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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Frank and Jamie McCourt have a question for Dodgers fans: Would you rather have a top free agent or

50 youth fields in L.A.?

That was the question posed by Dodgers President Jamie McCourt as she made an appearance with her husband, team owner Frank McCourt, Tuesday at an event where it was announced the club’s charitable foundation would help build 42 youth fields around Southern California.

“If you bring somebody in to play and pay them, pick a number, $30 million, does that seem a little weird to you?” Jamie McCourt asked in an interview at the Evergreen Recreation Center in East Los Angeles. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out. We’re really trying to see it through the eyes of our fans. We’re really trying to understand, would they rather have the 50 fields?”

The Dodgers recently made a two-year, $45-million offer to slugger Manny Ramirez that they later withdrew, and the McCourts seemed to be hedging against lavish spending during a time of such great economic uncertainty.

Jamie McCourt said the fact that the majority of contracts were guaranteed was a significant issue.

“I think, oddly enough, maybe if things weren’t guaranteed, then we could pay for it,” she said. “If people can’t play anymore, it’s like, ‘Oh well, see ya.’ Different story. Whatever money they are guaranteed could be money that we could otherwise have given to community.”

The cost of the project to build youth fields is unknown, but the Friedman Foundation has committed to donating as much as $5 million, matching every dollar spent on the endeavor by the Dodgers Dream Foundation up to that amount.

Tripon Posted: November 26, 2008 at 08:43 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Flynn Posted: November 26, 2008 at 01:39 PM (#3016164)
A top free agent. Next question. Well, not for me personally, because I hate the Dodgers, and the McCourts are a bunch of incompetent boobs. But seriously, dumbest question ever.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 26, 2008 at 01:49 PM (#3016166)
"I think, oddly enough, maybe if things weren't guaranteed, then we could pay for it," she said. "If people can't play anymore, it's like, 'Oh well, see ya.' Different story. Whatever money they are guaranteed could be money that we could otherwise have given to community."

Wow. They are in the wrong business. Also, they are completely full of sh!t. Or at least she is.
   3. Maury Brown Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:40 PM (#3016181)
Wow. They are in the wrong business.
That may be true. On the other hand, which owner is not going to say contracts should not be guaranteed? Even fan-favorite-to-land-the-Cubs Mark Cuban has said this, in regards to the NBA. There's little doubting that he'd say the same thing as an MLB owner.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:48 PM (#3016183)
I think, oddly enough, maybe if things weren’t guaranteed, then we could pay for it


Maybe I'm just not smart enough to follow it, but is a "non-guaranteed" contract even a contract in any sense of the word? We see this in the NFL from time to time, if a guy stinks he is just released, no big deal, but if he is playing great and decides to hold out for more money he's a greedy S.O.B. To me a contract has to be guaranteed otherwise it's just an employment-at-will situation. Both sides take some risk when they sign the deal but it seems that the general consensus is that owners are the only ones who should be able to bail out if things go the wrong way.
   5. JoeHova Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:50 PM (#3016184)
non-guaranteed contracts are still contracts in the sense that they bind the player to the team, if not the other way around.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:02 PM (#3016189)
That may be true. On the other hand, which owner is not going to say contracts should not be guaranteed? Even fan-favorite-to-land-the-Cubs Mark Cuban has said this, in regards to the NBA. There's little doubting that he'd say the same thing as an MLB owner.

