Thursday, February 03, 2011
Frank McCourt Makes Deadspin's Top Ten List Of Sports Villains
Also some great stuff on Tony LaRussa and Donald Sterling, too, leavened with Ben Rothlisburger hate. Suweet!
The Dodgers were a great franchise once. But on the eve of the 2009 NLCS, Frank McCourt filed for divorce from his wife Jamie, who he had made CEO of the team for some reason that must seem inconceivable to him now. Not content with a simple firing, he sent her a public letter blaming her "insubordination, non-responsiveness, failure to follow procedures, and inappropriate behavior with regard to a direct subordinate." That last one: an alleged affair with her chauffeur. Oh, and he changed the locks on her office.
The weirdness was only starting. It came out the pair had hired a faith healer to watch games on TV in Boston, and send "positive vibes" their way. Jamie, refusing to accept her firing, sent her chauffeur/boyfriend as an official Dodger ambassador to Taiwan. Frank, who owns Dodger Stadium, charged his own team exorbitant rent, in order to move the money where Jamie can't touch it.
So now the Dodgers desperately slash payroll, in an attempt to horde funds in advance of a court ruling. Los Angeles, a city that's like a flame to moths for professional athletes, can't sign anyone to prevent their freefall. And we still don't know who owns the team, nor do we know why anyone would want to. The Dodgers were a great franchise. Once. (Barry Petchesky)