I Loved Frank McCourt

Yes, I did… when it was announced that he was buying the Dodgers from a Fortune 500 Company who ran them like a drunken sailor runs on the deck of a ship in a hurricane.  See, FOX had no clue – they even traded away Mike Piazza… among many other blunders too numerous and painful to count.

I was excited to see the Dodger bought by a “little guy” who I hoped would run it like a family business.  I was excited because even before FOX bought the Dodgers, they were been managed poorly by Peter O’Malley and family who had lost their edge and evidently felt they could no longer compete as a family-owned business.  Peter had no imagination, no chutzpah and evidently not a lot of understanding how to run a baseball franchise.  

I am convinced he could have kept the team… but he never believed it.  In the mid-to-late 80’s the farms was slipping, the organization was poorly run and even though they won the World Series in 1988, it was done by Smoke and Mirrors and a Fat Little Italian who convinced them they could fly.  Stuff like that may not happen anymore.

That Fat Little Italian (I say that with affection) was a great manager but a terrible GM (we won’t even talk about “the big one” but it was worse than “The Trade.”) Tommy may have been baseball’s last True Believer. Anyway, even in 1988, the team’s infrastructure was crumbling and the Dodger Way to Play Baseball was almost forgotten, even before Al Campanis was ousted for racist remarks.

So, while O’Malley was not investing heavily into the Dodger Way of Doing Things for Years, which stifled the farm system, he did remain an amazing boss to his employees, treating them so well the Dodgers were regarded as a great place to work.  Mind you, I am not trashing Peter O’Malley, but after he sold the team to FOX, it was apparent that was blunder.

Then, when FOX got out and sold to Frank McCourt, it was easily for me to get behind an Underdog… a small businessman who was in a unique position to grow the team smartly and slowly and profit when the new TV deal came in.  McCourt did profit immensely when he was forced to sell the team because he was bankrupt. He had been morally bankrupt longer before he was financially bankrupt… and he made Billions!  Sickening!

Anyway, I was not excited to see another Big Business like Guggenheim and Company buy the Dodgers, but when they hired Andrew Friedman, I was sold.  It took a while for many others to be sold, but I think most are on board with the new Dodger Way to Play Baseball.

Peter O’Malley and Frank McCourt could have saved us all a lot of pain and suffering, but three years into the Andrew Friedman Era, the Dodgers are an amazing organization.  Today, they released their Minor League Coaches and Managers… here it is:


LOS ANGELES– The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates for the 2018 season:

Triple-A Oklahoma City

  • Manager – Bill Haselman
  • Pitching Coach – Bill Simas
  • Hitting Coach – Adam Melhuse
  • Coach – Luis Matos

Double-A Tulsa

  • Manager – Scott Hennessey
  • Pitching Coach – Dave Borkowski
  • Hitting Coach – Terrmel Sledge
  • Coach – Leo Garcia

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga

  • Manager – Drew Saylor
  • Pitching Coach – Connor McGuinness
  • Hitting Coach – Justin Viele
  • Coach – Petie Montero

Single-A Great Lakes

  • Manager – John Shoemaker  (42 Years with the Dodgers)
  • Pitching Coach – Bobby Cuellar
  • Hitting Coach – Jair Fernandez
  • Coach – Seth Conner

Rookie-advanced Ogden

  • Manager – Jeremy Rodriguez
  • Pitching Coach – Dean Stiles
  • Hitting Coach – Dustin Kelly
  • Coach – Fumimasa Ishibashi

Rookie-level AZL Dodgers

  • Manager – Mark Kertenian
  • Pitching Coach – Luis Meza
  • Hitting Coach – Jarek Cunningham
  • Coach- Tony Cappuccilli
  • Coach- Jairo Pacheco
  • Coach- Chris Gutierrez

Dominican Summer League Dodgers

  • Managers – Keyter Collado and Austin Chubb
  • Pitching Coaches – Roberto Giron and Ramon Troncoso (welcome back)
  • Hitting Coach – Sergio Mendez
  • CLP Defensive Coordinator – Pedro Mega
  • Coach- Antonio Bautista
  • CLP Coach – Dunior Zerpa
  • CLP Coach – Eduardo Calzado

