Dodgers Web musings: As the McCourt world turns -- what is Jamie's role in potential new TV contract?
Apparently, it’s just never going to be simple. Not in the foreseeable future, anyway. Not as long as Frank and Jamie McCourt still own the Dodgers.
Frank was unexpectedly babbling nonstop to the media in New York and complaining that Commissioner Bud Selig won’t take his call, which The Times’ T.J. Simers found just a wee bit hypocritical.
Frank’s morning complaint on CNBC’s "Squaw Box’’ was that he just couldn’t understand why Selig won’t explain himself. Guess that eight-page letter Selig sent must have been full of blanks.
Now comes word from The Times’ Bill Shaikin that one of the reasons Selig is less than eager to approve the proposed deal with Fox is that Jamie has yet to approve it.
Jamie has been quiet throughout baseball’s taking over control of the Dodgers, save for a brief statement welcoming the commissioner’s actions.
Despite Frank’s claims, it is probably not the smartest thing to lock up the Dodgers’ broadcasting rights for the next 17 years. Particularly when the original thought was to start their own network.
Meanwhile, Shaikin reports that team monitor Tom Schieffer arrived at Dodger Stadium for the first time Thursday and spoke with Frank on the phone.
The Times’ Bill Dwyre came away from Schieffer’s introductory press conference thinking that behind an easygoing manner is a man who clearly plans to take charge.
Schieffer’s press conference was held in Los Angeles while Frank held his in New York (for those interested, there is a full audio report from ESPN Radio here). Among other things, Frank complained that baseball’s investigation had a predetermined result, which may well be true.
It made for an interesting 24 hours, and it figures to stay that way for awhile.
Also on the web:
-- Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown continues his excellent work, observing of Frank:
"McCourt counters with defiance. He counters with remorse. He stands between his son and his vice chairman and pokes a finger into Selig’s chest, like a man with nothing to lose but his money and his reputation, and, well, there’s so little left of either."
-- Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce won’t criticize Frank too harshly for wanting to fight, but asks: Is the effort worth it?
-- ESPN/LA’s Ramona Shelburne said there is a fundamental disconnect between Frank looking at the Dodgers as an asset and the fans who see them as a civic treasure.
-- ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider status required) said Frank’s attempt at winning public opinion comes much too late.
-- Washington Post columnist Jayson Reid, who covered the Dodgers for The Times when Frank purchased the Dodgers, said Selig deserves much of the blame for the franchise’s woes for agreeing to let Frank have the team.
-- Ross Newhan, The Times’ national baseball writer during the purchase, also rails against Selig for approving the purchase to a buyer without cash.
-- As only they can do back in the center of the universe, New York Times columnist George Vecsey wonders if this mess isn’t all cosmic comeuppance to the Dodgers for leaving Brooklyn. Honest.
-- Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth couldn’t help but notice the contrast in Wednesday’s press conference styles:
"When compared to the highly emotional tone McCourt brought to the table in front of reporters just moments earlier, Schieffer looked as if he'd just watched a hound dog chase his tail in circles before collapsing of exhaustion, then offering him a bone.’’
-- Zocalo Public Square’s D.J. Waldie, a contributing editor at The Times, longs for the days when Los Angeles could take proper care of its own institutions without requiring outside direction.
-- The Times’ Shelby Grad and Richard Winton said Bryan Stow, the Giants fan severely beaten at Dodger Stadium on opening day, is showing small signs of improvement.
-- The Hollywood Reporter’s Lindsay Powers said Charlie Sheen will donate all proceeds from merchandise sales at his San Francisco show to benefit Stow.
-- Jonathan Broxton tells The Times’ Dylan Hernandez he is very close to the All-Star form he displayed in the first half last season.
-- Hernandez again, this time profiling the growing presence of Andre Ethier on the Dodgers.
-- Here is a Fox video with Kevin Kennedy discussing Ethier’s rise.
-- Yahoo Sports’ Brown said billionaire Ron Burkle has not committed to being on Steve Garvey’s group that wants to buy the Dodgers.
-- Dodgers.com’s Ken Gurnick said the 2009 Matt Kemp has returned.
-- LA Weekly’s Gene Maddaus developer Stanley Stalford still dreams of public ownership of the Dodgers.
-- Steve Dilbeck