Today marks a new beginning on this board. Beginning today, the rules of the website which have not been observed for past few weeks will again be recognized. I have been part of the rule-breakers, but I now admit that it was deliberate and planned. I am not going to justify it or explain my way out of it, but I watched another Dodger Massage Board (World Crossing) disintegrate because a few posters felt like they could covertly or overtly write what they wanted, no matter how bizarre or outrageous and then complain when they were criticized for it.
Over the past few months, a few posters started writing ridiculous things about Frank McCourt- some were true, but pulled out of context, while others were totally out of touch with reality. I have repeatedly said that I am not a Frank McCourt fan, but I think most of you think I am. You think that because I post the positive things Frank McCourt has done while owner of the Dodgers. Everyone else seems to post all the negative stuff (and there is plenty – most of it surrounding the divorce). I post the positive because no one else does. There are two sides to every story. Some think I do it so that I can get press passes. Last I checked T.J. Simers gets press passes and so does anyone who writes a legitimate blog. In fact, Simers has another piece in THE LA TIMES again today on McCourt, and it ain’t flattering. There is no connection between what you write and whether you get press passes and if you really think that, you are really out of touch with the reality of the situation. Frank McCourt has no clue who I am, and all I really know about him is that he is the owner of the Dodgers who has accomplished some good and committed some bad.
I can see that he has spent well over $100 million (probably well over $150 million) on improvements at Dodger Stadium. I can see that he has spent tens of millions on Camelback Ranch and on a very good player development staff. The Dodger front office is first class, they don’t skimp on amenities and they have a payroll in the upper 25% of baseball.
On the other hand, as Dodger Divorce and most other news outlets have published ad nauseum, the McCourts Divorce is reeking with conspicuous consumption and decadent greed. When people read this stuff, they compare McCourt to themselves and immediately believe that has actions are insane. When I read it, two things occur: (1) I wonder if it’s really true; and (2) I wonder how he compares to other owners in their lifestyles (the Werners, Stienbrenners and Ricketts). I honestly don’t know, but I do know that some filthy rich people really have decadent lifestyles. It’s a common thread that runs through some of the filthy rich. That’s why they call them “filthy.” Can you honestly tell me that Frank McCourt lives any different than other owners? And… let me add one thing other question: How much of this insanity is on Queen Jamie? Just asking!!! I really have no clue. Maybe you do.
So anyway, I left World Crossing because the views were extreme and many were laced with political innuendo. I started this blog and a few from World Crossing followed me here. I’ve known them for a while, and they almost feel like family, but some of the stuff they write just is inflammatory and not rooted in fact. Then there were the “drive-by-shootings” where they made a post and then in the context slammed someone’s opposition (politics, sports, life, etc.), with an eloquent comment.
I called them out a few times, other posters e-mailed me about it, some left the family. I got tired of it and a few weeks ago, decided to dole out the same stuff to them.
For instance, Ken recently posted this:
6.5 Sale Transactions. In all transactions involving the sale or transfer of a control interest in a Club, the Commissioner MUST certify to the Clubs and to the Players Association that the LEVEL OF DEBT undertaken in connection with
the acquisition or transfer WILL NOT create a PERSISTENT INABILITY of the Club to comply with the requirements of the Debt Service Rule. As part of that certification, the Commissioner, within 30 days of approval of the transaction,
will provide to the Players Association the new Club ownership’s Long Term Plan for Debt Service compliance.
1. Are you saying that Bud refused to do his job and allowed Frank to buy the Dodgers without submitting a financial and/or long term debt plan and therefore Frank has always done whatever he wants?
2. Are you saying that Frank submitted a plan to MLB where he would take $100 million of distributions out of LA Dodgers, LLC in 7 years and Bud said “OK no Worries Be Happy” and now MLB is estopped from doing anything about Frank’s debt strategy?
3. Are you saying that Frank submitted a plan to MLB where he would take $10 million of distributions out of LA Dodgers, LLC in 7 years and Bud said “Cool” and after Frank took $100 million of distributions out of LA Dodgers, LLC in 7 years now MLB, that Bud responded by saying “OK no Worries Be Happy” about Frank’s debt strategy?
