Don’t buy the Dodgers, Mark Cuban. BUY THE PADRES!

Frank McCourt is out as Dodgers owner and people are longing for days when Fox was running the team into the ground.

There are lots of rumors of who should take over the Dodgers. A group led by Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser is making their intentions known. I like that. It’s kind of like Mario Lemieux taking over the Penguins and making them champs again. Or Nolan Ryan bringing the Rangers to the brink.

Who understands what it means to be a Dodger more than Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser. (Oddly they BOTH won post season MVPs for the Dodgers AND for other teams, but that is neither here nor there.)

There are other people who think that Mark Cuban should take over the Dodgers.
I understand their reasoning. He’s a visionary owner who took a moribund NBA franchise in an indifferent market and turned them into perennial contenders and finally a World Champion.

If I were a Dodger fan, I’d rather have a visionary and passionate owner hell bent on putting a winner on the field rather than Fox or the McCourts.

But as a baseball fan, let me say that I’d rather Cuban not run the Dodgers. I don’t think it takes much vision or talent to make the Dodgers winners.

Don’t believe me? The McCourts treated the Dodgers like their personal ATM machine and ran one of the great glamorous and successful teams in baseball history into bankruptcy court. And they STILL went to the playoffs in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009 and had a winning season in 2011!

Four playoff appearances in six years and leaving a winning product on the field with an MVP and Cy Young front runner? All that with an incompetent crook running the team!

So putting Cuban in the role of “Savior of the Dodgers” seems like overkill.

It would be like a producer saying “We need an actress to deliver 3 lines in this episode of Dexter” and having the casting director say “How about Meryl Streep?”

Yeah she can do it. But Meryl should have a role worthy of her talents.

Think about what Cuban did.
The Mavericks used to be just another team filling up the schedule.

They may have had a decent year or two, but were they ever a FACTOR? Was there ever a buzz about the Mavericks?

They were like the Timberwolves or the Washington Wizards or Golden State Warriors are now. Another team to play while you wait for your club to go to Los Angeles, Miami, Boston or some real contender.

And he turned the culture around… under his leadership and aggressiveness they became an exciting team. A non existent fan base waiting for the Cowboys season to start became basketball fans.

He needs a bigger challenge than the Dodgers.

Which brings me to the San Diego Padres.

The Padres have had some good teams recently. They were back to back division champs in 2005 and 2006. And they were a pair of Trevor Hoffman meltdowns from making the 2007 playoffs (and probably winning the pennant that year.)

And in 2010 they were a game away from the NL West title (and probably would have made it to the NLCS.)

There are talented players on the team. And they have a BEAUTIFUL stadium in the middle of a wonderful section of town.

And they don’t draw flies.

They are handicapped.
To the North is Los Angeles and Orange County… the domain of the Dodgers and Angels.
To the East is the desert.
To the South is Mexico.
To the West is the Pacific Ocean.

Not the greatest pool which to draw fans.

Yet San Diego is a larger metropolitan area than St. Louis… than Baltimore… than Denver… than Pittsburgh… than Tampa… than Cleveland… than Cincinnati…

So we’re not talking about a team that is in a suburb.

And with some imagination and aggressiveness they can become THE team of San Diego. And maybe they can tap into the Riverside and San Bernadino TV markets (13th biggest market in the country.)

Maybe under Cuban’s leadership, PetCo could become filled and be a St. Louis of the west… a baseball haven. An underdog city that loves their team, fills their park, watches the games on TV, buys the merchandise.

Free agents could come to San Diego (a BEAUTIFUL city.) And the team could be a super fun club.

How is that less likely than the Dallas Mavericks becoming an elite basketball team?

It would take a visionary owner to do that… like Cuban.

Who CAN’T make the Dodgers winners?
Even McCourt couldn’t keep them from the playoffs or below .500.

Come to Southern California, Mr. Cuban.
Just go a little more south.

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Selig’s main requirement for a new Dodger owner: SIGN PUJOLS!

I don’t believe in random events.
I don’t believe in first causes.
I don’t believe that actions take place in vacuums.

Even me typing this blog post is the result of a long chain reaction of events.

And a chain reaction of events could be conspiring to bring Albert Pujols to Dodger Stadium.
I have no evidence to back up these theories. But I still think it makes sense.

– Albert Pujols launches 3 home runs in one World Series game, putting him in World Series history with Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth. And he helps spark one of the World Series saving rallies in Game 6. (The fact that he was basically a non factor in the other World Series games is forgotten by everyone.)

– Albert Pujols is a free agent… a perennial MVP candidate and one of the few marquee stars in the game. Plus he is a class act, free of scandal and has multiple rings in St. Louis. He’s probably staying in St. Louis with his father figure, Tony LaRussa.

– LaRussa retires, ending his career with his crowning achievement. He can spend his days saving animals and writing his Cooperstown speech.

