Categorized | Mark Timmons

Why I Supported Frank McCourt

Most of the time, some of you say I am a “Dodger Homer”, some of you say that I only see things through “blue” glasses. 

Now, however, I am a pariah because I said that I was proud of the Giants.  I guess you want it both ways.  I’m a Dodger homer but shouldn’t be a fan.  Geeeeezzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

Look, you can be racists and haters – you can be the Hatfields and McCoys, – you can be gang-bangers, you can be Giant haters, but I refuse to hate someone who is just a  rival.  I enjoy seeing the Dodgers beat the crap out of the Giants, and I will never be a Giants fan, but if you can’t admire what they did, then I pity your narrow-mindedness and I don’t really care what you think.  Besides, you can’t whip me anyway.  Sticks and stones can break my bones, but I might break your ________ (fill in the blank).  ;)

You can be narrow-minded haters.  Life is too short for me to do that.  Shoot, even Juan Marichal and John Roseboro became fast friends after they retired.  I am proud of what the Giants accomplished because I like to hear stories of how the human spirit rose above challenges and prevailed.  I like to see how people triumph over adversity.  I am proud of them as human beings.  I am proud of how they never gave up and overcame problems that seemed insurmountable.  However, if I had to be a Giant fan, I would cut my wrists!  Sorry if some of you can’t comprehend that.

For the record, I am rooting for the Tigers.

Now, I’m going to make some of you even madder.

When Frank McCourt bought the Dodgers with other people’s money, I was one of his few supporters.  It seemed that everyone wanted someone with deep pockets to buy the Dodgers, but I was more concerned with having someone who could BUILD the Dodgers.

Obviously, in retrospect, I was wrong in supporting Frank McCourt, but I think that you need to understand why I supported him initially.

Here’s the long and short of it:  I wanted family ownership, not corporate ownership.  I wanted “hands on” not “hands off.”  Think O’Malley, not Fox.  I believed (and still believe) that big business is slow, bloated and unprofitable in this new economy.  The old paradigm doesn’t work anymore.  I wanted someone who was no part of the good ole’ boys club, who was hungry and wanted to build an empire.  The Dodgers would be that person’s golden opportunity to slowly build an empire.

Frank McCourt initially fit that description.  He was a renegade, a rebel, a man who marched to his own drum.  That was a plus, in my opinion. In the end, it would be his undoing.

Cut to the chase:  Frank and Jamie McCourt looted the Dodgers.  Maybe it was at the behest of Jamie, but the Dodgers were looted nonetheless, and a Dodger employee said that Frank  would take 100% of the blame for it.  He would admit his mistake(s). He wouldn’t put it on Jamie.  In fact, he has admitted his mistakes.

If Frank and Jamie had been patient and grew the brand slowly, they would have had LA in the palm of their hands, but they couldn’t wait.  They conspired to be the epitome of the lifestyles of the rich and the famous.  They bought houses and paid great sums of money for their extravagant lifestyle.  If they had just paid themselves a “mere” $10 million a year for the first ten years and invested the rest back into the Dodgers (i.e., international scouting and player development) they would have been ultra successful and built a powerhouse.  They had the personnel in place.  They had a solid core of players and coaches and scouts that were as good as anyone, but power and money often corrupts (or maybe they were already corrupt) and the rest is history.

Frank McCourt is an astute businessman who often utilizes “sharp” practices to achieve his ends.  To this day, it is hard to get his former employees to say anything bad about him.  They admit he made some big mistakes (really big mistakes) and was greedy, but they also say that no one wrote about all the good Frank did, all the charities he funded, and how he was really liked by the people who worked for him.

Fans call him a scumbag, but you won’t hear that from the people closest to him.  The best of us are usually not as good as we think and the worst of us are not as bad as we think.  In some ways, Frank was a humanitarian, funding baseball fields and cancer research and various other charities.  In other ways he was a money-grubbing, greedy rat bastard.

I wanted the “good Frank McCourt” not the greedy, Dodger-looting version we got.

It is for this same reason that I have trepidation about the new ownership.  For the record, I am not against them, but I am suspicious of them.  I am hopeful, but I have concerns.  No matter what they say, there is a point of where the spending will have to stop.  Guggenheim & Company is answerable to their partners and shareholders.  They cannot spend without impunity.  The Dodgers will have to generate a huge profit… and I think they will, but I am concerned.  Power and money corrupts some people and it makes others think they are “bullet-proof.”  I think Frank thought that.

