Somehow even things Frank McCourt is not responsible for still take on an otherworldly quality.
That record $1.2 billion offer for the Dodgers from Bill Burke and his friends of Mao Tse-tung? Apparently, completely unsolicited. So much so that one of McCourt’s attorneys deemed it a publicity stunt. A publicity stunt for whom, I’m not sure. Pretty sure China gets enough pub.
And then Friday, McCourt’s flak king of no comment, Steve Sugerman, actually came out of hiding to tell The Times' Bill Shaikin: "Any source who would suggest that Bill Burke is a friend of Frank's is uninformed. Mr. Burke is not even an acquaintance of Frank McCourt, and his offer for the team was unsolicited and a surprise. Beyond that, we have nothing more to share."
As for Burke, if you suspected he was simply a front man for this mysterious Eastern financing, go to the head of the class. LA Weekly’s Gene Maddus reports state paperwork Burke has to file as chair of the South Coast Air Quality Management District shows he has at best $4.3 million.
Now that’s a stadium load of money to me, and I’m guessing most of you, but just a tad shy of $1.2 billion. Maybe he was just going to solicit a buck from every Chinese.
It’s all very strange, and unsolicited or not, somehow very McCourt-like.
Also on the web:
-- There is a wonderful piece in GQ magazine by Daniel Riley that has Vin Scully commenting on his greatest baseball moments, several with links to the actual calls.
-- The Daily News’ Kevin Modesti on why there may never be another broadcaster like Scully.
-- In a video, Sports Illustrated looks at the impact of sports in New York after 9/11, including comments from fJoe Torre and Bobby Valentine –- then managing the Yankees and Mets.
-- Clayton Kershaw and Ted Lilly try to find McCourt some extra moola during visit to the U.S. Treasury Bureau of Engraving.
-- Shortstop Dee Gordon, flaws and all, is making a believer out of MikeSciosciasTragicIllness’ Mike Petriello.
-- In a guest piece for The Times, Frederick Cohan, a biology professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut tells how witnessing Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965 changed his life.
-- Steve Dilbeck