Tide turns swiftly against the McCourts

frank-jamie-mccourt-star.jpgLast week there was ESPN's harsh assessment of the Frank and Jamie McCourt era at Dodger Stadium and Peter O'Malley, the former Dodgers owner, telling Sports Illustrated that the bumpkins from Boston have been "embarrasing" and have no credibility in the city. Earlier this week, baseball commissioner Bud Selig was said to be "dismayed at the public spectacle surrounding the divorce and concerned about the potential for lasting damage to the league and its flagship West Coast franchise." Now O'Malley comes to bat again, this time telling Bill Shaikin — but without mentioning the McCourts by name — that the team needs to change hands and he's available to help.

In my judgment it would be best for the franchise and the city if there was new ownership....For many years, the Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious institutions in our city and throughout professional sports. Sadly, that is not the case today....

The issue is not community property. The issue is that, from what we have all learned in the documents filed in the proceeding, we now know how they have used the Dodgers....

The Dodgers need to be owned by a small but diverse group of Los Angeles people who understand the culture of the organization and the importance of the Dodgers in this city...If there's a role for me — temporarily, short term — to accomplish that, I would devote as much time and energy as necessary.

Bill Plaschke's post-game analysis of the O'Malley interview: Frank McCourt is now alone in his fight to keep the team. "The courtroom sparring will continue in all its demeaning rage, but the fight is over. Frank McCourt may win the Dodgers, but he has officially lost Los Angeles." McCourt's spokesman, Steve Sugerman, says in a statement: "Frank has made it abundantly clear he is the long-term owner of the Dodgers, and he looks forward to the day when his four boys own and operate the team."

Meanwhile: The Dodgers fell to 72-75 tonight, 11 games behind the first place Giants. When you look at the roster, the minor league system and the organizational malaise stemming from the McCourts' fight and the revelations about their plundering of the team, it's conceivable the Dodgers free-fall into a last-place team by next year.

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