The LA Times this morning confirmed reports I'd heard yesterday that the Dodgers axed a few employees with heavy ties to Jamie McCourt. Per the Times:
Six front-office employees who were hired by former Dodgers vice president Charles Steinberg were fired. They were public relations officers Mark Rogoff and Drew Merle, vice president of creative services Tom Catlin, graphics manager Courtney Cowsill, fan services and hospitality director Jahaan Blake and supervisor of the Ambassadors program Alyssa Shuman.There was speculation in the middle of October that Steinberg, a "marketing/public affairs whiz," might be exploring a return to the Red Sox front office. Frankly, if I made my money as an expert in public relations, getting fired by Frank McCourt would almost seem like a compliment. What interests me about this story is that it illustrates something I've been thinking about for a couple weeks.
Steinberg, who was hired by Jamie McCourt, was essentially fired by the team last month by her estranged husband, owner Frank McCourt.
Jamie, as we know, has called herself the "face of the Dodgers."* She paints herself to be an integral cog in the front office, responsible for enhancing the club's operations and reputation. Just yesterday, her lawyers claimed she "eats, lives, and breathes the Dodgers." You'd think that such a wonderful CEO would be widely cherished throughout the organization. Through this whole process, however, there have been very few people within the Dodgers coming to her aid publicly. In fact, I can't think of any.
*Ironically, this is now true.
Now, it's my fervent hope that the Dodgers are run by very smart people, and a very smart person would foresee Frank's hammer dropping swiftly should they speak out on behalf of the club's
Of course, this is litigation, not a popularity contest. Part of Jamie's strategy going forward will be to show that, in addition to being the titular CEO, she was invested in the Dodgers in every relevant way. If she's serious about wanting the high end of her support demands--the number which makes up for lost wages--she might want her lawyer to never, ever say anything like this again:
There would be no discord in the Dodgers' office if she were reinstated to do what she was doing -- out dealing with the community, out dealing with philanthropic issues to further the brand of the Dodgers. If you want to call that largely ceremonial, so be it.
The emphasis is mine. It's awfully hard to physically speak in italics. This is the sort of thing that won't sink Jamie's case by any means, but do you really want it out there?
A few links for the day:
- Jon Weisman passes along some terrible news about a Southern California-born minor league baseball player. Designate a driver, folks, or get a cab.
- Craig Calcaterra muses about the Giants' Tim Lincecum and his recent pot bust while speeding on a Washington highway.
- Maury Brown takes a look at bang-for-your-buck and shows that this season's Dodgers weren't terribly efficient with their spending.
- Joe Posnanski sums up the reality of the Yankees' payroll.
- And if you want to hear my interview on 830 KLAA yesterday,
see belowwait until I figure out how to embed audio correctly. I suspect that if I typed with as many um's and uh's as I talk, my readership would not be very strong.