I would have been more comfortable with Mark Cuban or Steven Cohen as owner, but Guggs and Company bid $600 million more than the number two bidder.  I understand that they wanted to insure they were the high bidder, but $600 million is a lot.  To pay $600 million more than you needed to for the Dodgers sends me a red flag. To be in bed with Frank McCourt on the Parking Lots and the land around the stadium concerns me.  That they lied about it concerns me.  That Magic Johnson is just a figurehead, front-man concerns me.  That they took on so much salary for players with uncertain futures (Crawford & Beckett) concerns me.  Now, it may all turn out fine, but I have concerns.

It doesn’t mean that I am not going to root for the Dodgers or like them less, but I have seen companies with deep pockets make blunder after blunder.  In my industry (water treatment), the industry leader (Culligan) has filed bankruptcy multiple times.  Money buys a lot, but not everything.  Sometimes, its’ a bad thing.

Stan Kasten seems to be the right man for the job and the Dodgers are not just putting lipstick on  a pig – they are re-building the foundation, the stadium, the players, the staff, the Brand.   Let’s hope it all goes according to plan.  The best plan is that Hanley Ramirez asks the Dodgers to play 3B and has an MVP-Type year, that Carl Crawford returns to his glory days and hits .320 and that Josh Beckett will win 18 games.  I can’t really see it all happening, but I hope I am dead wrong!

Guggenheim Partners is an unusual financial services company specializing in hedge funds, wealth management, securities, insurance, investment banking, capital markets and other financial areas.  Since 2009, they have been diversifying by buying the Dodgers and Dick Clark Productions.  Recently, they have acquired a majority stake in King Tech International Limited, a leading asphalt rubber  specialist in The People’s Republic of China.  They are unusual indeed – this is uncharted ground – let’s hope they blaze a trail and leave a good legacy.  I really hope it happens, but I have my doubts.  Time is the only thing that will tell the tale…

Don’t forget what is the name of this blog:

I am not a Dodger basher, but I am not ready to drink the Kool-Aid either.   I’m from Missouri…

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

31 Responses to “Why I Supported Frank McCourt”

  1. Badger says:

    Wow. Where to start.

    I have known you a long time and still consider you a friend. Even though over the years we have disagreed on so many issues, for the most part we have gone beyond them and shared a bond with our team. You and I are wired differently but both are Dodger fans, so I give you the benefit of the doubt most of the times. I have seen you rationalize your positions many times over the years, and I am seeing it again today.

    You won’t walk back the “proud” comment so let me attempt to do it for you. You aren’t proud of the midgets. You respect them for what they have accomplished. I get that. You just can’t be proud of your opponent. To be proud suggests contentment and satisfaction with their achievement. You can be proud that YOUR team played them hard, gave it all they had but came up short, but you cannot be proud that your team lost to it’s rival. You can respect your opponent, but you cannot be proud of them. It’s just doesn’t make any sense. It’s an extreme contradiction.

    About McCourt. I get the point about wanting a family ownership, but that time is gone and this guy McCourt was the wrong choice from the beginning. The way you rationalize your view reminds me of how you did the same thing on another guy we disagreed about vehemently 12 years ago. We know how that turned out. It was just not that difficult to read the tea leaves on this guy Mark. His history was there for anyone who took the time to read it. He was an underfunded small fish in a big pond who, by most accounts, didn’t have any friends. Those that worked with him, most of them anyway, walked away from him with scars from his litigation tactics. He sued everybody that came in contact with him. His wife was always a high maintenance leach and the only reason they gave any money to charities was for tax write offs and superficial public relations moves. They were counterfeit from the beginning and remain so today.

    As for the new owners, you know I am the first guy to point out the uber rich as being suspicious. I don’t like people who make ridiculous money without producing a freaking thing. Of course what you say regarding the Guggensheisters and how they make their money is true. I am sure I wouldn’t like any of them on a personal level, but, I really don’t need to. They come in with a strong record of success in their business ventures. I trust they saw in the Dodgers what many of us have known for years – they should be able to make as much money with this team as the Steinbrenners have made with the Yankees. Look no further than New York for that model. With a stadium the team owns that holds over 50,000, and a new, more lucrative, t.v. deal ready to be implemented, the Dodgers are primed for financial success. The Gaggenheims paid a lot of money for the Dodgers, but you can bet your ass they will take your money, and my money, and the money from millions of Dodger fans and make that 2 billion into 3 billion post haste. I believe the wrong team of ownership is gone and the right team is in place. I don’t share your concerns over this issue.

