Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Early conclusions.

Dodger blogger-extraordinaire Jon Weisman isn't waiting:

I don't think it's too soon to state that regardless of how this divorce plays out, Frank and Jamie McCourt have torched themselves in the Los Angeles community. From player payroll to Dodger Stadium ticket and amenities pricing, the explicit acknowledgment of where so much of their money goes, their unrepentant selfishness and greed, is going to bring exponentially more skepticism to any future Dodgers-related decision they make.
Jon's right, of course. Jamie McCourt details their lifestyle in her filing:

Everything is always first class. Many of our travel costs are paid by the Dodger Entities. When we fly, we usually fly on private planes, typically a Gulfstream-IV, through Net Jets paid by the Dodgers. When there was solely personal usage, we were to reimburse the Dodgers. I am informed that in 2008 and 2009, we booked over 250 and 300 hours, respectively, on Net Jets flights, at an average cost of $12,500 per hour. When we fly commercial, we always fly first-class, where available. We always stay in suites where available at the nicest of locations, such as The Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons Hotels. It is not uncommon for us to spend over $1000 or more per night at hotels. We always have limousines and drivers meet us and drive us to our ultimate destinations. When we travel, we frequently dine at the finest restaurants, such as the Citronelle in Washington, D.C., Danielle in New York, and Via Matta in Boston, Massachusetts. It was not uncommon for the two of us to spend over $400 on dinner when dining out together.
If you read the filing, you'll note that one of the perquisites and benefits she asks to retain through the divorce is "unlimited travel expenses." Given what we just read, is there much doubt the Dodgers paid for just about all of the services listed above? 

I'm all for the McCourts enjoying their wealth. Think what you might about them, but they did work very, very hard to achieve their positions. High achievers make a lot of money, and they spend it lavishly. I just ask that, regardless of what happens in this divorce, you think about what kind of baseball player(s) $8 million might have bought in 2008 and 2009. Because that's probably what the Dodgers have spent ferrying Frank and Jamie around the world on private jets. Is it an impact bat? A shutdown starter? Probably not.

But, for a team which fell three wins shy of the World Series each of the last two years, could it have made a difference? And while you ponder that question, think about how you'll react next time the Dodgers don't make a move citing cost concerns.


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  2. Very interesting! Keep writing your articles.