The Angel of Life


I turned on NPR yesterday to hear a couple of people who were not Frank Deford talking about the Dodgers being taken over by Major League Baseball. If you weren’t aware, the Dodgers have been taken over by Major League Baseball. Although it may not feel that way to fans who have followed the McCourt ordeal closely and to bloggers trapped in the never-ending cyclone of baseball information, this is big and news. National news. It was the front page story on the New York Times website.

I marked the occasion by starting a Twitter campaign to get MLB to appoint former assistant GM Kim Ng to run the team (I’ll take credit for this idea, because why not?). I also marked the occasion by grinning joyously. It may not seem that way, but this is good news. This is progress. For a fan like me, who is willing to sacrifice short term goodies for long term stability – or at least solvency – the MLB takeover of the Dodgers is a good thing.

Another thing I’ve been yelling about on Twitter is the Jewish holiday of Passover. Passover celebrates the ancient Hebrews and their escape – at the hands of god, acting through Moses – from the grip of the Egyptian Pharaoh and his slave-driving, child-killing ways. The comparison I’ve been working with most is recent callup Jerry Sands as Moses. Kershaw as the Angel of Death. And on and on. Now a more apt metaphor has presented itself:

The Hebrews left Egypt only to encounter 40 years of wandering the desert. It took them 40 years to find the Holy Land. This takeover by Bud Selig, this liberation from the hands of the Pharaoh McCourt, is the first step on the Dodgers’ journey to their own land of milk and honey. There may be rough and confusing times ahead. After all, nobody took Bud Selig for a savior. There may be false idols and bland, unleavened bread in our future. But there is also a better day coming. This is a freedom story.

Some other thoughts:

1. The Dodgers are not the Montreal Expos. They are not the Hornets, either. The Dodgers have a history of fantastic attendance. They have a wonderful stadium. There is no reason at all to be concerned about the team leaving LA.

2. This seems obvious but it also seems worth reiterating: so much depends on who the new ownership is. Less depends on how long it takes for MLB to line that owner up. After all, having a limited budget for off-season maneuvering might have prevented the Dodgers from signing Juan Uribe this year. Not such a bad thing to put Colletti on a shoestring.

3. For the first time in my life, I am singing praises for baseball’s anti-trust exemption.

4. On that note, I would love it if somebody could explain the bylaws that make it possible for Bud Selig to actually remove Frank McCourt from control of the team. Couldn’t this lead to a new round of ugly litigation? (This, of course, being the worst case scenario.

5. Somehow none of this seems any worse than Fox and trading Mike Piazza. Maybe it’s because this time I’m 24, not twelve.

2 Responses to “The Angel of Life”


  • More good news, courtesy of the Texas Rangers: sometimes, when MLB takes over your team, it’s not the worst. MLB had control of the Rangers’ finances for the last year or so of Tom Hicks’ inglorious reign; they denied the team the right to throw huge money at their first-round draft pick, pitcher Matt Purke, who entered TCU instead. After a stellar freshman year, Purke has been shut down and “has an appointment with Dr. Andrews,” never a good sign. So thanks MLB. And almost within days of MLB giving up control of the franchise to one Nolan Ryan, the boys from Arlington made their first appearance in the Fall Classic. A happy ending indeed. May it be the same for the Trolley Dodgers.

  • In your analogy, isn’t Bud actually God, and whoever he appoints as an interim caretaker of the franchise Moses? I hope that, when the time comes to pick that person, he asks him with combustible shrubbery.

    Also, I expect litigation is forthcoming from Pharoah McCourt. The modern plagues, however, of personal bankruptcy (both moral and financial, it seems), endless appeals, and public ridicule are sure to follow.

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