    The Dodgers are back. I look forward to a team we can all be proud of in the future.

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    Family or corporate owned? Some of the family own teams today just do not put the resources into their team, to win. Like the Cubs have seen; or K.C. and others.

    But some corporate follow suite. They might see owning a team as a write-off of sorts. And just have some fun fellows.

    Corporate ownership can also kill a team — but in the case of the Dodgers now, they want a winner. Call them the Yankees of the West if you will . . . but they will do what they have to do to make a winner. And I believe if the Dodgers are struggling next season at the end of June or into July — ownership would dump Donnie Boy for a new manager. With the roster the Dodgers have, they are expected to win.

    Ralph Branca & Bobby Thomson became friends and went to signings together; I have a wood holder, with a ball signed by each and a description of the event.

    I like Mark, love the Dodgers and have for over 64 years, but I ALWAYS want to beat the Giants. In the end, I would rather have a N.L. West team win the pennant if the Dodgers cannot. And a National League team win the World Series.

  3. RogerCraig says:

    Mark,

    I totally get what you are saying. You have articulated how you feel and why you feel that way. It appears to me to be balanced and logical. If someone wants to disagree they can, but I doubt they can explain why. I can see how much you love the Dodgers and if some imbecile says you do not, I wonder if they have had a Dodger Blog for ten years?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I cannot personally say that I am proud of the Giants, but I have no problems with you saying that. You are a bigger man than I am. I hate those guys.

  5. Bobbie17 says:

    I just recalled that the Dodgers hired Colletti away from the Giants, hoping, I think, to have some of their success. It hasn’t worked out.

  6. Kevin says:

    The only thing you wrote that makes any sense is “Life is too short for me to do that.”….I’ve seen you and your right you probably don’t have much time left.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      There were three men on death row, Badger, Ken, and Kevin. They were all set to be put in the electric chair. Badger gets strapped up first. The executioner asks if he\’s got any last words to say. Badger says, \”Bless you my child.\” The executioner proceeds to the switch, but nothing happens. The executioner tells Badger, that he\’s free to go. He then straps Ken down and asks for his last words. Ken says, \”God bless America.\” The executioner pulls the switch, but again nothing happens. The executioner tells Ken that he is free to go. He then straps Kevin in the seat and asks for his last words. Kevin replies, \”You forgot to plug in the damn thing, you idiot!\”

      You\’ll die before me, Kevin. I\’m confident of that fact!

      • Badger says:

        Electric chair?!!?

        I was acquitted of those charges!!

      • Vivek says:

        I would enjoy this book for I’m familiar with the A. Ashes story…I bet this is a good one!I’m also trniyg to grow my audio book collection so winning this would be awesome!!Thanks so much,Darbydarbyscloset at yahoo dot com

  7. Badger says:

    The team owner at the top of this list might surprise you. It did me.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/46941774/The_10_Richest_MLB_Owners

    The two teams at the top of this list won’t surprise anyone:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ys-forbes-yankees_most_valuable_team_in_mlb_032112

    I guess the bottom line for me is I am just so happy that McGreaseball is outta there. For a guy like him to own the second most valuable franchise in all of baseball was not only a travesty, it was down right embarrassing.

  8. Ken says:

    Please don’t break my hair. :)

    “Shoot, even Juan Marichal and John Roseboro became fast friends after they retired.” Well said.

    Mark – I agree with almost all that you said today (we all had hope and were extremely disappointed with McShart) and as a person who has dealt with and become comfortable with many seemingly oxymoronic positions I understand and appreciate your position even though some people may currently think that some of your views are contradictory.

    I am rooting for Detroit not just because they are playing the gints but also because the people of Detroit really need something to help them begin to have real hope.

    The Crazy Guggenheims probably overpaid for the dodgers but the truth of the matter will not be known until the next TV contract is signed.

