Question of the Day: Who would make a good trustee to take over the running of the Dodgers? [Updated]
Writers from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on who should run the Dodgers now that Major League Baseball has taken control. Check back throughout the day and feel free to leave a response of your own.
Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times
If the goal is to restore the integrity and tradition of the Dodger brand, there’s no one better suited to do that then the man whose family instilled those things in the franchise in the first place: former owner Peter O’Malley.
The Dodgers personified class and dignity under the O’Malley family’s leadership, building a strong bond with the community and the team’s legions of fans -- things that must now be rebuilt. Plus, O’Malley has the experience and the knowledge to run a baseball team, since he’s already done that.
O’Malley’s one flaw may be the fact that he’s a really nice guy -– perhaps too nice for the trench warfare that Frank McCourt appears to be preparing for. So for Plan B, how about the Terminator, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a fiscal conservative known for rooting out wasteful spending?
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Major League Baseball has a chance to make a statement while helping the Dodgers get back on strong footing. There’s no more capable person to step in as a trustee to run the Dodgers than Kim Ng, the former University of Chicago softball player who recently left her front office position with the Dodgers to help Joe Torre in his new role as the head of baseball operations.
Ng should have been a general manager by now but appears to have bumped up against a glass ceiling, with no club bold enough to be the first to hire a female general manager. But anyone who has worked with her has seen her as a brilliant and tireless manager.
She would be perfectly qualified for this challenge, as she is trusted by Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB’s other leaders, and understands the Dodgers’ unusual circumstances as well as anyone. She’s ready and available. The only question is whether she’s willing.
Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun
This is almost a trick question. The Dodgers need somebody to ride in on a white horse and remind fans that they're still the Dodgers and that happy days will soon be here again. The perfect guy for that particular assignment would be former owner Peter O'Malley. But it seems unlikely that Bud Selig would offer him the assignment, and it's also questionable whether O'Malley would accept it unless he's in a position to buy a controlling interest in the team, which I'm guessing he's not.
Which brings us to the more practical candidate, former Braves and Nationals president Stan Kasten, who is a tough operator who knows the game inside and out and knows where all the bodies are buried. Kasten is a take-no-crap guy who would be perfect to rein in this renegade front office and get the franchise ready for sale, which is what this is all about.
Joseph Schwerdt, South Florida Sun Sentinel
It’s fine to look for a baseball executive-type to run the Dodgers. Stan Kasten would do a good job. He ran the Braves for 16 years, during which they won a World Series and had the highest winning percentage in the majors. MLB Executive Vice President John McHale Jr.’s name has been mentioned. Sure.
But Commissioner Bud Selig needs to include into the mix someone who bleeds Dodger blue. Perhaps he puts a team of trustees in charge that would include a proven executive and some former Dodgers. What’s Tommy Lasorda doing these days? Doesn’t Bill Russell work for Major League Baseball? How about Rick Dempsey? Sandy Koufax, even.
The Dodgers are one of baseball’s most storied franchises. During this time of turmoil, they need to be overseen not just someone who can run the day-to-day but by those who are part of the team’s heart and soul.]
Photo: Peter O'Malley, left, shakes hands with Frank McCourt in 2008. Credit: Jon SooHoo / Los Angeles Dodgers