McCourt: “A Mercenary Team Doesn’t Work”

Dodgers fans aren't pleased that their team's major offseason story has been the ongoing divorce and ownership battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt.  With the stewardship of the team in doubt, the Dodgers made relatively few moves over the winter, none of which seemed to be the type of key addition that would push the two-time NLCS runners-up into the World Series.

Frank McCourt discussed his team's offseason moves and his overall philosophy for the team at a meeting of California businessmen on Tuesday, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  He reiterated his claim of sole ownership in the franchise and said that "things will get back to normal" once the divorce suit is settled, noting that the team is not for sale.

Shaikin cites the midseason deals of C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Cliff Lee over the last two seasons, plus the Roy Halladay rumors that dominated last summer's trade deadline, as cases where the Dodgers simply weren't willing to deal their young core players for what might have been a short-term rental.  In McCourt's defense, L.A. has certainly made some big in-season moves (the Manny Ramirez, Jon Garland and Jim Thome deals, for example), and the owner himself pointed to the team's four playoff appearances since he took over the team.

McCourt rhetorically asked, "How would we feel right now without Clayton Kershaw or Matt Kemp?" since those two and Chad Billingsley were at the top of any potential trade partner's wish list.  Shaikin notes that these young players are key to McCourt's belief that fans would rather see a team of homegrown stars win a title than a group of free agent imports.  "A mercenary team doesn't work," McCourt said in reference to the big dollars spend by L.A.'s previous owners (News Corp) that never resulted in any playoff appearances.

Every contender struggles with the temptation to go for broke and shoot for a World Series by selling off a young prospect or two at the deadline.  Red Sox fans would've no doubt loved to see Hanley Ramirez play shortstop at Fenway Park for 15-plus years, but since his trade to Florida brought Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett and the 2007 World Series to Boston, Sox fans are probably satisfied that losing Ramirez was worth it.  In McCourt's case, however, the fact that the Dodgers have come so close the last two seasons leaves the team's decisions open to second-guessing.  And, as Shaikin points out, big-market L.A.'s payroll could be less than $90MM this season, leaving fans wondering why the team couldn't shell out a few extra dollars for the final piece of the championship puzzle.


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64 Comments on "McCourt: “A Mercenary Team Doesn’t Work”"


Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Frank McCourt has pretty much ruined the Dodgers chances to win in 2010 and 2011. The guy is bad news and doesn’t really seem to care about the state of the team despite whats being said.

dodgers1111
5 years 4 months ago

I wouldnt go that far to say that they have no chance to win this year or next year. Although I cant stand McCourt, the Dodgers do have a pretty good team and if Kershaw and Billz can live up to there potential they will be rigth back in the NLCS.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

I’m willing to bet you that if the divorice didn’t prevent the Dodgers from spending you may see John Lackey starting Opening Day for the Dodgers.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Bet and May do not work in the same sentence.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

I meant that Either John Lackey or Clayton Kershaw would start Opening Day. But John Lackey would have been a Dodger.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I never wanted Lackey. He isnt an ‘ace’ and isnt worth 80 million.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

There are thousands of Baseball fans who think John Lackey is an ace.

Plus, no one said he was an ace. He’s more expierenced than any other Dodgers pitcher and has potential to win 16+ games when healthy.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I dont know how many times i need to tell you, WINS MEAN NOTHING! They show how good the team did. Here, I just read this article today, and it fits perfectly.

link to truebluela.com

It shows how dominate Kershaw has been in NDs, but because the offense was horrible, he didnt get a W. His record was 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA, does that make him worse than the guy who went 10-9 with a 4.4 ERA?

And you are going to pay 80M for experience? Wow…Since when does a 3.81 ERA make you an ace? A top 10 pitcher in the league has a 3.8 ERA? I dont think so..

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Kershaw was not dominant at all in his ND’s he walked more batters/9 than most other Major League starters. He didn’t let runs score but he wasn’t dominant. He was just Yanked and saved by the pen. In other words, Dice-K’d. This season he will dominate though.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Did you read the article? “Here comes the bad part he’s posted an ERA of 2.28 in 27 no decisions, 25 were starts. Now I know he has trouble going deep into games, but his walk rate 3.9/9 in wins 3.8/9 in no decisions” He had a lower walk rate in his NDs than his wins… He was dominate and had zero run support

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Did you read the article? “Here comes the bad part he’s posted an ERA of 2.28 in 27 no decisions, 25 were starts. Now I know he has trouble going deep into games, but his walk rate 3.9/9 in wins 3.8/9 in no decisions” He had a lower walk rate in his NDs than his wins… He was dominate and had zero run support

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Alright. But listen, no argument needed…The kid is amazing!

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Alright. But listen, no argument needed…The kid is amazing!

