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ESPN Joins MLB in Ripping Frank McCourt’s Handling of the Dodgers

Before we go any further I’d like to make one thing clear: Frank McCourt is the worst thing to happen to the Dodgers in the past 10 years and I can’t wait for him to lose the team. He’s a horrible person who seriously lacks any moral standard, and he never deserved to own the team. The best thing McCourt could do for the franchise is give up his legal fight and allow MLB to completely seize the team.

Even though I can’t wait for the Dodgers to have new owners, it was quite surprising to see all the anti-McCourt propaganda ESPN ran on Sunday Night Baseball. Prior to the Dodgers and Angels game Sunday, Tim Kurkjian did an excellent piece on the history of the Dodgers. His point was that the franchise and fans deserve much better than the treatment they’ve received from McCourt. Then during the game, ESPN ran the following (commercial? documentary?) video that had an identical theme:

For anyone who’s watched Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, it was quite shocking to hear them editorialize during the middle of a game. As I said before, I fully support their message and would love to see the face of the franchise, Vin Scully, deliver a similar message. But their McCourt bashing didn’t stop there — it continued during the inning.

Play-by-play man Dan Shulman followed the video clip by saying “The longer there is no resolution, the longer the franchise will suffer.”

That’s when former Dodgers All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser, who is part of a group trying to purchase the Dodgers, chimed in.

“It’s a crown jewel that has fallen out of its setting,” Hershiser said before turning his attention to the owenership situation. “[As an] owner of the Dodgers, you’re the guardian of the Dodgers. It’s like a stewardship and the fan base is being protected right now by Bud Selig and Major League Baseball. They want something done to restore sanity in Los Angeles and to give these guys a chance to win on the field and the fans something to root for — and to trust.”

After he gave his opinion, ESPN did disclose that Hershiser is part of a group attempting to purchase the Dodgers. That was necessary due to the blatant conflict of interest; it’s like ESPN was openly campaigning for new owners to take over the team. The problem is this wasn’t PTI nor Around the Horn where we expect commentary — it was a game where we’re expecting an unbiased account of the contest. Again, I agree with their message, I just think the timing of their presentation was questionable.

As if that wasn’t enough, Shulman mentioned that some Dodger fans have gone to Angel Stadium because they don’t want to support McCourt, as if he were suggesting more fans do the same.

Then check out the graphic used on SportsCenter Monday after the Dodgers moved on to play the Mets:

ESPN’s deal for Sunday Night Baseball is just like FOX’s deal for Saturday’s Game of the Week — they’re brokered through Major League Baseball. With ESPN going as far as they did with the anti-McCourt sentiment, and their in-game editorializing being so out of character, is it a stretch to think MLB asked them to do something along these lines? Given how much Bud Selig has had it out for McCourt lately, I wouldn’t doubt it.


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