk with the West Coast lifestyle … spending lavishly on themselves with little regard to Dodgers fans' concerns.
Instead of spending wisely for top-of-the-rotation pitching, they bought multiple expensive homes. Instead of providing more concession stands and shorter lines at the stadium, we were offered $600 seats with waiter service. And $15 parking for the honor unless you wished to fork over even more for valet service.
Amazing how one couple could alienate millions of loyal Dodgers fans, the McCourts' thirsting for personal gain through greed and carelessness. … As a lifelong Dodgers fan I shout, "Get out of my house!"
The Dodgers were my first sports love, going back to first grade. I grew up watching the Dodgers of the O'Malleys, Walter Alston, Tommy Lasorda; the infield of Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey; Manny Mota, Don Sutton, Andy Messersmith, Burt Hooton, Mike Marshall (the pitcher), Vin Scully, Jerry Doggett, Ross Porter, Jaime Jarrin, Helen Dell, Nancy Bea Hefley, John Ramsey (public-address announcer in the '70s) and so on.
Then, the players' strike drove many fans away. Los Angeles' once-proud franchise was brought to its knees by the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Paul DePodesta, Kevin Malone and then, when it couldn't sink any lower, the McCourts. Under their highly leveraged watch, Blue Heaven at Chavez Ravine now needs enhanced police presence, parking fees rise each year, and the product on the field is deteriorating.
I never thought I'd say it, but thank you, Bud Selig.
I remember watching the Dodgers game in 2009 when Manny's steroid suspension began. Vin Scully made only a passing mention of it on the telecast when he announced that Manny would not be in the starting lineup as he began serving his suspension. Wednesday night, Vin's only mention of MLB's takeover of the team was to read part of Bud Selig's statement at the beginning of the broadcast. He then said, "And so help me, I'd much rather give you the starting lineups, so here they are." He never mentioned the front-office soap opera again for the rest of the evening. Even if Bud Selig, the media and the owner/owners of the Dodgers have forgotten what really matters to the fans, Vin Scully has not. No matter who owns the team, or how many games they lose on the field, we as fans can still be proud of the passion for the game that Vin Scully brings to the stadium every night. He is truly baseball royalty.
It is not at all surprising that the league has stepped in to take over a team from an owner who is reluctant to spend money, consistently makes bad public decisions and appears not to care much about the team other than as an investment. What is surprising is that said team is the Dodgers and not the Clippers.
Never before have Dodgers fans stood and cheered after one of our own was thrown out at home.
Image of the week: an ecstatic Mark Cuban jumping up and down like a kid after his Mavericks beat Portland in Game 1. That's the kind of owner Dodgers fans need and deserve. Mr. Cuban, I'll buy you a steak dinner at a restaurant of your choice if you step up and rescue our beloved, but leaderless, team.
Phil Anschutz should be thankful that Bud Selig is not running the NHL.
Inside the Lakers
If the Lakers had a real point guard, we wouldn't have to tell them over and over to dump the ball inside to their two offensively gifted pivots. Back in Utah's heyday when they had Karl Malone, Thurl Bailey, Jeff Hornacek, et al., John Stockton was quoted as saying that if Wilt Chamberlain was his center he'd pass the ball to him each and every time down the floor.
Ball in his hands in the low block, head fake to the baseline, spin into the key, hook shot. Good! Next sequence: quick spin move baseline, come up on the opposite side, dunk. Last sequence: fake left, fake right, drop step and layup for two plus one. This is the Pau Gasol who has been missing. He has been replaced by an avatar that faces up and takes jump shots rather than taking his position on the low block.
Beware of Kings' green machine
In honor of Earth Day this year, the Kings acquired more recycled players like Dustin Penner and Alexei Ponikarovsky, which did nothing other than bury their playoff hopes. General Manager Dean Lombardi is afraid to pull the trigger on a major deal to upgrade the offense and Coach Terry Murray's system is hopelessly inadequate. Time for Tim Leiweke to pull out the fertilizer and once again sell his message of hope and trust for next season since he certainly can't rest on AEG's all-too-few accomplishments since 1995. What are long-suffering fans who have made plenty of green for Phil Anschutz supposed to do?
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