The managers of the Dodgers’ top three affiliates remain intact, while new skippers are in place for Single-A Great Lakes, Rookie-advanced Ogden and Rookie-level AZL. John Shoemaker will manage the Great Lakes Loons after spending 2017 with the AZL Dodgers, Jeremy Rodriguez will become the skipper for the Ogden Raptors after spending last season with Great Lakes, and Mark Kertenian will become the manager for the AZL Dodgers after managing the Raptors last year to its first ever Pioneer League championship. Keyter Collado and Austin Chubb will return as the managers for the Dodgers’ Dominican Summer League teams.

Haselman, 51, will return for his third season as the manager for Triple-A Oklahoma City and for his fifth season with the Dodger organization. Bill Simas will join the OKC Dodgers staff as the pitching coach after serving last season in the same position with Double-A Tulsa, while coach Luis Matos enters his third season with Oklahoma City. Adam Melhuse will round out the staff as he joins the club as the newest hitting coach. Melhuse spent the past two seasons as the manager for the Los Angeles Angels’ Single-A Burlington Bees (2016-17) and prior to joining the Angels organization in 2016, he was with the Chicago Cubs as an advanced scout. The Santa Clara, California, native and former UCLA Bruin played eight Major League seasons (2000-08) with the Dodgers, Rockies, Athletics and Rangers, appearing in 311 games and hitting .234 with 24 home runs and 98 RBI.

Hennessey, 47, enters his first full-season with the Drillers after inheriting the manager position on July 24, 2017. After taking over a .500 team, he led the Drillers to a 32-18 record and navigated the club to the Texas League Championship Series last year. Prior to being named the skipper, Hennessey had served as an amateur scout in the Dodger organization since 2007. Hitting Coach Terrmel Sledge will return for his third season with the Drillers, while coach Leo Garcia enters his fourth year with Tulsa. Dave Borkowski will join Double-A Tulsa as the pitching coach, after serving the same position with Houston’s Double-A Corpus Christi for the past two seasons. The former Major Leaguer had spent the past eight years as a pitching coach in the Astros’ system (2010-17) and was also the pitching coach for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League in 2013. Borkowski appeared in 181 big league games (21 starts) over seven seasons, going 13-20 with a 5.87 ERA with the Tigers (1999-2001), the Orioles (2004) and the Astros (2006-08).

Saylor, 33, enters his third season as the Quakes manager after leading the club to its third straight postseason last year. Pitching coach Connor McGuinness (28), hitting coach Justin Viele (27) and fourth coach Petie Montero (32) all enter their second season with the Dodger organization and will enter their first year with Rancho Cucamonga. McGuinness served as the pitching coach with Single-A Great Lakes last season and Viele was the hitting coach for Rookie-advanced Ogden in 2017. Montero served as a coach for the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers and DSL Dodgers 1 last year.

Shoemaker, 61, will embark on his 42nd season in the Los Angeles organization and 25th season as minor league manager as he becomes the Great Lakes skipper after spending last season with the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 1977 draft, Shoemaker has been with the club ever since, as a player (1977-80), manager, coach and coordinator and, in 2015, he was appointed as the Dodgers’ “Captain” of Player Development. Cuellar enters his fourth season with the Dodgers organization and returns for his second stint with Great Lakes as pitching coach (2016) after spending the past season with Ogden. Fernandez is entering his third season with the Dodgers organization, and his second with Single-A Great Lakes as the hitting coach. Conner begins his first year coaching with the Dodgers this season. The 25-year-old Missouri native played five minor league seasons in the Blue Jays organization (2011-14, 16) and posted a .244 batting average with six home runs and 76 RBI in 187 career games.

