Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Dodgers a good bet to just keep winning
More about the Dodgers and various other ambitions from Frank McCourt, who's been talking a lot lately:
Court filings in the divorce case revealed that McCourt also remains active in planning for an NFL stadium in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
"There's no question L.A. should have an NFL franchise," he said. "It's probably the worst-kept secret in Los Angeles that the NFL would love to be at Chavez Ravine. Other than that, I can't comment right now."
McCourt opened his remarks by addressing what he called "the elephant in the room." He does not want to discuss his divorce publicly, he said, other than to assure fans concerned about how the proceedings might impact ownership of the Dodgers.
Jamie McCourt, whom he fired as the Dodgers' chief executive, claims co-ownership of the team. She has asked a court to invalidate a marital property agreement that provides her with sole ownership of the couple's residential properties and provides him with sole ownership of the Dodgers and other business assets. No trial date has been set.
McCourt said he was gratified by the record number of runners—and the 6,000 volunteers — that participated in the marathon during the debut of the route from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. He said organizers plan to "tweak the course a little bit" and attract as many as 5,000 more runners next year. He set as an eventual goal that every runner would compete on behalf of a charity.
He saluted the cooperation among the four cities along the route — Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica — and said that kind of cooperation will be necessary to develop what he calls the "robust public transit" so desperately needed in the Southland.
The success of the marathon, he said, was tempered by traffic congestion that forced some runners to abandon their cars along the freeway and jog to the starting line at Dodger Stadium. He said local governments urgently need to solve traffic and transportation issues, noting that the sellout crowd on opening day inevitably will struggle to get out of the ballpark and onto streets and freeways during the afternoon rush hour.
"There's been that story every year for 52 years," McCourt said. "It's time for us as a community to change it."
Do you think McCourt recognizes the contradiction here? The traffic around Dodger Stadium is debilitating ... and, hey, let's build an 80,000-seat football stadium in the middle of the Dodger Stadium parking lot!
Leaving that aside, it's fair to point out -- as McCourt does, elsewhere in the interview -- that the Dodgers have reached the playoffs four times in the six years he's owned the franchise. And if they make it again this year, it'll be the best seven-year run in franchise history (just in terms of earning postseason berths).
Yes, ownership seems a mess right now. Yes, Ned Colletti (with the acquiescence of McCourt) has spent some silly money on players who could not, in the event, actually play (much).
In retrospect, though, it's getting awfully hard to argue with the results.