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How scary is this: Pushed into a corner, a desperate Frank McCourt vows to fight on

Frank6 "I have just begun to fight,’’ said "Irish’’ Frank McCourt.

Scarier words have been spoken, just not recently. I guess we’ve known for some time now this was not going to end well, but just how deep into the muck do we have to delve?

Frank McCourt is a desperate man. It’s almost sad, McCourt trying to instantly reinvent himself only after Commissioner Bud Selig has stepped in and taken control of the team.

Now he wants to talk to the media? Now he wants to go out and mingle in the right-field pavilion? Now he wants to open up?

He is flailing in all directions, though I remain convinced he believes every word he utters. He’s like the teenager who’s come up with some wild excuse for a boneheaded move, repeating it until he actually begins to believe his own ramblings.

Let’s see here, the reason he did not talk to the media for the last 18 months was because his boys asked him not to discuss the divorce. Really? So don’t talk about the divorce. There were only about 99 other topics to discuss.

"Recently, my boys came to me and said it was OK for me to speak out and to defend myself,’’ he told The Times' Bill Shaikin. "I'm going to do that. I'm going to continue to do that. I love this team. I love this game. I love this community.’’

He could have been defending himself against his mismanagement of the team for the last 18 months without talking divorce. Now backed into a corner by MLB, he suddenly plays his divorce like a sympathy card.

And I’m getting real weary of his "love the team’’ and "love the community’’ routine. He’s not from our community and doesn’t know it. He's from Boston and now lives in one of the Southland’s most expensive hotels a block off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

For the last 18 months, he has barely worked at Dodger Stadium. He has an office in Beverly Hills. He had other things on his plate -- like the NFL and Dodger City Walk and buying a Premier League soccer team with the Chinese. When he pushed out team President Dennis Mannion in October, he said he was returning to the stadium to be more hands-on. It never happened.

Somebody clearly told him he needed to sound contrite, but he can’t quite pull it off. He apologizes but only in the vaguest of terms. He can never quite say what it is he’s apologizing for. He apologized for what fans think he might have done wrong.

"What matters is that is the perception,’’ he told Shaikin. "I'm sorry that is their perception.’’

See, just all that misguided perception. And he keeps saying over and over how the only reason he is in financial trouble is because MLB won’t approve his new mega-deal with Fox.

"It's not how you run a business. On the other hand, if somebody prevents you from accessing your capital and executing your financial plans, then things like this happen. We were way out in front of all this.’’

That would be the first thing he was out in front of.

"It's the series of delays in allowing us to close this transaction that has created the problem here. Otherwise, there would be no problem here.’’

OK, come on, get real here. The Dodgers still have two more years on their existing contract with Fox. If they were being run properly, he would not need a new 17-year deal to bail him out and meet payroll now.

And though a great deal for McCourt with its $285 million up front, I remain highly skeptical it’s a great deal for the Dodgers. How can anyone know what their rights deal will be worth 10, 15 or 20 years from now? It’s risky and dangerous, and could even cripple the team financially in later years.

He also said he’ll agree that none of the funds from the Fox transaction go to paying off Jamie McCourt in their divorce settlement, which is kind of silly. If he doesn’t take it from the TV deal, he’s going to take it from some other team revenue stream. The Dodgers are his only revenue source.

Deeper into the murk we go, and he has only begun to fight. Scary as it can be.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Frank McCourt. Credit: Ramin Talaie / Bloomberg

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OK, come on, get real here. The Dodgers still have two more years on their existing contract with Fox. If they were being run properly, he would not need a new 17-year deal to bail him out and meet payroll now.
Exactly. All Selig needs to do is sit back for a month or two and the Dodgers financials will be fully exposed. McBankrupt knows this and is going on the offensive. He is a joke.

Mr Selig would you please just flush the toilet already. I'm tried of looking at the crap everyday. I want to cheer my team and listen to Vin, and be assured that MLB has the fan's back. If it can happen here it can happen anywhere, so pull the trigger and get rid of McDork already.
BTW, Frank here's hoping this Bud is not for you, but us fans.

McCourt, what a sham.

When a baseball player has a 'no trade clause' in his contract and the team is desperate move him, sometimes the team will 'sweeten the deal' by giving the player more money to encourage him to accept the terms and leave.

Could McMoney be in the process of exercising a similar strategy now?

Is Scott Boras secretly advising McMoney?

He doesn't get it. And as long as people show up at the park, he will continue to believe he can pull this off. And you are right about the Fox deal, it's good for Frank, Fox and Jamie - it won't be good for the Dodgers and their fans.