  9. Win For Vin says:

    I think it’d be easier to root for the Giants if the fans (the ones here anyway…Central Valley) weren’t so obnoxious. Living here in CA-it’s pretty much black and white (or blue or orange…with occasional greens and reds). All the papers and TV carry the Giants…yet it seems the same distance to me. The papers only talk about the Lakers too…which perplexes me..they can’t figure out who to cover. Giant homers Duane Kuiper (who hates the Dodgers) and Mike Krukow (who’s from Long Beach…BTW) add to the mix for sure. Listening to Vin forever…you can never tell who he favors…which made me mad as a kid! Last but not least…the stupid “Beat LA” crap…started with the Celtic fans in the early 80′s…All this…just adds to the fury. The LA Times can be a tough place to go everyday when you’re a Dodger fan. I like this website most. No one really cusses anyone else out, and everyone is very knowledgeable.

    Frank McCourt? I guess he’s a shrewd businessman…but a team owner (to me) needs to love his team AND sport…Look how Jeffrey Loria is ruining the Marlins. Colletti? I still don’t trust him…When you’re a Giant…you’re a Giant all the way…from your first cigarette….
    I like the new Hunsicker hire and teaming with Kasten…I just hope they’re the ones really in charge.

    And, Magic just might be a front guy…He could tell you about the “Beat LA” Shtick, though!

    • Badger says:

      If Magic owns 3% of the team, he put in a sh*t load of money (I read $50 million) on this deal. He has skin in the game, so, he is NOT just a figurehead. I am sure he wants the Dodgers to be successful.

      Vin, having grown up in Southern Cal in the 60s, and lived in Northern Cal for over 20 years, I KNOW what it means to be a Dodger fan in Giant country. They are relentless with their hate for the Dodgers. I took heat for years living up there. No no how, not ever would a Giant fan, even with his dying breath, say they were “proud” of the Dodgers. I say again, and I will continue to say, that is just weird to hear coming from a Dodger fan. Some of you don’t mind, and some have said they “get it”. Well, I can’t imagine thinking that way if you ever had to live among gint fans. They are brutal. Had a couple of softball buddies actually take a dump in my Dodger hat, pissed all over it and left it in my truck. I’m telling you, they HATE the Dodgers!

      “Shoot, even Juan Marichal and John Roseboro became fast friends after they retired.”

      Neither one of them are from L.A. or San Francisco.

  10. Bobby says:

    Sorry Mark, your posts and this blog are awesome, and we all love being here, but the way you worded that you’re proud of the Giants cannot be let go that easily by REAL Dodger fans!!

    That was akin to Mitt’s 47% comment. At least you’re not trying to back off!!

    I am not “proud” of the Giants, but I am impressed by the winner mentality they’ve developed. That mentality is what scares me in this World Series.

    I will never be “proud” of the Giants. I hope they suffer in hell. Let them all rot. (with love, of course, as lots of my friends/family are Giant fans and this is all in good fun)

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    Wow, the game . . . just think ! Uribe could have hit that HR and the other HR if the Dodgers were playing.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    I think think that Verlander thought this first game would be a cake-walk for him. One of the best pitchers in baseball, walking into S.F. and mow them down.

    The N.L. is showing how to win games tonight (so far) . . .

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    If Giant fans (softball buddies or not) had did what they did to you to me, they would have had three choices: Eat it, wear it or get it beat out of you. I don’t play dat!

    My wife’s family all live in SF and my step-son and daughter are big Giant fans. They have all learned not to talk trash about it to me, but I am a trash talk champion. So, we have an uneasy truce. It wasn’t always that way, but this year, no one has said boo about the Giants to me.

    Not all Giants fans are idiots (a lot of them are). There are some idiot Dodger fans too. I prefer to treat people the way they treat me. Treat me bad – I’ll double it to you.

    I am: No Better Friend – No Worse Enemy!

  14. Gonzo says:

    Well I’m glad the skirmishing is over…for now. Mark I understood what you meant in the sentence that shall not be mentioned. I saw your use of the work “not” nice. I couldn’t help but rib you a bit. Then Jae comes out with his take and I thought it was funny. But seriously man, you say stuff sometimes – like most of us in here do that gets reaction and we’ll get lit up for it. I know you have thick skin talking crap is what’s fun.

    You’re a good man. Mad respect.

  15. Badger says:

    “If Giant fans (softball buddies or not) had did what they did to you to me, they would have had three choices: Eat it, wear it or get it beat out of you. I don’t play dat!”

    Yeah, sure.

    First of all, you don’t know these guys. They were all like a pack of badgers. That is why we were able to go to state every year and actually win a few. Secondly, they were my friends. Evidently you never played on a team that was full of practical jokers. I got ‘em back. I flattened a tire and stole the spare on one guy’s truck, and put Dodger bumper stickers on another. He had a helluva time getting those off. It was all in fun. And after all, it was just a freakin’ hat.

