Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Frank McCourt: I'll retain Dodgers
By Ramona Shelburne
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- Frank McCourt said he wouldn't change a thing about his seven years as owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and remains confident, despite his recent legal setbacks, that he will be able to retain ownership of the team once his divorce from former wife Jamie McCourt is settled.
"No. I wouldn't do anything differently," McCourt said Tuesday, his first public comments since L.A. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted Jamie McCourt's request to throw out the post-nuptial marital property agreement that would've given Frank McCourt sole ownership of the team.
"We're just going to go through that process. And I'm very, very confident, at the end of the process, I'm going to own the baseball team and someday my four kids are. My confidence in that has not changed a bit, based on what we've gone through. That's how I continue to proceed on a daily basis."
McCourt addressed a small group of reporters after the dedication of the tenth Dodgers Dream field Tuesday in Northridge, a suburb in the San Fernando Valley about 20 miles north of downtown.
He declined comment at baseball's quarterly owners meetings in Arizona last month and all subsequent interview requests.
McCourt said Tuesday that nothing about the day-to-day operations of the team has changed since Gordon's ruling.
"No. Not at all," said McCourt, who has also been acting as the team's president since Dennis Mannion left in October. "If anything I've redoubled my efforts to bring a winner to L.A. That's how I spend my days."
McCourt arrived to the field in Northridge about 30 minutes late and left soon after the dedication ceremony. He said he intended to fly to the team's spring training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., on Wednesday.
Events like Tuesday's field dedication, the last stop on the team's annual community service caravan, are, "what I personally find most joyful and fulfilling," he said.
McCourt said he was optimistic about the Dodgers prospects for the 2011 season.
"I think we made some of the improvements we needed to make in the offseason and I'm very, very excited about the team and its prospects," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing how they come together in spring training."
Asked if he understood the concern of Dodger fans over the team's future, with the ownership and financial situation so unsettled, McCourt maintained that fans should judge him and the team by its performance.
"The fans care about one thing and that's the team winning," he said. "They want to talk about the players and our pitching and who is going to bat cleanup. That's really what fans care about.
"That's what they want, like all of us, and that's what I want to deliver to the fans is a world championship."
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.