Evidently the fact that all of MLB wants him gone isn't enough. The fans can send him the message. Stop buying tickets and this will end soon.

I noted today that in various threads dealing with McCourt, here and at ESPN, there is at least one false note sung by a McCourt publicity stooge. You'll find it referring to how un-American it is to call McCourt to account. That's part of his game, to appeal to fair-play, second chances, the sanctity of private property, the ravages of divorce, his private vows of silence made for his children, his victimage at the hands of Selig, his capable financial "stewardship," his contrition over mistakes made. He's betting Selig will remain silent, giving the McCourt publicity juggernaut no competition in the media. If he's going to be the story, he'll write the story.



Did Chuck Wepner know how to stop bleeding?

Did Imelda Marcos love going barefoot?

Did prison change Gordon Gekko?

Did Houdini return?

Did not.

The good news is the scarier this maniacal wounded animal Frank McCourt gets the more MLB is compelled to move swiftly to oust him. McCourt has pushed MLB to the point of no return. Every man, woman, child and jury in town (except Steve Soboroff) knows that the McCourts are not in the best interest of baseball. Frank is engaged in a futile fight for his decadent lifestyle. Arrogant to the end he has already dug his own grave. No tears.

Lou- Nailed it on the head. Let this pathelic loser twist for a few months and everything will be exposed. Take your time Tom..don't let this empty suit push you around.

The smell of DESPERATION makes the worlds worst Cologne ...

go away frank. just go away.

he has contradicted himself yet again, now the divorce is part of what has happened to the team; assurance of a model franchise yet if it didn't get a deal done with 2 years remaining on its current contract it wouldn't meet payroll first month of season.

I'll stop there, there's so much more and Dilbeck nailed him above. Most on point by Steve is that he really believes what he utters. He really does. And he feels if he says it enough, or loud enough, or to enough audiences, some will catch on and believe too. Just like a politician or two we've seen recently and in history. And 99 other topics - at least, and he was quiet. He didn't come to the stadium to work when he said he would. Dilbeck is also really right on how crippling such a long-term deal that is not your own channel would be.

When you say you'll do something and don't, shame on us or anyone else if he is believed now. There's just not evidence to justify.

And that crack he made about 4 playoffs in 6 years never done? Well gee whiz little man, look at what you owners and the idiot commish have done to our game. We've got more teams than needed with talent lacking, more routes to get to the playoffs, steroids allowed to affect the game, and the list goes on. Only an idiot believes that six-year run with 0 World Series crowns was better than the 1960s, 1950s, I dare say the 1970s and 1980s. Any fan of the Dodgers should be insulted that he even said that, thinking anyone would be so stupid as to believe he had brought us to some unattained level.

apologizying for what we fans perceive? again, another insult to the fans. and no, that's not a sincere apology where I come from. Means nothing.

having (had) money ain't the same as having brains, that's fer sure

go away frank. just go away.

You've hit the nail on the head, Steve.

Frank just doesn't get it. When pressed as to what he's apologizing for, he reveals what he truly thinks -- that it's the fans who need to change their perceptions.

Wrong, Frank.

Steve, do you similarly think the Lakers' 20-yr deal with Time Warner Cable is ill-advised because it's too long? Isn't it like buying an immediate annuity; i.e., you trade off the possibility of larger investment returns for a guaranteed stream of income? Such deals aren't for everyone, but I think it's unfair to say it's wrong just because you disagree with it.

Soboroff is really trying to earn his money. Give up, Steve (not you, Dilbeck). This guy is a lost cause. And as somebody who's an expert on lost causes, you've done your best. Give it up. Nobody believes him for a second. How did things go in the right field pavilion last night. Did Frank win any coverts?

Please don't boycott going to games. Remember there are hundreds of employees counting on fans to show up. Also how bad would it look to see an empty stadium? Dodger fans need to keep supporting our boys in blue and let the big boys take care of their mess.

Anyone who talks of LA as a "community he loves" isn't being sincere, nor has thought for a minute what LA in fact consists of. It's not that old-fashioned East coast paradigm, which is all McCourt ever knew in Bawstin, and thinks it applies elsewhere or everywhere. This is indicative of his lack of knowing his base here, Dodger tradition, any of it.