    But the point was not that you are the baddest man on the planet, or at least think you are, the point is, the Giant fans HATE the Dodgers with a passion. If I were to tell those guys that you, a Dodger fan, were actually proud of the fact the Giants beat the Dodgers and won the pennant, they would have laughed their collective asses off at you.

    Come on Tigers. Wake the f*@& up.

  16. Mark_Timmons says:

    You were born 100 years too late. You would have made a good Hatfield… or McCoy.

  17. Badger says:

    I think by nature I am just more competitive than you. That is what drove me to be a combat decorated Marine when I was younger and a tournament softball player into my late 50′s. I was never proud of losing.

    Different strokes.

  18. Mark_Timmons says:

    If you are more competitive than me, you are a bad man. At 59, I still dive in ping-pong and raquetball.

  19. Badger says:

    Ping pong?

    At age 56 I played shortstop in the Redwood Empire League Over 30 MABL. I’ll turn to ping pong when I am in the Veterans Home.

  20. Mark_Timmons says:

    You\’ve never seen me and my sons play. I guarantee that you will be drenched with sweat after the first game. I played softball until I was 55 – that was when I ran out of cartlidge in my right hip. I ain\’t as good as I once was, but I\’m as good once as I ever was and I can still beat my sons-in-laws in arm wresting.

    But boy, it is getting hard.

  21. Badger says:

    Actually, I’m done too. Knee went in an accident at work about 7 years ago. I continued playing for a couple of years, but, I wasn’t the same. My ortho at the VA says I am now a replacement candidate. I had a great run. Played competitive for many years, played softball for two national championship teams, and played baseball until I was 56. All the teams I played on were fast and athletic. Now, the nationally ranked slow pitch teams are all your size and hit the ball a mile. Dint used to be like that. They aren’t necessarily great athletes anymore, they are just big and strong. That is why I went back to baseball for my last few years. MABL was a great place for me to keep playing. I miss it, but, it’s all part of getting older. I guess I could always take up ping pong. You don’t need to be an athlete to do that. I went bowling when I was in S.F. a couple weeks ago. Bowled a 156. Not bad.

    Don’t have a horse in the WS, but I think the city of Detroit could use a break. Everything is working just fine in S.F.. Always has. But Detroit has been hit hard. I am doing something I usually don’t do, and that is pull for an A.L. team. Go Tigers.

    But, it sure seems ALL the breaks are going the gints way. I have never seen a ball hit a bat three times on one pitch, and to think it broke the bat and drove in two runs tells me the gods, so far, are definitely on the midgets side. Oh well. Hopefully it doesn’t end this way, and if it does, the Dodgers will put an end to the lucky run next year.

  22. Mark_Timmons says:

    Disagree on the ping-pong. Check out this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NodCOX6NwO0

    We are not quite as good as these guys but we are in the same zip code.

  23. Badger says:

    Hey, I didn’t say pong players weren’t athletes. Some actually are. I said you don’t have to be an athlete to play the game. There are actually some pretty good athletes that play golf too, but you sure as hell don’t have to be athletic to play that game either. You just stand there, hit a ball that is just lying on the ground, then drive a cart to the ball and do it again. My grandmother could play golf and she hasn’t been with us for a few decades. Same with pong, just stand there with a paddle in your hand and hit the little ball back over the net. Most of the sports I played actually involved a lot of running and had some kind of ball involved. Baseball, football, basketball, tennis – and I was also WSI lifeguard (no ball there). I just can’t get behind golf, and nobody I know has a ping pong table. I think they have one down at the Senior Center. Maybe I’ll drop by there and see if I can kick some 80 year old’s ass in the manly game of pong.

    Is that damn gint game over yet? Looks like Detroit got lazy in their time off. Strap it up Tigers. You are in a series.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Why I Supported Frank McCourt Most of the time, some of you say I am a “Dodger Homer”, some of you say that I only see things through “blue” glasses.  Now, however, I am a pariah because I said that I was proud of the Giants.  I guess you want it both ways.  I’m a Dodger homer but shouldn’t be [...]… [...]

  2. [...] The rest of the article can be found here: LADodgerTalk.com – Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Vin Scully, Andre Ethier and the Dodgers [...]


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