The Dodgers Sale In Perspective- Bruce’s Thought Of The Day
Any baseball fan will be happy to see Magic Johnson in the game. The Magic smile and magnetic personality are just as welcome as the bankroll. We will see, after prices are adjusted to help the new owners pay for their investment, how happy Dodgers fans are. The way you hear many of them tell it and the media dog pile you would think they were buying the ballclub from Atilla the Hun.
Did previous owner Frank McCourt make mistakes? Sure. Did he mismanage funds? Yes. Is his ex-wife a lunatic? No question. But what you don’t hear from the bobble head media and the can’t-think-for-themselves fans is that McCourt also led a Dodger comeback- even managing to win a playoff series for the first time in years.
McCourt owned the club for 9 seasons and his team made the post-season four times, three times winning the NL West. In 2008, the Dodgers won their first post-season series since capturing the World Series in 1988- yet when you listen to the foolish and the puppets, you would think the Dodgers finished last every year under McCourt, or maybe that somehow this was Donald Sterling in disguise. The Dodgers won the NLDS in 2008 by beating the Cubs and again in 2009 when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Both times, the team was defeated by the Phillies in the NLCS.
McCourt did far better then previous owner News Corp- which is Ruppert Murdock and his media empire.
Did they win it all under McCourt? No, but they certainly improved, and even fielded some fine talent nurtured in their minor league system.
My point is simply this. McCourt’s tenure was not a disaster by any means, yet all you ever hear is how lousy an owner he was. I bet many teams would kill for the same record as McCourts Dodgers.
None of this takes away from Magic and his group. Johnson recently gave a good speech at Albany University. He has done wonders in business and is an LA icon. His name alone will attract talent. But Magic and Stan Kasten (who will run the baseball operations) are not stepping into a empty cupboard situation by any means. Last season after a slow start amid the constant McCourt divorce circus, LA rallied back to finish the season 82-79, the first year under rookie skipper Don Mattingly.
McCourt’s tenure, while marked with controversy, was not without limited success- something the Dodgers didn’t enjoy for 20 years under several ownership groups, including the renowned O’Malleys. Just a little perspective on Frank McCourt and how his team performed on the field.