Advertisement

DODGER REPORT

They Still Have Their Best Voice

March 15, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

VERO BEACH, Fla. — As the parade of resignations marches through the executive suites at Dodger Stadium, the most popular Dodger of them all says he isn't leaving. The contract of Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully extends through the 2006 season, and he plans to fulfill the deal.

"There's an old Czech proverb someone once told me: Talk about next year and make the devil laugh," he said Sunday. "But if all goes well, that's exactly what I'll do. I still enjoy it. I still get goose bumps."

Scully called his first game of the spring on Sunday, starting his 55th year as voice of the Dodgers. "It's a very sobering and a very wonderful thought," he said. "I've been privileged to be around for so many years."

Derrick Hall, the Dodgers' senior vice president of communications, resigned Saturday, following team chairman Bob Daly, team president Bob Graziano and Kris Rone, executive vice president of business operations. General Manager Dan Evans was fired.

Of the top seven executives at the time Frank McCourt purchased the team in a highly leveraged $430-million deal last month, only senior vice president Tom Lasorda and counsel Sam Fernandez remain. Amid the exodus, Scully said he saw no reason to condemn McCourt.

"The new owner has borrowed a lot of money. We all know that," Scully said. "He has a tremendous passion to succeed. My only feeling is a simple one: Give him a chance. He's the one with everything at stake."

*

With the departure of Hall, who oversaw Dodger broadcasts, Scully's partners face an uncertain future. The contracts of Ross Porter, in his 28th season with the team, and Rick Monday, in his 12th season, expire this fall.

Both men said they hoped to remain with the Dodgers and would not worry about their contract status.

"It's nothing new to me. I did that for 19 years as a player," Monday said. "I love being around baseball, and I love being around the Dodgers. I am absolutely tickled to death this ownership is a family ownership. I've heard two things -- Dodger tradition, and winning -- that I was thrilled to hear."

*

McCourt declined to discuss Hall's resignation but issued a statement wishing him the best of luck.

"We're terribly disappointed Derrick decided to leave the organization, especially when we felt he could have potentially expanded his role with the team," the statement read. "He's a very talented executive and we're certain he'll find success wherever his future takes him."

Hall said McCourt did not discuss an expanded role with him until after he tendered his resignation, and even then only in general terms. "It's flattering to hear they think I can do more, but I don't know what that refers to," Hall said. "I don't know what they meant."

*

John Shean, a former vice president of sales and marketing for the Arizona Cardinals and previously a sales executive with the San Diego Padres, met with McCourt over the weekend about the possibility of filling an executive position in business operations.... Jose Lima, Wilson Alvarez, Darren Dreifort, Tom Martin and Eric Gagne combined on a six-hitter Sunday, but the Dodgers lost for the eighth time in nine games, 3-2 to the Montreal Expos.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|