Thursday, April 21, 2011
Ross Newhan Dusts Off His Smith-Corona
Before Frank and his wife, Jamie, purchased the team in 2004, I had written critically and skeptically -- in concert with Jason Reid, who was then covering the Dodgers for the Times -- about the McCourts' personal finances, citing knowledgeable sources, and was more than surprised when commissioner Bud Selig permitted MLB owners to approve the purchase.
McCourt, however, had never expressed anger or bitterness toward me in regard to those columns, and we had a pleasant lunch during which he voiced his desire to pick my brain regarding the respect with which Peter O'Malley and his late father, Walter, were held in Los Angeles during their ownership of the team.
I left that lunch flattered that McCourt would take the time to use me as something of a historical source.
But I was almost certain, given what I knew about their finances and the debt they absorbed in becoming Dodgers owners, and having seen a structural turnover already begin amid widespread whispers that Frank and Jamie were proving difficult to work with and for, that he and his wife could never attain the community stature of the O'Malleys.
Now, of course, we know that my doubts were more than indigestion.