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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Chances Are
2004-03-19 08:42
by Jon Weisman

The Detroit Tigers deserve every chance to win the 2004 World Series. And they will get every chance to win it.

That does not mean that someone like me, someone like you or someone with the media cannot comment on how unlikely it is that the Tigers will win. It does not mean that people can't evaluate whether or not the Tigers are making the decisions that will promote their chances of winning.

When I hear people respond to criticism of the Frank McCourt ownership of the Dodgers, either here or in the press, by saying, "Give McCourt a chance," my skin crawls.

McCourt has his chance. He has it - right now. And he's going to continue to have it for quite a while. It's not for anyone in the media to give or take away.

He is not a victim, of a smear campaign or anything else.

"Give McCourt a chance." It's as if the people saying it are John Lennon, the press is Richard Nixon and McCourt is peace. It's absurd.

McCourt has his chance right now.

The idea that the media can't criticize his performance, can't evaluate his decisions, just as if we were evaluating the ongoing efforts of any entitity to succeed, does not make sense.

Edwin Jackson will have a chance to win 25 games this year with an ERA of 1.01 for the Dodgers. Based on what I've seen, I don't think Edwin Jackson will do so. Does that mean I am not giving him a chance?

Readers are welcome to disagree with evaluations, here, in the Times or wherever. Recently, I have disagreed with sportswriters at the Times when they criticized Odalis Perez, when they criticized Dan Evans, when they criticized the hiring of Paul DePodesta. I felt their reasoning was flawed.

I did not conclude that those writers have an agenda against these people - that they want them to fail - because there is no evidence of such an agenda.

In fact, if there were to be any agenda at all, the much more likely scenario is merely that the Times columnists have opinions about what is in the best interests of the Dodgers. A winning team sells more newspapers than a losing team. A winning team is more fun to cover.

Now obviously, there is a difference between me and the Times. Not too many people in this town of millions pay attention to what I say. On the other hand, if the city's largest newspaper opines that something is bad for the Dodgers, it could have influence. It might not, but it might. If Ross Newhan had been pro-Dan Evans, Dan Evans might still have his job today.

That does not mean that Dan Evans did not have his chance to succeed. My criticism of the Times was that Dan Evans was succeeding - they just couldn't see it.

Just because someone disagrees with you, just because someone might not appear to use sensible logic, does not imply evil intentions. I'm not naive enough to think that no one out in the vast media landscape has a bias, but it's a serious accusation, and you had better have a lot of evidence to prove it.

Until you can prove a nefarious agenda exists, all bad logic is is bad logic.

Why do I bring this up today, after a very welcome week of steering clear of any reaction to comments and actions by Frank and Jamie McCourt?

Because I can't help but observe that $4 or $5 has already been quite enough to pay for the smallest bottle of water you can purchase at Dodger Stadium.

I read the news that Dodger ownership is planning to raise the price of concessions and parking, I evaluate it, and I conclude that this will not promote building a better Dodger franchise.

It will increase the McCourt revenue, but it will alienate a fan base that should be courted. Further, I don't believe that money will go toward improving the product on the field. Rather, I think it will go toward simply keeping McCourt afloat - which we shouldn't have to be worrying about.

Believe me, you are welcome to tell me why I'm wrong. And McCourt will have more than enough chances to prove me wrong.

But if people continue to respond to criticism of McCourt by saying that he's not being given a chance, my skin is gonna crawl right out the door.

Update: In a show of good faith, I invite you to go to John's Dodger Blog to read John Wiebe's view of the parking increase, keeping in mind that my specfic focus about the latest news is more about concessions.

Update 2: Raul Tavares at Dominican Players passes on the news that 22-year-old dauphin Drew McCourt has started work at Campo Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic.

Update 3: Correction: Raul informs us that Drew McCourt was just on a two-day fact-finding mission in the Dominican, not starting work full-time there.

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