Blame Bud for the empty seats you’ll see in Chavez Ravine tonight
Attendance is way down at Dodger Stadium this year, a direct result of the disastrous mismanagement of one of baseball’s signature franchises by the McDivorceCourts.
The Used Car Salesman awarded the Dodgers to Team McCourt because he wanted to keep the Parking Lot Attendant, who owns land that could be used as a potential new home for the Red Sox, happy. Dodgers fans be damned.
[McCourt] did not have the money to buy the Dodgers and offered a bid that was heavily leveraged. Nor did McCourt have connections to Los Angeles; from the start, he was viewed as an outsider there.
There were other candidates with far better pedigrees: Los Angeles developer and philanthropist Eli Broad offered to buy the team, mostly with cash. Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth formed a group to look into purchasing the team, as did Los Angeles real estate mogul Alan Casden. All had more money, visibility and ties to L.A. than the McCourts did.
During the early part of 2004, when the sale was nearing approval, high-ranking baseball officials questioned the amount of debt McCourt was taking on to purchase the team, and whether baseball was ignoring its own guidelines that require a 60/40 equity-to-debt ratio in a potential owner’s bid. It was clear from the start that McCourt as the owner of the Dodgers was both a high-risk endeavor and an example of how baseball will add a member to its club if it wants to.
It was Bud’s call, and Bud’s mistake. McCourt just borrowed $300 million from Fox to cover expenses into next month but vows he’s not selling. L.A. is probably stuck with him, and the Dodgers will suffer, just as baseball has suffered during Bud’s reign of greedy ineptitude.