He keeps harping on his damn divorce, as if we care a poop about it, like we're some kind of yokels who hate divorced people on religious grounds, which may be insight to what HE thinks about his situation. All we care about is what he refuses to acknowledge, the terrible details that came from the court documents of how he has gutted all of the above. Listen to him attack the only stewards we've got, MLB, "somebody" preventing him from "accessing [his] capital", withdrawing from the Dodgers! so he can "execute" his "financial plans", aka "spend his money." To get back in the ATM booth now occupied by Schieffer, he chooses to speak to the very casual fan, who would be impressed by his Aw Shucking, I'm Sorrrrry! and return to the games. He seems to think his money commingling with the Dodgers, his use of it as his ATM, is going to pass muster and that he will get an E for Effort after all. NO! MLB would not have gone this far only to find that his need for $30 mill a month ago was just a blip that happens all the time, especially to the rich teams, and once the books have been uncooked he'll get Bud's belated seal of approval.

But all of his behavior, how thoroughly hated he is for clinging to OUR special refuge, invading our minds, insisting he has a place there! and that he'll fight as if to KILL rather than let go of it, just makes everything worse. He doesn't get us, he never has tried, it's all a sham. He is ONLY interested in convincing us to give him more of our money. That's all the Dodgers are, to him, a vehicle, a funnel, that gives him unlimited money, he thinks, which is why he has gutted it so that he needs loans to pay the bills. IT CAN'T BUT BE TERRIBLE, the details to come he is pretending won't be there.

He's doomed. Possessed by his Possession. Trying to Sell us ahead of time that what we'll find out won't be real. According to Frank, MLB has simply made an incomprehensible mistake. That none of what we know at this point ever happened. That WE'RE insane, and he's honest!

Bottom line, a guy who would gut his own ATM, who went crazy and withdrew everything from it so that he has to make EMERGENCY DEPOSITS of HUGE SIZE which he DOESN'T HAVE, is a pathological nut, out of self-control, living a delusion. All you have to do is listen to him. He sounds rational, but his facts aren't. He's a case study in the real ailment of our time, smooth-talking scam businessmen overtaken by greed who gut public institutions, like the Dodgers. His bad luck is he didn't have the ken to understand this public institution is loved, and that those who love it will do anything it takes to take it back and protect it from dangerous meglomaniacs like him, who has no understanding he has been dismantling that which possesses him. A vehicle to even bigger, and better things, to gut and dismantle too?

No longer! SOON he will be gone. Hurry up, Schieffer and MLB accountants! We're dying out here. This rapist is killing us.

Not a bad blog entry although sentences with grammar mistakes like "He from Boston.." should not be published by a "serious" national newspaper franchise, even if only in the online edition.

Steve, your column today was great. This guy, McCourt is totally out of touch with the world. Nobody likes him and he doesn't care. He purchased the Dodgers without any cash, mortgaged it to the hilt, and for us to purchase a house we have to come up with10%-20% down.


I feel for Dodgers fans. What kind of scorched earth policy Mr Wannabe has planned for you I shudder to think...I doubt Scheifer and Selig are up to the level of dirty dealings Frank is capable of. Here's a man who fell into some parking lots when Penn Central bellied up, and has used that one stroke of good luck (aka "hard work) to leave an amazing chain of vicious litigation, furious ex-business partners, and massive debt in his wake. Under the BEST of circumstances, McCourt plays dirty, live high on other people's money, and has no compunction about burning every bridge. (Let's see him try to do business in Boston again). Not that Selig has exposed him. now that his ex-wife's presidential bid and his own pipe dreams in Yellowstone Club leadership are up in smoke, I fear you will see what the noveau riche phony is really about. Hell has no fury like a charlatan unclothed!

Shaikin's interview shirked three tough questions about McCourt's profiteering and irresponsibility--(1) What about the $100M+ you and your wife took out of the team for mortgages and other personal needs? (2) What justifies putting your sons on the payroll while neither actually did any work for the team? (3) How could you allow security to deteriorate such that a Giants fan got beaten in the stadium parking lot after a game?

I'm glad Dilbeck wrote something tough to answer that self-serving, pseudo-contrite McCourt interview published yesterday. Shaikin shirked his responsibilities as an interviewer.

Frank has transferred Chavez Ravine and all the Dodger's land to his own Real Estate subsidiary ...

so even if you manage to get rid of him as owner, you're never really going to be rid of him.

Prof Josephine: Thanks for the grammar catch, has been corrected.

500 million dollars in debt. he says no big deal, i pay that debt never late on a payment - EXCEPT those payments could go towards investing in the team, how long will it take to pay that debt anyway? How long will those "on-time payments" cripple our ability to field an elite squad?

An impending IRS investigation for failure to pay taxes for over 5 years. How much will that cripple the teams ability to field an elite squad?

An impending settlement with his ex-wife, for probably close to half of the "3 billion" he gets from FOX. How much will that cripple the teams ability to field an elite squad?