What allegedly logical view do you have regarding Bud’s actions in relation to Frank’s financial activities with the Dodgers, MLB and the MLB CBA?
In my opinion sane people believe that Frank submitted a plan to MLB where he would take between $5 and $20 million of distributions out of LA Dodgers, LLC in 7 years and Bud said “Cool” and after Frank took $100 million of distributions out of LA Dodgers, LLC in 7 years now MLB and Bud now said “What the F… is going on here” about Frank’s debt strategy and now has now laid the law done to Frank. (Law being the MLB CBA) No loans from MLB, no exceptions to the Debt Service Rule, and no help from other owner.
If Frank is following the original Long Term Plan for Debt Service, then MLB should be investigated by Congress and MLB should lose their anti-trust exemptions.
While I may not agree with all that, he is presenting a cogent argument. He isn’t slandering anyone and I respect that. When someone says “McCourt is a plundering scumbag who is robbing the fans and the Dodgers will never be anything until he sells them” is stupid. Just an opinion, no facts! Now, it’s a different story to say “I don’t like Frank McCourt and hope the Dodgers get another owner.” That’s your opinion and you are free to express it, but when you try to spin everything he does as bad… well that’s way over the line.
What I really think about Frank McCourt: After the info about FOX loaning McCourt money, I have no opinion…yet. As I have just stated, I deliberately have presented the OTHER side to balance out this board. What Frank McCourt has done is good in some areas and bad in others. At the moment, he has a competitive team on the field, is still paying a decent payroll and operations look strong. However, with the uncertainty surrounding that divorce, the debt and other issues, Frank McCourt’s empire is a “house of Cards.” He could pull it off. I think I know what he wants to do, but can he do it? An alliance with Fox could be good, or it could go south quickly. This is a typical McCourt move – he’s a “risk junkie.” If the pile of cards fall, then I am all in for a new, better owner. It’s just that the issue of new ownership is not presently on the table. On one hand, being an entrepreneur like I am, I admire what Frank has done in taking a risk to build a company. On the other hand, I hate debt and don’t even have car payments, so I have a hard time justifying the amount of debt. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Zappos had 1.6 million in sales in 2001 and hit a billion is sales in 2008. They took on huge debt to get there, but in 2009, Amazon paid $1.2 billion for them. Frankly, McCourt feels a lot like Conseco, the high-flying insurance company, who crashed and burned. I am open-minded for the moment. Are the Dodgers under McCourt more like Zappos or Conseco? History will be the judge.
I remain a Dodger Fan, not a McCourt fan – he just owns the Dodgers. The Dodgers are much bigger than Frank McCourt and the Big Dodger in the Sky is in charge! I hope Frank is making the right moves. You may think he isn’t – that’s OK. I’m not sure either. I welcome anyone on this board, but just don’t say stupid or inflammatory stuff. Don’t bait people.
If you think Frank McCourt is a scumbag, state your case, support your position or you will be questioned. I do have a few questions I’d like answered:
- How much do other owners take out of their clubs?
- What are the levels of debt for other teams?
- Look at the Debt/Value Ratios on THIS PAGE and explain to me how the Dodgers are in such bad shape.
If you think the Dodgers will finish last, state your reasoning. That’s fine.
If you want to say something about Bush or Obama – I WILL DELETE THE POSTS!
This is a Dodger board!
Like “Glass Half Full” said to another poster:
Have you ever gone back and read any of your own posts?…You are as negative and as attacking as anyone on this board..Yes you have a right to express your opinions but everything you accuse Mark of or being is exactly what you are..You accuse Mark with attacking those who disagree with his ideas but you are exactly the same…
What I did was deliberate and calculated to make a point. I don’t know if the point was made (sometimes I wonder if it did ANY good), but I am going to revert back to the way it was a few months ago. The rules are simple:
1) Do not use profanity or any euphemisms for profanity;
2) Do not personally attack other commenters;
3) Do not bait other commenters;
4) Do not argue for the sake of arguing; and
5) Do not discuss politics or religion.
Simple Rules – I will follow them and have a short leash for those who don’t!
WELCOME TO THE NEW (AND IMPROVED) LA DODGER TALK!