Brutal take on McCourts at ESPN *

Bryant_Howard_35.jpgESPN senior writer Howard Bryant pulls zero punches talking about the Frank and Jamie McCourt legacy in Los Angeles — and baseball.

There was a lot of headshaking going on six years ago when baseball approved the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Frank and Jamie McCourt. To some inside the game, the logic behind the McCourts being awarded the team seemed as specious as their financial liquidity turned out to be. Some baseball people viewed their ownership of a flagship franchise as a bad idea speeding toward the game like a torpedo.

Now, as the 2010 season draws to a close, the torpedo has struck a direct hit. The McCourts are in a free-fall for all the public to watch, live in divorce court, California-style; and their grand bauble -- the Dodgers, historically the beacon of continuity, respect and backroom influence -- has crumbled on and off the field. Even worse, the team is being defined by a word that hasn't been associated with the franchise since World War II: unstable.

The collapse is an extraordinary example of greed and unaccountability gone wild in a decade already full of them. Piece by litigated piece, the most important West Coast franchise in the game is being tarnished, and the skeptics who doubted the McCourts in the first place are swallowing the bittersweet aftertaste of being right.

Yeesh. If that's really how the McCourts and the Dodgers are being viewed around the sport, the media in this town — and ESPN at all levels — has done one horrendous job of reporting up to now.

* Meanwhile: Blogging law student Josh Fisher tells what he learned by coming to L.A. and covering McCourt v. McCourt in person.

Photo of Bryant:

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