Rodriguez, 28, enters his second season with the Dodgers and his first year as the manager for the Ogden Raptors after spending last season as the Great Lakes skipper. The Southern California native played in parts of five minor league seasons (2011-15) in the San Diego organization after being selected by the Padres in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft out of California State University, Bakersfield. Newcomers Stiles and Kelly will become the Raptors pitching and hitting coach, respectively, as they both enter their first year with the Dodgers. Stiles joins the club after spending time at San José State as an assistant coach, Florida International University as a pitching coach and three seasons as the University of Oregon’s volunteer assistant coach in charge of pitching. Following the 2015 season, Stiles served as the bullpen coach for the Eugene Emeralds, a Class-A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs. Kelly spent three years as an assistant coach at California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo. He played three seasons in the minor leagues as a second and third baseman, and shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.  Ishibashi, returns to Ogden for his second stint with the Raptors after being with Great Lakes for two seasons as the fourth coach and his eighth season overall with the Dodger organization as a coach.

Kertenian, 37, will manage Rookie-level AZL Dodgers after spending his first season with the organization as the skipper for the Ogden Raptors. Meza enters his third season with the Dodger organization as a pitching coach and his first year with the AZL Dodgers after spending 2017 with the DSL Dodgers in the same position. Cunningham will enter his second season as the AZL Dodgers hitting coach. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of high school and played eight seasons as second and third baseman. Cappuccilli also returns to the Dodgers for his second season with the AZL Dodgers after joining the organization mid-season last year. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Cappuccilli spent the previous three seasons with the University of New Mexico Lobos as an assistant coach. He played one year in the Frontier League for the Florence Freedom before turning to coaching, beginning at his alma mater Edison HS. From 2010-13 he was an assistant coach at Irvine Valley College, and spent the 2014 season as a volunteer assistant at UNLV. In 2010 he was also an assistant coach for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League, and from 2011-14 he was the head coach of the Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska Baseball League. The club also welcomes two new coaches to the organization that will assist the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers in multiple areas. Pacheco, 21, is making his coaching debut after finishing the 2017 season with the Ogden Raptors where he pitched in seven games and finished with a 4.63 ERA. He spent five seasons in the minor leagues and was awarded as a Pioneer League post-season All- Star in 2015. Pacheco was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on January 26, 2013 from Venezuela. Gutierrez joins the Dodger organization after serving as an assistant hitting coach in the Chicago Cubs organization from 2014-2016. Gutierrez played in 872 career minor league games and hit .252 with 16 homers and 289 RBI over nine seasons with the Blue Jays (2005-09), the Angels (2009), the Dodgers (2010) and the Marlins (2011-13) organizations.

Chubb, 28, enters his third season with the Dodger organization and his second year at the helm of the DSL Dodgers 2 after winning the Dominican Summer League title in his first season as manager over the DSL Dodgers 1 club. In 2017, Chubb became the first American manager in the history of Campo Las Palmas and prior to becoming the skipper, he entered the coaching ranks as Rookie-advanced Ogden’s hitting coach. Collado, 31, enters his seventh season in the Dodger organization and his third as the manager of the DSL Dodgers 1 after leading the club to a 47-24 record in the DSL Northwest division. Giron enters his fifth season as the pitching coach for the DSL Dodgers, while former big leaguer Ramon Troncoso joins the organization for his first coaching stint as the other pitching coach. Troncoso spent five years in the Majors (2008-11, 2013), including four seasons with the Dodgers (2008-11), going 8-8 with six saves and posting a 3.92 ERA in 175 relief appearances. Mendez will return for his third season as the hitting coach, while Mega (defensive coordinator) and Bautista (coach) will also return to the Campo Las Palmas staff in 2018. Zerpa and Calzado will round out the Campo Las Palmas staff next season and will assist the DSL clubs in multiple areas.

P.S. I no longer love the scumbag McCourt!


This article has 30 Comments

  1. Right there with you, Mark. I loved it when Fox no longer had any say. McKook was going to be the boost that we needed, he was going to be our straw that stirred the blue drink, our knight in shining blue armor and then… well, he wasn’t. I remember reading early on that he wanted to base the business of the Dodgers around his family as the brand. Not sure exactly how he said it but the gist was that his family name was more important than the Dodgers. That killed it for me. The guy was much more concerned about his image than our boys in blue. Boy, did I celebrate when he was forced to sell. What a happy day! The only thing better will be a big fat WS ring come next year!

