Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Anything Positive from the McCourt Era?

Will there be anything positive that Frank McCourt will be remembered for? Ten or fifteen years from now, what will be his legacy as the Dodgers owner?  Yes, I know all the negatives, but what about the psotitive. I know I have to dig a bit deep, but I came up with some positives and some other things, not so positive, but certainly unique.
The Original Color Palette

McCourt made efforts to return Dodger Stadium to it’s original state.  Digging into archives and actually replacing every seat to its original Stadium color scheme.  It was a nice move and interesting return to the origins of the Stadium.  A good move.

Field Level remodeling 

    Now some will disagree with this change.  Essentially McCourt created a new tier of expensive seats and screwed over those original season ticket holders that were as close to the action as possible by creating seats in front of them.  I believe despite his true intentions, which were to create more revenue with expensive seats closer to the field, the change was for the better.  The removal of the Mike Brito seats, ground level dugout seats directly behind home plate was a good idea.

    Return of Celebrities to Dodger Games
    Kobe Bryant sitting with McCourt, Field Level
    In an effort to become more Laker-like, McCourt's ownership loaded the seats behind home plate with celebrities.  Mary Hart, Larry King, that soap star that always loses in the Emmy's who's name is escaping me now.  Heck even Nicholson was there sporting a Yankee cap when the Bronx Bombers came to town.

    Creative financing
      McCourt was a master at this.  Essentially, he was able to purchase players with deferred contracts and obtain star players during stretch runs for next to nothing.  That is if you threw in a Carlos Santana in the deal.  I guess this wasn’t such a positive.

      Carlos Santana departed to Cleveland when McCourt got Casey Blake without having to pay his salary for a year
      Attempts to complete a BoSoxization of the Dodger Organization

        Let’s face it.  McCourt was  Red Sox fan.  He came in and wanted a young sabermetric guy like Epstein, so he canned Dan Evans and hired Depodesta.  He brought in Bill Mueller.  He hired Grady Little.  He went after Manny.  He hired a guy to start up an 8th inning tradition like Boston’s singing of “Sweet Caroline” and we got that stupid Journey song tradition.  The biggest day at Dodgertown Vero Beach would be when the Red Sox came to town and the concession store filled up with Red Sox gear.  Deep down, McCourt wanted to turn the Dodgers into the Red Sox.
        Innovative ticket plans 
        Over the past few years, the Dodgers came up with some innovative partial season ticket plans.  I don't seem to remember them being so creative during previous ownerships.  One of which was....(see below)
        Bleacher Beach

        Let’s see.  We have these really crappy seats, way out down the left field foul line four levels up in the corner.  True Bob Uecker seats.  Let’s toss out some beach balls, sandals, cheap beach blankets, some bbq chicken, punch, Hawaiin shirts.  Then we'll squirt some misty water on the fans, have vendors dancing around to Beach Boys music and play with some hula hoops and we'll and call it "Bleacher Beach."  Probably the dumbest promo I’ve ever heard of.  Yeah, when I think of McCourt I’ll remember Bleacher Beach.
        Women Initiative Network (WIN)

        Well this was Jamie's contribution to the organization.  A reach out to provide specific programs for women.  It had its moments while it lasted, but when Jamie departed, so did WIN.  One thing that it accomplished -  Jeff Kent was quite a hit with the women.

        Bringing Back the Trolley Car

        For a short period of time the Dodgers attempted to create a trolley car/bus that commuted fans from Union Station to the ballpark.  Unfortunately, this wasn't something tha McCourt was financing.  He got the city to do it and when the city balked on doing it for additional years, the trolley bus said goodbye.

        The Coliseum Game

        In a publicity stunt and an attempt to bring back nostalgia.  The McCourt ownership scheduled an exhibition game at the L.A. Coliseum against, you guessed it, Frank's favorite team, the Red Sox.  It was an attempt to set an attendance record which I believe they did.  Never mind that parking was a fiasco, the left field foul pole was even worse than in 1958 and about 200 feet from home plate and the shuttles from Dodger Stadium got fans to the game as late as five innings into the contest.  A good idea for one night though.


          1. Celebrities at games is a good thing? Some of them aren't Dodger fans and leave in the 5th and are taking a good seat away from a real fan.

          2. Celebrities are a good thing if they're attractive women, Spiegel83. But I get your point. Evan, that Frank McCourt character surely reminds me of Charley Finley, in some respects...those promotions were either a hit or a miss! What a goofball! Now, did you mean to say Jeff Kent was a program unto himself for the adoring women, or just what was it that you meant? ;)

          3. Speigle83: Actually, the further I got into listing theseMcCourt accomplishments, the more I realized that they weren't so positive. But celebrities at games can be a good thing, much like the Lakers have had for 30 years now. They are the hottest ticket in town, and celebrities contribute a lot to that. If you think back to the O'Malley years, Hollywood stars such as Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Don Rickles, Sinatra, Danny Kaye, were often seen at games..and that was positive.
            TwinsTwinkler: During Kent's years as a Dodger, he was very involved in the WIN program. Three years straight he was the one Dodger player that was at every event.