I suppose, but an owner in MLB complaining about guaranteed contracts is like a West Virginia mine owner complaining they can hire 12 year old anymore. That fight is so long in the past, it's not even worth bringing up anymore. And who wants to hear an MLB owner whine about it? The more irritating part is the idea that if they sign Manny Ramirez or the fiasco of the Andruw Jones contract is somehow keeping them from giving to charity. I suppose they could a field a team of all minimum contracts and solve the problem of hunger or homlessness in the Greater L.A. area. Who wouldn't want that? C'mon Dodger fans, suck it up for the greater good!
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#3016195)
McCourt's free to offer all the non-guaranteed contracts he wants.
   8. T.J. Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#3016201)
If MLB contracts weren't guaranteed, players like Manny would get $60M+ upfront. The market will adjust to whatever conditions you put on it.
   9. Chris DeRosa Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3016211)
Would you rather keep owning a famous major league baseball team, or sell it and spend the money on charitible endeavors? That's what I'm trying to figure out. I'm really trying to see it through the eyes of LA's pompous owners.
   10. RJ in TO Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:33 PM (#3016214)
If MLB contracts weren't guaranteed, players like Manny would get $60M+ upfront. The market will adjust to whatever conditions you put on it.


That's pretty much it. In the NFL, rather than hearing all the whining about guaranteed contracts, you hear whining about how ridiculous the signing bonuses are becoming, and whether or not a guy will be cut before a roster bonus has to be paid.
   11. phredbird Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#3016379)
if L.A. isn't tired of the mccourts and their foolishness, it should be.
mccourt has bought the L.A. marathon and has p1ssed off just about everybody by moving the race day twice, the second time to the last weekend in may. think about that. that's the same thing as summer.
their tone-deaf manner is a joke.
   12. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#3016407)
McCourt had questionable finances when he was allowed to purchase the Dodgers. Who knows what is going on now in this recession.
   13. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3016416)
Frank McCourt should never have written that book.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:46 PM (#3016417)
Angela's Ashes, or the other one?
   15. akrasian Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#3016420)
You know, despite all the snark, it's obvious what is going on. Jamie's remarks were spin in case the Dodgers don't get any of the big names they're trying to sign. That way, if they sign only lesser players, columnists will be able to reference the McCourt's charity work.
   16. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:54 PM (#3016423)
Angela's Ashes, or the other one?

Angela's Ashes is in fact the sad tale of a poor ash-tree farmer in Ireland devastated by the switchover to maple.
   17. pthomas Posted: November 26, 2008 at 07:10 PM (#3016438)
These two have been so unbelievably tone deaf about Los Angeles and the Dodgers since they bought the team. They lucked in to getting a "free preview weekend" of Manny Ramirez that saved what was turning into another bad season. Manny is the only thing that saved the McCourts and Coletti from serious criticism. They will open next season with Berroa at short and Who Knows? at second base, and Manny somewhere else.
   18. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: November 26, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#3016462)
Jason Schmidt, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones are why we have so much crime in LA.
   19. Jeff K. Posted: November 26, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#3016517)
This question, this question right here in full context, should be in every dictionary under "straw man" until the end of eternity. This is one of the greatest pieces of argumentation manipulation I've ever seen. Bravo, Jamie McCourt. Bravo.
   20. Halofan Posted: November 26, 2008 at 09:24 PM (#3016554)
#15 is spot on.

McCourt is putting together a big push to be seen as a philanthropist (as an excuse to not spend on his team) in a time when he has no money.

He could get swallowed by the recession if he goes out on a spending ledge in any way and is obviously holding back - so less dough will be spent on promoting a "nicest guy in town" image.
   21. Jeff K. Posted: November 26, 2008 at 09:35 PM (#3016560)
Of course that's what it is. I don't think anyone doesn't recognize that. But this is a pretty egregious display. I did mean my congratulatory remarks, by the way. It's impressive that Jamie actually came out and said this to the media. It sounds like something I would say when talking with my boss, meaning it in that it's got some good points but knowing it's so disingenuous that no one would believe it. Thing is, I don't actually go and say those things, and the newspapers aren't calling to find out what's going on at the University of Texas like they are with the Dodgers.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: November 26, 2008 at 10:57 PM (#3016604)
This is one of the greatest pieces of argumentation manipulation I've ever seen. Bravo, Jamie McCourt. Bravo.