BoSoxSam
5 years 4 months ago

“Dice-K’d.” Heh. Nice. 😀

BoSoxSam
5 years 4 months ago

“Dice-K’d.” Heh. Nice. 😀

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Kershaw was not dominant at all in his ND’s he walked more batters/9 than most other Major League starters. He didn’t let runs score but he wasn’t dominant. He was just Yanked and saved by the pen. In other words, Dice-K’d. This season he will dominate though.

dodgers1111
5 years 4 months ago

I am glad we didnt get Lackey and the fact is that there was not very good free agent pitchers this year and that is what we needed, a true #1.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

So you wouldn’t even take John Lackey for the rotation?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

not at 80M…

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

this is also for Dodgers1111,

80MM is a different story fellas. I understand that, but if they do plan on spending soon, I guess we all know when the right time to do it is right?

dodgers1111
5 years 4 months ago

Not for 80 million, he is not that good. I would rather save the money and go after Cliff Lee next year, but McCourts Cheap ass wont.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I agree. there was no FA that would have greatly affected us that was worth it. Next year there are some guys that interest me, but we were right to not spend big this year… isnt it amazing a divorce is what forced them to make a good baseball decision?

5 years 4 months ago

LOL…yes! btw @Span should’ve used “might’ve” instead of “may” as I doubt the Sox are going to trade Lackey 2 months after they signed him. Nonetheless solid point Dodgerblue.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

How does he counter not spending on the draft?

How does he counter trading TOP prospects?

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Good point. They have some of the better prospects in Baseball.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Carlos Santana, Jake Bell, Chris Withrow, Dee Gordon, Ethan Martin..

Thats a top 3 farm system.

All of the talent not signed/not even attempted, from the draft makes it worse.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Josh Bell you mean right? They also have Lindblom, Trayvon Robinson, Aaron Miller, and Eovala.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

but that is not because of McCourt. That is because White has found 1st round talent in the 4th round, or later.

I mean, McCourt’s advisor was quoted as saying that we shouldnt spend on draft picks because they are crap shoots… WHAT THE HELL!?

Philousa
5 years 4 months ago

I love how McCourt acts as though he shouldn’t spend without giving a good reason, other than saying things will ‘get back to normal’. Jamie already revealed a plan to raise the price of nearly everything at Dodger Stadium while keeping the payroll the same. Why should we believe he will increase the payroll once the divorce is over?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Sorta like when the GMs were rated and Colletti was rated 27th a few weeks ago, the comment was ‘you only get so much credit for not trading Kershaw and Kemp for 4th outfielders’. Yea, I am happy that we didnt trade the kids… i am one of the fans who gets angry at other fans for not realizing the value of guys we have. However, when our payroll will be 100M, and 1/5 is going to guys NOT on the team, there is something wrong. We are basically competing with an $80M payroll.

I really hope the team is owned 50/50 and they have to sell them before the kids reach FA so we can have a dynasty instead of going down as a ‘what could have been’ team…

bjsguess
5 years 4 months ago

“Shaikin notes that these young players are key to McCourt’s belief that fans would rather see a team of homegrown stars win a title than a group of free agent imports.”

I’m pretty sure the Dodger fans would just like win a title, regardless of what farm system they came from. Does McCourt really believe that Yankee fans are sitting around moping because they import a majority of their top players?

McCourt is laying out a false choice. Either or. His two options are:

1. Develop a team from within that has a shot at winning the WS
2. Trade away the farm and sign a bunch of over priced FAs and have a shot at winning the WS

OR you can take the sensible route that most successful clubs follow …

3. Develop a team from within and then augment that with top tier FA’s and dramatically improve their shot at winning a WS.

McCourt is a chump. He very well might be my least favorite owner in all of baseball. When attendance is up, revenues are up, he takes the payroll down. Scream all you want at Florida, the Dodgers having a payroll of $90m is more egregious in my mind.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

yea, welcome to a Dodger fan’s life

BaseballFan0707
5 years 4 months ago

You basically described the Red Sox, Yanks (while I won’t argue it’s the money that does it, often lost is that, next to the Core 4, almost the entire Yankee bullpen is made up of homegrown talent, and there’s Cano to consider as well.), Angels (to an extent), Phillies, Cardinals (a small extent, but I think they count) to a T with option 3.

Can anyone guess what all those teams have in common?

When healthy, you often see those teams playing October baseball.

stalker101
5 years 4 months ago

The Big point Was trading Carlos Santana one of the top catching prospects to save 1 Million in a trade,The Casey Blake trade was made that if they wanted to not have to pay a million on his contract for rest of that year they had to give up Santana.What other big markeyt teams are doing that?
And he is making it out like they had to go after the big names,hell lets throw those guys out of the mix,how about picking up even some mid level guys instead of just signing minor league free agents basically and retreads.Our one big pay out was to a middle infielder that has little offense and over paying him at that when many other equal ability guys signed for half of what he got later on.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Jon Meloan might of been too much.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

It should have been something like Meloan and DeJesus/Hu(if they want a SS) or Ellis if they wanted a catcher, and we pay all of Casey’s salary…

dodgers1111
5 years 4 months ago

You know there is no way they are going to pay all of someones salary that we get in a trade, but they will overspend on Carroll. Makes no sense to me, I dont even think he should make the team.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Honestly, no one understands Jamey Carroll’s deal…

BaseballFan0707
5 years 4 months ago

Checklist time!

