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This would be a pull-no-punches Q&A with Frank McCourt

The embattled Dodgers owners is talking but not really saying much, so it would be an opportunity to get to the bottom of the mess.

May 01, 2011|T.J. Simers
  • Dodgers owner Frank McCourt smiles before talking with select members of the media on Friday about Major League Baseball's decision to oversee the team's daily operations.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt smiles before talking with select members… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

I stayed home Saturday with the 16-month-old twins.

Just me and them. And they both decided to do their business — looking at me as if I was going to do anything about it.

As I watched them just lie there while waiting for their parents to come home, I thought about Frank McCourt and what he must feel like sitting there in the fine mess he's has made for himself.

He's got one edge on the twins, though, learning how to talk in the last few days.

He's not saying much yet, mostly gibberish like "That isn't who I am" in regards to the $100-million spending spree he and his wife went on before he started flying Southwest.

But he is talking to selected media, emerging from his Beverly Hills hotel room, and keep in mind "That isn't who I am," to take on all tough questions. Or, so he would like everyone to believe.

I read what he has said to others. He says he's taken the high road the last 18 months, promising his four boys he wouldn't drag the family name through the mud. But now the boys have told Dad it's OK to talk.

I'd ask a follow-up question after he mentioned the four boys and his promise to them.

I'd want to know what prompted him, in this no-fault state when it comes to getting a divorce, to make mention of the boys' mother doing inappropriate things with the chauffeur.

Just think if he had taken the low road.

I suspect I'd get a reply dripping in McCourt outrage at the mention of his sons, but he's used his sons to explain why he's suddenly become a magpie.

He's told the media Dodgers fans have come to him and said, "Mr. McCourt, keep fighting."

I'd ask for the names, Social Security numbers and a drug test for anyone who said such a thing. Or, was it Steve Soboroff?

I'd like to know if he ever gets tired filling out loan papers.

I'd ask about his blanket apology to Dodgers fans, wanting to know if he was doing so to keep everyone from getting too specific.

I'd still like to know how he justified taking $400,000 in Dream Foundation money and giving it to Howard Sunkin to be his friend.

I'd like to know where he thinks he fits when it comes to owners of L.A. franchises such as Al Davis, Georgia Frontiere, Donald Sterling and Bruce McNall.

I want to know if he really cares about the Dodgers on the field anymore, all his attention diverted earlier to the trial, and now here we go again with an appeal.

Does he really believe none of this has impacted the product placed on the field? Does he think Dodgers fans are stupid?

I'd ask about his love for the community and the fans, as he says all the time, but wasn't it really a love for the celebrity life that L.A. had to offer?

I'd ask about the loss of civility in Dodger Stadium, no surprise he seemed to be the last to notice, McCourt not there as much since firing his wife.

I'd ask about his Boston reputation for spending much of his time in court, and is he really surprised to find himself headed there again?

I'd ask him if he really thinks he will remain as Dodgers owner, or is all this about setting the groundwork for a lawsuit and one day maybe winning damages.

I see where he blames baseball for his tough times now because of its refusal to approve his TV deal, but I'd want to know why he put the Dodgers in the position of needing a loan to make payroll more than two years before the existing TV deal expires.

I'd want to know if he ever looked across the table and said to his wife, Jamie, "Six homes might be enough. Maybe we should invest in a left fielder next."

I'd want to know if he ever said to the wife, "Seven homes might be enough."

He's telling everyone now he won't use the $285 million in up-front TV money for personal reasons, but I'd ask him what's to stop him from getting around that by using money earned in ticket sales, advertising, parking and concessions for personal reasons.

It's a fair question to ask someone who has dodged paying taxes year after year.

I'd ask why he doesn't just sell the team, take what profit he can, and go buy a parking lot somewhere.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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