Dear Mr. McCourt:
It is time for you to go away. You are an embarrasment and a fraud, but there is some time still left on the clock. Use that time to salvage what is left of your dignity, and your reputation as both businessperson and baseball fan. Use that time to make the correct decision for the franchise you have claimed to love. Use that time to make the correct decision for the fans you claim to serve.
Your tenure as owner of the Dodgers has become emblematic of the very worst in sports ownership. You bought the team without actually having the money to afford the responsibility. You used the team’s cash flows to lead a lifestyle you neither earned or could afford on your own. You did exactly what the most irresponsible homeowners and developers did in the years leading to the Great Recession; purchase something you could not afford in the hopes that its value would increase enough to bail you out. You committed these sins using a treasure of the sports world, using fraudulent methods and with a callous disregard for those who would be harmed. Even now, as your mismanagement of this historic franchise has led it to ruin, you seek to leverage yet more of its future.
It could be argued that baseball is no longer our nation’s pastime. It could be argued that our nation has become so fractured, that it no longer has a pastime to call its own. Football may have become the nation’s sport of preference, but the gridiron has never come close to capturing the spirit of Americana in the manner of baseball. The sport is, as all of our major sports are, a sport for the young. But in baseball, youth is preserved. In baseball, where the glorious diversity of the sport is uncovered by helmets and body armor, our favorite players earn a kind of immortality.
It is through that lens that I read the bittersweet news of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ release of Garret Anderson. Anderson, you see, is one month older than I. He is a Los Angeles native; I grew up 240 miles up the road in Las Vegas. I have watched his career since we were both, in the parlance of baseball, kids.He came up to the show in 1994 with the California Angels when they were owned by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. He remained with the franchise when they were called the Anaheim Angels and owned by the Walt Disney Company. His career with the team continued long enough to carry him to the Los Angeles Angels and the first Hispanic owner in baseball, Arte Moreno. Many players play for three different teams in 15 years, the classy Anderson managed the feet without moving off of the left field grass on Katella Avenue in Anaheim.