Frank McCourt finally has his chance! The chance he’s claimed he wanted all along!
(Frankie: Don’t hate the player, hate the game!)
A Manny Ramirez sign elevates the Dodgers to back where they belong, among the elite in MLB. Since he bought the team early this decade McCourt has been saying that’s where the Dodgers should be. Well Frankie baby, it’s all teed up for you.
The Dodgers, playing in the #2 market in front of FOUR MILLION DAMN FANS annually are operated like the Colorado Rockies. I wish I could say that McCourt has operated the team like an elite MLB franchise. Or at least like the Detroit Tigers (market #11) or maybe even the Red Sox (market #10). But I can’t.
The Dodgers’ payroll is only 8th-highest in MLB and the club features a laughingstock of a general manager in Ned Colletti. So how did the McCourt-led Dodgers win a playoff series and reinvigorate interest in the team in SoCal?
Uh, they didn’t. The Red Sox did.
The Red Sox handed Ramirez to the Dodgers, who then enjoyed their finest hour since ‘88. So after being gifted Ramirez, McCourt can now consumate his commitment to running the team as he promised when he took over the franchise.
Predictably, both sides are embarrassing themselves with petty posturing. Ramirez has backed off his enthusiasm for SoCal after raving about L.A. when he first arrived. He told T.J. Simers of the LOS ANGELES TIMES yesterday, “I want to see who is the highest bidder. Gas is up and so am I.”
McCourt is trying to pin the responsibility of the situation on Ramirez, in a futile attempt (Scott Boras, HELLO?) to keep the price down. But in the end, the Owner has no choice. If he wants a bonafide World Series contender, and he wants to make sure that local L.A. sports bars will think twice before banning Dodgers gear(!), the deal will get done.
Yeah, we’ve heard all about Ramirez’s act. How he’ll shut it down once he gets his money. Problem is, Curt Schilling admitted when the Bosox dealt the slugger that Ramirez was a dog all through the Red Sox’s World Series-winning years, and that the team would’ve voted him off the island during any of those seasons - going back to 2002.
Ramirez costs. But, if McCourt is truly the man he claims to be, having the Dodgers once again completely off the sports radar in SoCal is costlier*.
* See tar and feathers