For the Los Angeles Dodgers, a storied franchise and iconic sports organization, it seems like the only two things worth celebrating lately is outfielder Andre Ethier’s hitting streak and the Major League Baseball’s takeover of day-to-day operations from owner Frank McCourt.
“The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future,” said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, when he announced the takeover.
After years of financial instability, the man designated by Selig to oversee the league’s interests and appointed as the teams trustee is a man named Tom Schieffer.
Schieffer, a former United States ambassador to Japan and Australia, brings baseball operations experience when he served as president of the Texas Rangers when business partner George W. Bush was part owner of the team.
Although Schieffer is a smart and safe choice to help bring discipline to an otherwise chaotic mess, his involvement should only be looked at as a step in the right direction. Hopefully if all goes well, that direction will only lead to more chaos. Constructive chaos to be exact, in the form of Mark Cuban, current owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
Cuban should be the next owner of the Dodgers for all of the same reasons why McCourt was so destructive. Albeit Cuban will never fit the mode of an ultra conservative league like the MLB where quiet leadership is appreciated, he is gregariously outrageous for all the right reasons.
If Cuban is known for drawing attention to himself for his irresponsible and inappropriate comments, what he will never be accused of is being irresponsible with his money for his own selfish reasons.
What Cuban is known for is having the enthusiasm and motivation to put out a quality team year after year. He is a competitor that wants to see his team win just as much as the average fan.
Aside from a renewed confidence in the stadium experience, which clearly deteriorated under McCourt’s regime, what the Dodgers need is someone that will bring the ambition that a personality like Cuban can bring.
Cuban’s liveliness and intensity is one that will fit well with a city that is all but fatigued with an organization that has been mismanaged for years.
The Dodgers are a special team that has set the bar high during their celebrated history and whoever takes over the team after Schieffer’s hold, will be held to a higher standard and will be under a constant media microscope.
Cuban is no stranger to media scrutiny and although it is not known for certain if he could uphold the Dodger standard, I am confident he would do everything in his power to try.
He is media savvy and wealthy enough to manage the team, and no he doesn’t fit the typical mold of an MLB team owner, but maybe that’s the problem. George
Steinbrenner was an exceptional owner for a city and team in the New York Yankees that won seven championships and 11 pennants under his regime.
Maybe just like New York’s relationship with Steinbrenner, the Dodgers need someone like Cuban to build a successful relationship that the Los Angeles team is very much used to in past decades.