  2. Having loved the Dodgers when I was a grade schooler and high schooler in the 80s, the 90s and 2000s just brought ambivalence about baseball, the way the game had changed with roided up players, the de-emphasis on pitching and the Dodger’s Way, and the sale from the O’Malleys to a media conglomerate ( remember Kevin Malone?). I finally was able to get excited again about baseball when the Guggenheim group bought the team. It seemed like a renewal or a fresh start. And yes, The Trade did generate some excitement with me. At least there was now a team that could spend money and invest in its organization.

    I think the organization is on the right path and it’s fun to be a Dodger fan again.

    Had an appointment with a client last week who was some kind of developer – he’s currently working on the renovation plans for the Coliseum for the upcoming Olympics and the new Rams stadium. We got to talking about baseball and the old Dodgers I was a fan of. He knows and still meets with Steve Sax. He’d never heard of Jay Johnstone. I had to enlighten him.

    1. Question: Name an Ambassador to France that served during your lifespan.
      Answer: Jamie McCourt.
      Question 1A: Name any other Ambassador to France since the countries existence?
      Answer: Thufferin’ Thuccotash!

  3. I think what made it hard for Peter O’Malley to own a family run business was the fact that Walter left the Dodgers to multiple sons and daughters. Peter was in charge but those other owners were having to make do with whatever positive cash flow the Dodgers could afford to take of the organization. Meanwhile, they could be splitting $360,000,000 between them if the team were sold.
    McCourt, wanted to have his cake and eat it too in that he wanted to own the Dodgers but he also wanted the cash it generated.
    The stadium needed improvements, the farm system needed more investment, and prices needed raising but raising prices would be contrary to the family atmosphere the O’Malley’s were known for.
    FOX wanted to use the Dodgers to help them manage their existing business and not to improve the Dodgers. They wanted to fill air time.

  4. If the Dodgers want to sign Darvish they will first trade players to make room for his payroll. Darvish seems willing to wait.
    Baez, Grandal, Hill, and Ryu are players that could be traded (not all of them) to clear space IMO.

    1. I don’t know that Darvish is that much of a performance upgrade over Hill. I suppose it would depend on the package in return for Hill, et al, but you’re swapping one SP for one of equal or lesser value IMO.

      1. I was not thinking of it as an upgrade but as a way to get a righty to fit in with Kershaw, Ryu, and Wood while eliminating a lefty. Also, Yu may be more physically reliable than Hill and he seemed to be a good clubhouse presence as well.
        I was just looking at where the payroll was that the Dodgers might be willing to move as they will want to do if they want to sign Yu.

  5. Moving Rich Hill to sign Yu Darvish in my mind is counterproductive. They are both proven quantities and I think Hill has proven his worth.
    We are still seeking that ring are we not.

  6. If you, like I, am still stung by the Stanton situation, do yourself a favor and listen to the Baseball America podcast about the Dodgers system.
    It’s a big pick-me-up.
    Their comments on Santana, on Verdugo (I didn’t know about his arm or fielding skill), on the Dodgers new International Scouting team and on the overall finding and development scheme is really heartening.
    It made me feel good.

    1. Stanton would have been nice, but the reality of the situation is that big contracts like that seldom bring championships.

      I am very high on the Dodgers system. With Bellinger and Seager graduated, they still have a slew of prospects… maybe not A+ (outside of Buehler) , but a few A- and many B+. Verdugo has the bat, if not the power … yet. I know they said some think he can stay in CF – I don’t! But his arm is on the same level as Puigs. He would be an excellent RF’er. It’s his attitude some question, although he has never been in trouble with the law. Hopefully, some more maturity will cure it.

      I think that if Santana doesn’t cut it as a starter, he will be the Closer for LA. May, White, Diaz, Ruiz, Smith… my, oh my!

  7. Just read that Kershaw and Darvish are throwing partners this off season. Kershaw thinks the guy is great. Important? Of course, Kershaw loved AJ Ellis, too.

