George Hale’s Perspective: The Dodgers

Updated 3 years ago

AS MUCH AS I LOVE THE RED SOX AND FOLLOW THEM WITH ZEAL THE BOSTON TEAM WAS NOT ALWAYS MY FIRST BASEBALL LOVE.AS A KID I LIVED AND DIED WITH THE BROOKLYN (LATER LOS ANGELES)DODGERS.THERE ONCE WERE THREE TEAMS IN THE BIG APPLE.THE DODGERS, GIANTS AND (AS NOW) THE HATED YANKEES.WELL WE ALL KNOW THE HISTORY.THE WEST COAST GRABBED TWO OF THE THREE AND LATER THEMETS WOULD BE ADDED TO THE BIG APPLE.AND THAT’S WHY THIS WEEKS’ NEWS FROM THE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER WAS SO DISTURBING.BUD SELIG HAD ENOUGH.HE TOOK THE KEYS TO THE CLUB AND KICKED THE OWNERS OUT.MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WILL RUN YOUR OPERATION FROM NOW ON.FRANK AND JAMIE MCCOURT, EMBROILED IN A BITTER DIVORCEACTION, TOOK THE FRANCHISE INTO $450 MILLION IN DEBT ANDAND HAD TO BORROW MONEY TO MEET PAYROLL.THIS GREAT TEAM THAT OPERATED UNDER BRANCH RICKEY AND THEO’MALLEY FAMILY HAD FALLEN FROM GRACE.A TEAM THAT BROKE THE COLOR BARRIER BY HIRING JACKIE ROBINSONNOW WAS OPERATING BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES.THE STADIUM WAS IN A STATE OF DISREPAIR, FANS WERE STAYING AWAYIN DROVES.THEN ON OPENING DAY, A SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS FAN WAS BEATEN LEFT FOR DEAD OUTSIDE OF DODGER STADIUM SIMPLY FOR WEARINGTHE GIANTS COLORS.FANS FOR A LONG TIME HAD COMPLAINED ABOUT SECURITY OR THELACK OF IT IN THE PARKING AREAS.MEANWHILE THE MC COURTS BOUGHT LAVISH HOMES, PAID THEIR CHILREN HUGE SALARYS FOR NO WORK AND EVEN HIRED A RUSSIANPHYSICIST TO CHANNEL POSITIVE ENERGY INTO THE TEAMBUD SELIG FINALLY AND CORRECTLY SAID ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.NINE HALL OF FAMERS LATER THE FAMED DODGERS HAD BECOMESOME KIND OF WELFARE CASE.ONCE A MODEL OF HOW TO RUN A FRANCHISE NOW A JUST A SHADOWOF THAT STANDARD.THE TEAM WENT WEST IN 1957 AND TOOK THE GIANTS TO THE PROMISEDLAND WITH THEM.AND IT WORKED.THE PROTOTYPE FRANCHISE WAS SOLD TO THE RUPERT MURDOCH NEWSGROUP IN 1998 AND THEN TO THE MCCOURT GROUP IN 2004.MANY INSIDERS DOUBTED THAT THE NEW OWNERS REALLY HAD THEMONEY TO SURVIVE.BUT HERE IS WHERE A RED SOX CONNECTION COMES IN.MCOURT GREW UP AS A RED SOX FAN AND MADE HIS FORTUNE ON THE BOSTON WATERFRONT AND THAT’S WHERE HE WANTED TO BUILDA NEW FENWAY PARK.HE WAS IN THE BIDDING FOR THE TEAM WHEN JOHN HENRY AND CREWFINALLY BOUGHT THE TEAM.IT GIVES ME JITTERS TO THINK WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED IFFRANK MCCOURT HAD BEEN THE TOP BIDDER.IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE RED SOX IN RECEIVERSHIP INSTEAD OF THEDODGERS.THOSE TWO WORLD SERIES WINS MIGHT NEVER HAVE HAPPENED ANDWE WOULD STILL BE WORRYING ABOUT “THE CURSE OF BABE RUTH”.FOR THOSE WHO BLEED “DODGER BLUE” WE CAN ONLY HOPE THATTHE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER HAS SAVED AND PRESERVED A GREAT LEGACY IN SPORTS BY THE ACTION HE TOOK THIS WEEK.THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.BY- GEORGE HALE


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