Opinion Corner: McFraud finally goneOne of the appealing things about sports is how real and fair they generally are. At least at the upper levels, things are usually on the up and up. You can’t buy a roster spot. You can’t pay for minutes. You generally earn what you get. There isn’t a lot of gray area. But there are exceptions of course where bad people do the wrong thing and get rewarded.
One of the appealing things about sports is how real and fair they generally are.
At least at the upper levels, things are usually on the up and up.
You can’t buy a roster spot. You can’t pay for minutes. You generally earn what you get. There isn’t a lot of gray area.
But there are exceptions of course where bad people do the wrong thing and get rewarded.
Never has this happened more egregiously than with Frank McCourt, the soon-to-be ex-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I’ve paid special attention to McCourt’s sordid and ugly handling of the franchise because I was brain-washed a Dodger fan when I was a lad. My dad was an admirer of the Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale-led Dodgers of the 1950s and 60s and that rubbed off. I owned a knock-off Orel Hershiser jersey as a youngster. Fairly certain I was the only one with that jersey in the greater Fergus Falls, Minn., area back in the day.
Those were the O’Malley family Dodgers, though. They sold the team to Rupert Murdoch and then he quickly peddled it — for a handsome profit, of course — to the McCourt train wreck.
When McCourt bought the team he paid in credit. He had little cash to put down on the purchase, which should have been a massive red flag.
Still, he was allowed to buy the club for about $485 million and then proceeded to run the once-proud franchise directly into the ground.
He paid his sons massive amounts of money for jobs they did not do; did the same with his wife, who knew nothing about baseball and little about anything else, apparently, except running into the arms of another man while still married to dear Frank.
McCourt borrowed money against the team — isn’t that skimming? — to fund his lavish lifestyle, while slashing the payroll under $90 million — less than that of the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers — before finally hitting rock bottom last year and had to file for bankruptcy.
Finally forced to sell the team, after driving loyal fans away to the lowest season attendance in the team’s history, it was announced last week that the winning bid for the team was just north of $2 billion. Which means after essentially destroying one of Baseball’s marquee franchises, McCourt will walk away with what some business experts believe will be upwards of $700 million in capital gain.
McCourt, also according to multiple reports, did not pay any taxes for the last year-and-a-half, proving to be very Houdini-esque at finding and jumping through some amazing tax loopholes that no doubt will be left open forever for wealthy frauds like McCourt.
When a new coach is hired you often hear about a ‘honeymoon period.’ Magic Johnson, one of the new co-owners of the team, wouldn’t need much of a honeymoon anywhere, especially in Los Angeles. But he’ll certainly have one and it will be lengthy. Not only is he beloved, but he’s not Frank McCourt.
How Magic and his partners do in bringing the Dodgers back to life, only time will tell. But one thing is certain, he can’t do any worse than Frank McCourt.