Bill Shaiken of The LA Times writes a piece about Frank MCourt, which I believe, shows how the Dodger Brand is being polished and a Dodger Dynasty is being built. In part, Shaiken writes:
McCourt glowed about Camelback Ranch, emphasizing that the new Arizona complex is not just a spring training ballpark but a year-round center for minor league instruction and injury rehabilitation.
“The Dodgers will once again have the best player development system in all of baseball,” he said.
He said the Dodgers cannot sustain success without replenishing their talent from within, alluding to such expensive mistakes as Jason Schmidt ($47 million), Juan Pierre ($44 million) and Andruw Jones ($36 million).
“We can’t do this just by bringing in free agents,” McCourt said. “I could put up a slide of some of my big, big mistakes with free agents. You’re just not sure.”
The Dodgers publicly announced each of their offers to Ramirez, an unusual strategy but one McCourt said provided him fan feedback that persuaded him not to raise his offer beyond the initial $45 million.
“You all, as the stakeholders in the Dodgers, let us know we were on the right track — ‘OK, that’s a good offer, he should accept it,’ ” McCourt said.
Once Ramirez accepted the financial terms, McCourt would not finalize the contract until a 6 a.m. meeting at his home, in which Ramirez embraced the concept of community involvement and agreed to donate $1 million to the Dodgers’ foundation.
“We were fully prepared not to sign him if that meeting did not go well,” McCourt said.
McCourt said he was aware of reports from Boston that Ramirez might not have given his all there.
“I appreciate when I make a mistake and get a second chance,” McCourt said. “I look at it that way. I think these will be the best days of his career. We’ll see.”
After all, McCourt owned up to one of his mistakes.
“I was the same guy that said, ‘Go ahead and sign Andruw Jones,’ ” he said. “Does that show you how smart I am?”