I've been waiting till the team has the rights to it television broadcasts in 2013, more revenue to field an elite team. EXCEPT Frank is so inept at being able to run a team he has to now postpone that for 20 years and cripple our ability to field an elite squad for 20 years.

Prices tripled, payroll stayed the same, McCourt stole hundereds of million bucks from the Dodgers and put them 500 milllion in debt and he wants to stick around? Get outta here McCourt.

Absolutely correct. Fox is willing to pay that much money because it will make uncountable millions from it, millions the Dodgers could have for themselves to build a better product. The Yankees have millions to spend on talent because they derive so much from their own TV network. The Dodgers could easily do the same. That is where the money is. Murdoch was ruthless enough to take the TV rights and toss the team to a stupid putz from Boston. MLB knows the value of those TV rights and correctly stepped in before that money is lost to baseball.

striker and native angelino with really good points

lg - sorry, its unfortunate for those who labor based on attendance. At this point, staying away is the most meaningful delivery of our message to frank. and I will admit because we've seen it before, he's quite possibly not going to be smart enough to get the message, or will remain in denial as he has for lo these many years.

this guy is a greedy snake, if he keeps the team, the city of LA will boycott him!!!

Frank, do us a favor and leave town in the middle of the night!!

Frank knew the rules when he bought the team, so, tough buns idiot!!

Well Dildeck, I think you got it wrong. McCourt buys the team for 450 million and nobody else wants it. The team is now worth 1 billion and a whole lot of people want it at a fire sale price. He has a crazy wife who wants the whole thing after buying FIVE houses in LA and nuclear bombs her ex(with her team of lawyers) to get what she wants, revenge. Then we have Wilbon in NY who owes at least 700 million and maybe over a billion and the team has no value after using the money with Madoff(a great owner). You and MLB make no comments.
The used car salesamn(Selig) wants him out. LA has won their division 3 times in 8 years and 4 playoff years. You just want a different owner, someone more friendly to you.

I am so confused. Didn't Mr. Mccourt say that the divorce would not affect the running of the team,and now he is saying something different.BTW Frank how did you make out in the right-field pavilion Friday night? Was security on high alert?

Steve, you have done an outstanding job on coveraging this McCourt mess and your editorial comments are right on the mark!

Fight or not, he will lose.

Howard: Yep, I am also suspicious of the Lakers agreeing to sell their broadcasting rights for such a long period. The difference, of course, is that the Lakers are at least dealing from a position of financial strength and not desperately looking for a bail out. And I didn't say the deal was wrong, simply gave my skeptical opinion of it.

How many Dodger prospects did McCourt force Colletti to give away in trade to reduce/eliminate taking on salary o the aquired player?

That is using the Dodger farm system as your ATM.

That, to me, is one of the most damaging acts to the future of the organization, and is simply why he must go.

I have to say everyone that I've enjoyed reading your comments - some nice points have been made.

Frank appears to be conniving, narcissistic, and megalomaniacal. He also suffers from the great bane of today’s society in that he won’t accept responsibility for his own actions, preferring to play the victim instead. Its not my fault - the divorce did it to me. Or Bud. Or any of a number of other sources that have impaired him from getting his way. Why I suspect any day now he’ll bring up his mom and dad’s poor parental skills, teachers being too hard on him, kids poking fun of him, and the dog not liking him as other excuses for his ills. Woe is me, thy name is Frank.
In reality, Frank is like any other little three year old that doesn’t like taking his medicine – yell and scream, cry, pitch a fit… anything to keep from swallowing that bitter taste. In my day though if you wouldn’t take your medicine orally, that left only one option - a suppository.
Its time for the suppository now Bud.

He is insane, his son proves it is hereditary and soboroff proves it rubs off, frankie and jamey ought to be arrested for IDENTITY THEFT, they only posed as owners. It boils down to the old adage the best defense is a good offense, frankie baby it ain`t gonna work!!!! You are done and you deserve worse. Remember in your next endeavors your track record precedes you. But you can always say the Dodgers were in the playoffs more times while you were the owner than they weren`t (They just did not play in the World Series and that is the reason for playing ), along with a zillion creditors, and remember the old standby, "just be competitive. "YOU BUM!!!There are many guys in prison and on death row who have played your "i`m sorry and i didn`t realize what was going on and i had other problems. SO DO WE AND IT IS YOU frankie, jamey AND neddie.GOODBYE!!!!!