– SO Pujols has nothing left to prove in St. Louis. He can leave St. Louis on top and take on a new challenge and more money than any of us can ever dream of. ($30 million a year?)

Meanwhile in Los Angeles…

– The Dodgers fiasco might be finally grinding to a halt. Frank McCourt, in denial like William H. Macy’s character in Fargo, might finally realize that he ISN’T just one deal away from keeping control of the team. MLB might take over the Dodgers. They did that once before with the Expos.

– This is a different scenario. That was saving a team from contraction and getting them to Washington DC. The Dodgers need to be lifted from the humiliation of bankruptcy and mismanagement. The Dodgers SHOULD be one of the glamorous franchises. And it would behoove baseball to have a big west coast superpower (sorry Giants fans. Your team isn’t a superpower.)

– So if MLB takes over the Dodgers, they can hand pick whomever takes over the team. They will have to be committed to turn the Dodgers back into a powerhouse, make L.A. as baseball crazy as New York and Boston and bring some star power to Dodger Stadium.

– The Dodgers just HAPPENED to have a hole at first base (sorry James Loney). They just HAPPENED to have an MVP candidate to protect Pujols in the lineup with Matt Kemp. They just HAPPEN to play in a winnable division. (Sorry Diamondbacks.) And unless Juan Uribe has more pull than I thought, #5 just HAPPENS to be available in Los Angeles.

– The Dodgers also just HAPPEN to be a team in a desperate situation to have some positive press after all the off the field embarrassment. And they need something, besides a face who ISN’T Frank McCourt, to jumstart season ticket sales.

– If MLB can control who buys the Dodgers, they COULD make “Will you make a big push for Albert Pujols?” a requirement. It would be good for the franchise and could make the Dodgers a marquee franchise again.

Fans are going to show up in St. Louis. It’s a new era there anyway.

Pujols (paired with NL MVP candidate Matt Kemp and Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw) could have his new challenge.

Bud Selig, someone NOT above colluding, could be in a unique position to handpick someone to bid on Pujols.

Where else is Albert going? Sure Theo Epstein wants to make a big splash with the Cubs, but he has to weed OUT big contracts before bringing in a new one. The Mets are a mess. And maybe the Marlins would make a run at him, but they are a dark horse at best.

Of course the Rangers, White Sox, Nationals and Orioles are never shy about throwing money around. But I can’t see Albert going to any of those places.

The Dodgers are the most logical landing place in many ways.
It’s a boost to the franchise.
It’s a bump in West Coast baseball’s interest.
And it could make Albert even more marketable than he is now.

Don’t think this ISN’T going through Bud Selig’s mind.
It’s a chain reaction of events… and it could lead to the image of Albert Pujols playing first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

(For the record, I think Pujols is staying put… but you never know!)
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The Douchebaggery of Frank McCourt is staggering

It takes a special kind of a–hole to make the headline “Frank McCourt Looted The Dodgers” the SECOND most damning story of the day.
I understand that the Bryan Stowe case is sensitive and he needs an attorney to defend him and the Dodgers and he is already the bad guy in many people’s eyes.
But does he REALLY not have the PR savvy to know that sending a lawyer out to put blame on STOWE for his own beating is kind of sort of STAGGERINGLY AWFUL?
I guess it was the last stone unturned.
He made a mockery of the franchise, bankrupted one of the great teams in baseball history, took a major market club and turned them into the A’s…
And along the way the team handled the Stowe beating about as badly as possible.
I guess he thought “Oh what do we have to lose? Blame the victim!”
Some slippery lawyer came on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles to speak with Mason and Ireland and proceeded to talk about Stowe’s blood alcohol (because being drunk is grounds for being beaten into a coma). And at the same time kept saying “I don’t know if that’s true, but I heard it.”
Ah classy. Blame the victim with something LESS than facts.
And he claimed that security was already outstanding (then why did they bring in tons of police officers AFTER the beating.) And the idea that extra lights in the parking lots would have helped security was laughable. (Then why did they set up more lights.)
When you consider that Stowe was wearing a Giants jersey, I am stunned that he DIDN’T say “Look at what he was wearing!”
McCourt and his lawyer did all but bring John Steigerwald in as a character witness.
What the hell are they thinking?
Did McCourt think “Hey, there’s someone out there who still likes me… why don’t I piss them off too”?
Even if his lawyer thought they needed to have a strategy for the case, why make this public?
The lawyer on Mason and Ireland poo pooed any PR hit the Dodgers might get for blaming Stowe for his own beating.
“I’m not a PR man. I’m a lawyer.”
Then why the hell are you going to the airwaves? Why are you basically doing public relations for the Dodgers?
Short of McCourt beating up Bryan Stowe’s son with his bare hands, I can’t imagine any other way he could make his public image worse.

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