Frank McCourt And Public Perception

LOS ANGELES CA - AUGUST 31: Frank McCourt (L) owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles County Superior Court for day two of a non-jury divorce trial on August 31 2010 in Los Angeles California. The trial being presided over by Judge Scott M. Gordon in California Superior Court is to decide whether Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team or whether his estranged wife and former Dodger CEO Jamie McCourt still has ownership stake in the team. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Over on SB Nation Los Angeles, I took a stab at the McCourts (no, not literally):

But, with all things McCourt, perception overwhelms reality. Again, this all gets magnified by the on-field disappointment of this year's team. Ownership troubles are easy to sweep under the rug when the team plays in two straight National League Championship Series after nearly two decades of playoff irrelevance. But when the team loses, as this year's team has, the it's easier to blame McCourt for not spending to get an ace (ignoring that starting pitching, right now, is the team's biggest strength) than to focus on the failure and under performance of core players like Matt Kemp, James Loney, Jonathan Broxton, and Russell Martin.

Part of the lack of faith in Frank McCourt stems from his disingenuous character. He is an owner intensely concerned about public perception despite constantly shooting himself in the foot. In a 2007 meeting with readers of Jon Weisman's Dodger Thoughts (myself included), McCourt was asked if the Dodgers would build a statue in front of the stadium as several teams have done in recent years. We all collectively rolled our eyes when McCourt said he would build a statue of the fans. It was classic McCourt, a lip service response that was pandering at least and dishonesty at worst.

Even former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley is fed up with the McCourts, telling Shaikin yesterday that "it would be best for the franchise and the city if there was new ownership." Part of me wants to remind O'Malley that perhaps the Dodgers wouldn't have been in this spot if he didn't sell the team to Fox, but there is truth to his words.

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In happier news, David Brown of Yahoo! Sports had a wonderful interview with Vin Scully. You can listen to the audio here.

Manager Joe Torre has made his decision for 2011 and has told his family and Ned Colletti, but he isn't yet ready to announce that decision, writes Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. I'll be covering all three games this weekend at Dodger Stadium, so from a purely selfish standpoint I hope he announces it very soon.

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