Sandy Koufax
Roy Campanella
Jackie Robinson
Don Drysdale
Walt Alston
Duke Snider
Jim Gilliam
Pee Wee Reese
Tommy Lasorda
Garvey, Lopes, Russel, Cey
Kirk Gibson

This isn't your team or your town, Frank. You're done. GET OUT.

I just wanted to say you and Steve Dilbeck are doing an awesome job covering the story of McCourt unwinding his bankrupt (morally and fiscally) self in public view.

Mccourt is the perfect example of the dark side of wealth in America. The rich enjoy the fruits of success, but ignore the responsibility that comes along with wealth and power and influence, the responsibility to the people that work with them to make things work. Instead, they take, take, take, and then wonder why things don't work. The rich in America, like McCourt, need to learn to give as well as take, to stay in balance, with the sky and the earth. The answer certainly isn't zero tax breaks, taking on bigger risks, bigger loans, and bigger pipe dreams. At this point Mccourt's ownership of the Dodgers is a dream come true turned into a nightmare -- for him, for the fans, and for L.A.

Hey Frank - is eminent doman un-American (before you answer read the US Constitution!)? Private property can be taken away for the public good. Granted, courts have ruled that private businesses cannot be grabbed by local governments (Raiders case) but don't spin a concept that is untrue based on a legality.
Hey Frank - perception IS reality, where does that put you? in the right field pavillion w/ all you can eat menu that is limited - just like your future here in LA.
PS - are you living in a Donald Trump property?

"I have just begun to fight,’’ said "Irish’’ Frank McCourt.
I wonder if McCourt is related to Chuck "The Bayonne Bleeder" Wepner and is sure isn't related to Butter Bean because next to McCourt, either of them, the Butter Been is a sexy dude!!

But Wepner never gave in either and constantly had to be taken from the ring on a stretcher (figuratively speaking). Or maybe is has some Quary blood in his veins? Naw, that is a insult to Jerry, Mike, Bobby and even the non-fighter James...the reason McCourt could not be related is those guys were MEN not scared children hiding in a corner behind their attorneys and children.

BTW, same goes for the bowery broad he was married to...a backstabbing coward who could care less about the fans or the team.

Great article, Steve! Please keep the light focused on this nightmare! McCourt is pathetic, and truly sick...narcissistic, delusional, manipulative, dishonest. Let's all pray that Selig and MLB pulls the plug on this fiasco a.s.a.p.

Of course, Frank is upset. The Commissioner took away his ATM card.

So how much did he pay the PR people for this coaching?

Apologize without admitting wrong doing.

Contradict previous statements without admitting there is any contradiction...

A few questions I would have asked Frank:

1) What did your sons do to earn $300,000 a year from the dodgers? Were those earnings taxed?

2) How many hours did you spend rehearsing answers to interview questions?

3) You stated as recently as 6 months ago the divorce would have no effect on the dodgers, now you are blaming everything that is going wrong with the dodgers on your divorce. Which is it.

4) Why did you bring up your wife's affair with the chauffeaur in the divorce trial if you promised your sons you wouldn't drag their mother through the mud? California is a no fault state, so there is no reason or advantage to establishing cause.

Frank McCourt is acting no differently than Richard Nixon did in his late days in office. Same crook.

Even more hilarious is the up-from-my-bootstraps background Frank claimed to Jill Painter.

LOL at Frank reinventing himself as a working class slob now his aptain of Industry fantasies are trounced. Yeah, grew up 'very, very modestly'. In Brookline Mass where the Kennedys are from. Gotta love it, this new found man of the people. Here is how he is described on the Dodgers site - no Jay Gatsby background here, folks, and McCourt Construction provided Frank a VERY privileged childhood! In the 70's a Georgetown tuition was already VERY pricey, and the academic-career path for scads of Boston well-to-do.

From the

"His great-grandfather founded the original construction company in 1893. Over the past 110 years and through four generations the McCourt name has been associated with almost all of Boston's major modern development projects, from the Back Bay to Logan Airport, Union Wharf and the original Central Artery. In 1977 Frank McCourt founded The McCourt Company as an offshoot of the original firm."

Yes, it was an OFFSHOOT of a very successful company owed by his family.

Some self-made man!

What's next? A recreation of Oliver Twist?

The only people responsible for the Dodger mess is baseball itself, Mr Selig could have prevented the sale of one of the most storied franchises in baseball history to a parking lott attendent ! a guy who built wealth on suing. We the people of LA request MLB consider a native Angelino ( Magic Johnson, O'Malley , Mr Ellis ) we need an owner that is part of the city, knows its history and more important who understands what the Dodgers mean to our city !


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