Bill Shaikin reports that, ahem, Jamie McCourt had aspirations of eventually utilizing her platform as Dodgers CEO/Figurehead to become President of the United States.
first Mayor, then Governor, then POTUS. Seriously.
I am glad to see Mr. Gagne return to the Dodgers (even in minor league capacity), even if it was the performance enhancers that helped him save 84 straight games during an unparalleled three-year stint of greatness as Dodgers closer. Here’s the before vs. after photos, just FYI:
Second note from Bill Shaikin in today’s L.A. Times highlights Jamie doubling her request for support payments, but more important (encouraging?) for Dodgers fans, her attorneys outline the fiscal success of the McCourt ownership, alluding to their children’s salaries ($600k combined, even though one is still in school) and Frank’s “lifestyle.” The attorneys for Jamie state that Frank has more than enough money, and in theory the Dodgers may NOT be in as bad of financial state as previously thought.
Lastly, our family friend David E., points out this analysis from Fangraphs about who should be the Dodgers fifth starter. James McDonald appears to the the leading candidate, though knuckleballer Charlie Haeger was always fun to watch (Tom Candiotti, anyone?). That said, having a knuckler in the rotation is always daunting – “just float and watch and hope.”
T.J. Simers yet agaim drops a bombshell about the McCourts, in a sit-down with Jamie in which the former Mrs. McCourt was rather forthcoming and (seemingly) honest.
Jamie seems genuinely hurt by the Frank McCourt mud-slinging, and claims to “take the high road” in not airing the couple’s dirty laundry. She denies the alleged affair, is protective of the kids (four sons, whom perhaps she may be craftily ‘using’ to gain public leverage), and also very elaborative on her role within the organization, claiming Frank actually told her to “Go be the face of the Dodgers, go be the external brand [in the community].”
More of the Jamie insights extracted from T.J. include:
On the Children: “Boys tend to want to defend their mother, but they’re caught between a rock and hard place,” she says. “They don’t want to see anything said about either parent. It’s an unpleasant situation and it would not have been my choice to ever have anything put out there. . .To read everything that’s been said is devastating, and my kids are pretty upset about it,” she says. “I want my kids to look back and say she took the high road. It’s hard, but that’s what I’m going to try and do.”
On the Afair with Dodgers Direct of Protocol Jeff Fuller: “Absolutely not,” she says. “I have never been with another man until the marriage broke up. Ever. Ever.”
On her role in the continuous increase in Ticket Prices: “That was a big fight with me and Frank. I haven’t wanted to raise ticket prices for several years. It was a big debate. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to know this isn’t the time to raise ticket prices.”
On her seemingly outrageous ‘support’ demands, including $400k/month: “Let’s remember it’s how we lived and not how I lived,” she says, later a lawyer explaining it’s the woman most often placed in the position of documenting what it will take to live rather than the man having to be so specific. “It’s something that had to be done at the time. I can only listen to my lawyers who do this every day for a living.”
Most importantly, T.J. uncovers this gem: The Times learned the Dodgers hired a corporate strategist four years ago to evaluate the whole organization, including the relationship between Frank and Jamie.
The corporate strategists conclusion? “It was clear that Jamie believed that the success of the relationship is the key to all doors. She believes that the partnership is at risk because Frank ‘doesn’t get it.’
“[Frank] doesn’t value her talents, listens to her only on his terms and shows little respect/acknowledgment for her in public. Jamie says that she can be a bigger asset to them if Frank could get by his need to dominate the public stage and better understand her business value.”
In short, it appears that Jamie’s credibility is enhanced by this robust and in-depth piece of journalism. We don’t know both sides yet, but kudos to T.J. for once again allowing us to see the underdog perspective.
October 15th, 2009
Some not-so-surprising news was released last night – the McCourts are getting a divorce. Unfortunately, the McCourt divorce was not a separation from the team; it is a separation from each other.
This is otherwise a personal matter to be kept in-house, but as fans & purveyors of fine baseball organizations, we have a vested interest. Aside from the obvious lack of Jeannie appearances at games/functions/media this year, it was clear that McCourt was distracted and less ‘involved’ in the day-to-day; quite possibly a strong reason as to why Colletti was able to do his job this year, and perhaps indirectly leading to the strong clubhouse chemistry.
What this means this year is Moot – the team ‘is what it is’ and the Dodgers are tantalizingly close to some 1988-esque magic, complete with the Underdog role against an overpowering NLCS opponent. The question here is the future. It’s no secret that the McCourts did not have the money necessary to be ‘Big Time’ owners, cutting payroll in the League’s 2nd largest market, almost from Day One. The early word on the divorce is that it is very acrimonious, which means the proverbial airing of dirty laundry that may or may not involve Dodger details, but will most certainly involve invective and accusations about everything from internal finances to salacious, personal details.
Most alarming is the precedent set down the I-5 in San Diego with the Moores’s divorce; the prerequisite financial legal battles led to a dangerous slashing of payroll; could that loom in the Dodgers future? Will Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Kershaw, Broxton not be signed to the early-yet-lucrative contracts that will tie their futures to the organization for years to come, or will the freeze on finances cause a lame-duck final year followed by a talent exodus?
The answers are unclear, and will not be settled until long after the champagne bubbles pop in the bowels of Chavez Ravine. I don’t like the idea of this distraction during such a big Series, but fortunately it involves ownership and