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Today's Reminder
2004-07-03 08:07
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

As you should know, the story in the Times today that Frank McCourt's purchase of the Dodgers cost the team Vladimir Guerrero is simply a more detailed follow-up of what the paper reported in January, before the sale was complete. That initial report accelerated the initial anger and concern about McCourt buying the team.

Summing up, the one thing stated implicitly but not explicitly in today's article is that if someone with the proper financing had bought the team, signing Guerrero would not have been a problem. So with all due respect, McCourt's attempt to directly pin the blame on the previous regime is completely disengenuous.

This is the quality I find so disheartening about McCourt. He seems happy to take credit for so many things, such as repeat sellouts and a great atmosphere when the Yankees come to town, but if you go by what he says, he's not responsible for any disappointments or missteps and everybody loves him. None of us is perfect - but the McCourts, in their "aw, shucks" fashion, try to make you think that they are. They're just fans like you and me, we're led to believe.

Well, the owner of the team isn't supposed to be a fan just like you and me. The owner of the team is supposed to be a fan just like you and me with cash.

Overall, there has been a good vibe at Dodger Stadium this year, and McCourt has every right to enjoy it. In a few respects, perhaps, having a human face as the owner has turned out to be a breath of fresh air, and there have been good actions mixed with the unfortunate. But honeymoons don't likely last forever - ask Bob Brenly.

McCourt would do much better to just be straight with us and admit yes, his financial situation cost the team Guerrero, but he is going to work hard to make up for it. Honesty is a surprisingly endearing quality and engenders a great deal of forgiveness and goodwill over the long haul.

I want to add, "And in any case, McCourt isn't fooling anybody," but I guess in many ways he is. There probably are fans who will accept the notion that McCourt should be absolved of blame in the Guerrero non-signing.

And in any case, life goes on.

So I'll write, "McCourt isn't fooling everybody." And as I've written before, it's only in McCourt's long-term favor not to insult the intelligence of those who follow the team most closely and passionately.

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