Power? Nope.
Batting Average? Average, at best.
Defense? Plus.
Age? 35. Getting to the decline phase.
Speed? Hell no.
OBP? Decent.

He’s about as plain of an all-around player as you can be. Yet the Dodgers see him as the second coming of Jesus or something.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

The contract would seem like they see him as Jesus’s younger brother… but the fact that he isnt going to be a starter, I guess Joe Torre has a brain..

BaseballFan0707
5 years 4 months ago

But all that hype and he isn’t even starting? I mean…it’s just so stupid.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Honestly, no one understands Jamey Carroll’s deal…

ELPinchy
5 years 4 months ago

SOoOOOOOOoooooo glad McCourt didn’t buy the Redsox.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
5 years 4 months ago

Dodger fans aren’t pleased to be constantly looking at stories in MLB Rumors that lead with the McCourt’s divorce. It’s a real stretch to make that any kind of baseball story. The assumption that the divorce has led to a payroll that hasn’t increased this year is only just that, an assumption. It’s based on no evidence whatsoever. McCourt has never been a big spender, because he’s over-leveraged and does’t own the media rights to the Dodgers. That has always been the main limitation on payroll, and it probably will be for as long as McCourt owns the team.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
5 years 4 months ago

Dodger fans aren’t pleased to be constantly looking at stories in MLB Rumors that lead with the McCourt’s divorce. It’s a real stretch to make that any kind of baseball story. The assumption that the divorce has led to a payroll that hasn’t increased this year is only just that, an assumption. It’s based on no evidence whatsoever. McCourt has never been a big spender, because he’s over-leveraged and does’t own the media rights to the Dodgers. That has always been the main limitation on payroll, and it probably will be for as long as McCourt owns the team.

aap212
5 years 4 months ago

But they did a ton of mercenary player acquisition until his wife moved for half his money. Flash back to a teenage Frank McCourt:

“I didn’t want to date the head cheerleader, anyway.”

aap212
5 years 4 months ago

But they did a ton of mercenary player acquisition until his wife moved for half his money. Flash back to a teenage Frank McCourt:

“I didn’t want to date the head cheerleader, anyway.”

i_am_ernest
5 years 4 months ago

i wish mark cuban would buy the dodgers.

i_am_ernest
5 years 4 months ago

i wish mark cuban would buy the dodgers.

i_am_ernest
5 years 4 months ago

i wish mark cuban would buy the dodgers.

phillies1980
5 years 4 months ago

Looks like the Phillies will have to “Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!” for the 3rd year in a row. That should annoy all the “gangbangers” in the outfield seats in Dodger Stadium. (That is, if The Dodgers even make the playoffs!)

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

yea, because Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and Jon Broxton are magically gonna forget how to play baseball right? Sorta like Cole Hamels last season?

phillies1980
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, I they got beaten the last two years. And now they have that stiff Padilla starting Opening Day! Ha!

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

just because our manager is an idiot in choosing his pitchers, it doesnt mean our team is LEAD by Padilla… we arent the Pirates

________________________________

phillies1980
5 years 4 months ago

Looks like the Phillies will have to “Beat L.A.! Beat L.A!” That should annoy the “gangbangers” in the Dodger Stadium outfield. If L.A. even makes the playoffs!

phillies1980
5 years 4 months ago

And now they have that stiff Padilla as the Opening Day pitcher! Ha! Good luck with THAT!

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

This year is huge for Trayvon. A great season, and he is a 5 tool talent prospect. A bad year, and that was an A+ fluke…

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah Eovaldi. Trayvon hasn’teven been a pro for 6 seasons but I do think that he will have a huge season and make a huge impact on a team in the future. It could be the Padres.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

You really have a lot of insight on the Dodgers. Good stuff.

dodgers1111
5 years 4 months ago

Hopefully, he needs to get ready to replace Manny next year, possibly this year if Manny quits on them or pops for drugs.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Im guessing he is on the 40 man to protect him from the Rule V draft. Im OK with that. He has ridiculous power and is an all around athlete. However, his Ks are scary high. He dominated A+, but was 23. He needs to prove that he can handle AA next year, or else he will simply be too old for where he is. However, if he puts it together, we are talking Adam Dunn power, with great defense and speed, but also the Ks. Still, thats a very valuable player

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Im guessing he is on the 40 man to protect him from the Rule V draft. Im OK with that. He has ridiculous power and is an all around athlete. However, his Ks are scary high. He dominated A+, but was 23. He needs to prove that he can handle AA next year, or else he will simply be too old for where he is. However, if he puts it together, we are talking Adam Dunn power, with great defense and speed, but also the Ks. Still, thats a very valuable player

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

thank you

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

thank you