The great concern this season, beyond a possible collapse or financial crisis threatening the welfare of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is whether or not Don Mattingly, the legendary first baseman for the New York Yankees years ago, can save the flawed ballclub from itself.
At the moment, the state of the Dodgers, is mired in disarray and muddled by the McCourt battle, wretched divorce proceedings which have spelled trouble for the team financially and spiritually. Before he earns his respectful status to be a Major League manager for one of the most prominent franchises in baseball, owner Frank McCourt should deliberate and sell the franchise.
Until he does, he should do the hapless fans a favor and unselfishly sell the franchise to avoid the grief and public embarrassment, so that the Dodgers will be in a better state of mind. Otherwise, he will cripple the franchise by retaining ownership while battling with his ex-wife Jamie McCourt in court, which would only haze Mattingly's first season at the managerial position.
This would be perfect timing for McCourt to place his team on the market and relinquish the heavy burdens that the Dodgers sadly endured, toppling over a personal issue between Frank and his better half.
It's bad enough that the Dodgers are in this murky situation, as a slew of catastrophic fluctuations seem to suggest the club is bearing the scariest predicament. It's hard to envision a nightmare turning worse, though it remains unknown if he has the money to run the first-class organization, and unclear if he has a bulky savage in his piggy bank these days after he paid out millions for a divorce.
And as his personal life publicly crumbles, Mattingly face his toughest challenge in his first job as manager. It wasn't long ago when Dodger Stadium amassed a sellout crowd, not only for the Dodger Dogs, beer or the all-you-can-eat pavilion, but to see the rapid emergence of a young club. It wasn't long ago when people walked the streets and noticed billboards that advertised the Dodgers, a promotion in an ideal location surrounded by the entertainment lifestyle. But then the personal issues involving the ownership suffocated the growth of a team with awesome promise.
When a nasty divorce reduces the possibility of upgrading talent to clinch a berth for the World Series in the fall, the odds that a ballclub falters and struggles is likely. In Chavez Ravine, on a hill overlooking the beautiful landscape of downtown Los Angeles, Mattingly steps into a difficult assignment.
There's no telling what this season bears, as the dismal fortune could lead to another paltry season if McCourt's payroll shrinks mightily. The only cure to end the laughable drama is if McCourt sells the franchise. However, it seems he's unwilling to compromise and relieve himself of his overwhelmed duties.
"I'm very, very confident, at the end of the process, I'm going to own the baseball team and someday my four kids are," Frank McCourt told reporters, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.
The real problem here is that the state of the Dodgers is obscure, as troubles fluctuate their identity at spring training. By the way, just so we are aware of the turmoil, McCourt has confronted distraction and criticism recently by dissapating a fortune of his profit and slashing the club's payroll. It's not clear if the Dodgers could relapse this season with all the hysteria, and it's still uncertain if Mattingly's inexperience will tear down Los Angeles.
"The fans care about one thing, and that is the team winning," McCourt said. "That's really what they want to talk about. They want to talk about the players—our pitching, who's going to bat cleanup, and so on and so forth. That's really what they care about—the team, and winning a championship."
True, but nobody can win a championship with financial troubles. Nobody.
The reaction of Mattingly, even after he hit .307 lifetime with 222 home runs, earned six All-Star appearances, won nine Gold Gloves, won a batting title in 1984, and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award, is that the average person in the Los Angeles basin is skeptical of the longtime Yankees great. The Dodgers' well-known broadcaster, Vin Scully, may speak nicely of Mattingly, but as a player, he behaved privately and distanced himself from teammates, all because of his upbringing and competitive nature.
He has zest for the game, and during his brief stint, developed ties with the Dodgers, blending in beautifully and likely to excel in the managerial department. But managing a disordered club at a hellish moment of abhorrence, he seems hardly ready for the hardest challenge of his baseball career: directing a clubhouse with overexposed dismay.
However, it's inevitable to considerably dodge the craziness while in the desert for spring training.
Who knows what the Dodgers are in for this season??
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