Reading it made me want to throw rotten vegetables at my monitor.
   23. scareduck Posted: November 26, 2008 at 11:56 PM (#3016637)
#20 -- it occurred to me from the moment the Dodgers got Manny Ramirez that, given what they gave up, they would have to make a big play for Manny. Well now they're crying poor and laying down a transparent smokescreen while doing so. It's possible this is all just a negotiating ploy, but it's a stupid one.
   24. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 27, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#3016650)
Only "corporations are evil" is a sillier argument than "athletes contracts should not be guaranteed." Both ignore such basic facts that they are stunning.

A guaranty is an elemental part of the nature of contracts. Any contract can be written to void or limit this guaranty, but the NFLPA screwed its members by agreeing to non-guaranteed contracts. As mentioned above, the market has adjusted to the teams right to cut players, but the NFL situation has fostered a mentality among observers that all professional contracts should be non-guaranteed so that those malingering athletes would be put in line. These people never consider the other side of the argument and never consider that they enter into guaranteed contracts very often. Bill Simmons stated that non-guaranteed contracts were what made NFL great. How would he like his contract to be voidable by ESPN at any time?
   25. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 27, 2008 at 01:12 AM (#3016663)
I don't get it - if the McCourts just said, "look, it's an uncertain time economically, to say the least. We don't think it would behoove us to make a huge investment in any one free agent this winter", I don't see how Dodger fans could get upset. Why throw in the red herring about charity work?
   26. scareduck Posted: November 27, 2008 at 01:20 AM (#3016665)
#25 -- because

The McCourts are hopelessly afraid of bad PR. They live in fear of the likes of Bill Plaschke and T.J. Simers.

The McCourts cannot tell the difference between good PR and bad PR... just as their front office can't tell the difference between good players and bad.
   27. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2008 at 01:45 AM (#3016673)
JRE,

Exactly. You only consider lying when the lie will play better than the truth. And even standing completely outside moral judgment, part of the value of a lie is determined by how likely it is to be believed. If Jamie McCourt thinks any reasonable percentage of people who care actually believe that she and Frank sat around discussing "Manny Ramirez or donate $50 million", she's a lunatic.
   28. Simpson Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:36 AM (#3016694)
As a die-hard Dodger fan, this is un-#######-believable. I'm almost speechless. Here's my official vote: I don't give a #### about youth baseball fields! Maybe, just maybe, if you could hire a GM that could tell the likes of Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, and Jason Schmidt from people like Manny Ramirez, you could sign the big boys *and* buy however many ####### youth fields you think you need to save you from burning in hell. The Dodgers have a tremendous number of contracts that just came off the books, look it up. Schmidt is off after 09. They could sign Manny to something crazy and still have lower payroll than they had in 08. This whole article is just sickening.
   29. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:45 AM (#3016701)
Thinking about it now, I'm surprised she didn't tie this to the "no blacks in baseball" topic.

"We need to build these fields because African Americans are disappearing from baseball. Here in LA, we need youth fields so young children can learn to play baseball and be represented in MLB. Keeping kids out of gangs and in the classroom is our first priority as not just baseball fans, but as citizens. Nay, patriots. If baseball is to truly be our 'national pastime', it has to reflect the nation, and we're just doing our small part."

Does that really come off any more phony than what she said? Why not go full-bore?
   30. Styles P. Deadball Posted: November 27, 2008 at 04:46 AM (#3016720)
"We need to build these fields because African Americans are disappearing from baseball. Here in LA, we need youth fields so young children can learn to play baseball and be represented in MLB. Keeping kids out of gangs and in the classroom is our first priority as not just baseball fans, but as citizens. Nay, patriots. If baseball is to truly be our 'national pastime', it has to reflect the nation, and we're just doing our small part."


"Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests... we did. But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do... then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? ... And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg: Isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?

Well,you can do what you want to us... but we're not going to sit here and let you badmouth The United States Of America! Gentlemen!"
   31. pthomas Posted: November 28, 2008 at 04:09 AM (#3016985)
7 years of college down the drain!

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