    1. They could sign Darvish if they traded Grandal and Ryu… especially if they could get any salary relief from Kemp… but that seems unlikely.

      Even $5 million a year for Kemp would help.

      If I had a wish list, here’s all it would be:

      Get Yelich and Darvish.

      Trade Kemp, Ryu, Grandal, Verdugo, Smith and/or Alvarez (whatever it takes to get Yelich).

      That’s all I want!

  8. Bums, interesting trade idea. You want to trade two starting pitchers, a co-starting catcher, and a RHRP, all for the ability to MAYBE sign Darvish, and still do nothing about the glut of OF’s. I do not know how that makes the team better. Maybe most of the fans do not like Pedro Baez, but Dodger management sure seems to think highly of him. I see no chance of that happening.
    I would be fine seeing Darvish back with the team, but it will never happen without moving Kemp and getting at least $10M in relief this year. The Dodgers do not need to get under the luxury tax, they are already there.
    The Pirates are apparently asking the Astros for Derek Fisher (2016-17 #1 prospect – now on roster), Kyle Tucker (prospect #1), and Forest Whitley (prospect #2) for Gerrit Cole. If that is the price, I would be walking away. The Astros do not have salary issues, and can sign Darvish. If I were them, that is who I would be pursuing. They also have a strong farm, and Arrieta should be a potential for them should they decide to sign him and lose a draft pick.
    I would love to see Yelich in a Dodger uni, but not for the price the Marlins are apparently asking. Jeter needs to make the community happy. If the Dodgers do think that Yelich is a difference maker, there top offer should be Alvarez, Diaz, Joc, and Thompson. Alvarez and Diaz give Jeter the prospects that will entice the community, Mattingly loves Joc, and Joc and Thompson give the Marlins two starting OF’s with ML experience. If they need to include Estevez, so be it. Anything more, and the Dodgers should go to ST and let competition play itself out. Which is what they are probably going to do with a few more Dylan Baker’s and Zach Neal’s along the way. The Dodgers have 5 starters who each started at least 24 games last year, and should be able to go the 1st half. If Buehler or Urias or Stewart, are not ready, then FAZ can look for that #2 SP at the deadline. At least one of Toles or Joc will be fine as a platoon with Kike’ in LF, but if Verdugo is not ready, and a difference maker comes available at the deadline, they can make a play for him at that time. They will not win 104 games but they will not need to to make the playoffs. 5 weeks until pitchers and catchers report.

  9. …….”You want to trade two starting pitchers, a co-starting catcher, “……..
    AC, you missed the point of my comment and then misstated as well. That’s annoying.
    I think we all agree that FAZ want to stay under the Competitive Balance tax threshold in 2018 and that FAZ would like, not need, to sign Darvish. Therefore, they will need to move some payroll to add payroll. I mentioned 4 players that FAZ might be willing to trade, but I never said to trade all of them.
    I would not be surprised if Puig were traded during the season if Verdugo looks like he is ready to take over RF.

    1. I am sorry that I annoyed you, but oh well. The only way Darvish is signed is if Kemp is moved and at least $10M goes with him. That is not likely to happen. In addition, Darvish wants 6-7 years at $20M+ AAV, and the Dodgers will not do that. Darvish may be willing to sign 6 years at $20M for LAD, as a “discount”. But the Dodgers will not do that (at least FAZ has not previously done that). Friedman has also said that he does not see a need to add a starting pitcher as he would prefer the flexibility to bring in the kids in a “soft landing” approach. If a mid to top of the rotation pitcher becomes reasonably available (Cole, Archer, or to a lesser degree Odorizzi), then they would consider it, but Ryu would have to be moved to keep that “soft landing”. I think FAZ is higher on one year of Ryu than any other team right now. Otherwise, the Dodgers will wait to see what top level pitcher becomes available at the trade deadline.
      The Red Sox were the ones that said that JBJ was available as they wanted to make room for Martinez (moving Betts to CF). I am sure the Dodgers saw an opportunity to get an elite CF with three years of control and probably at a less cost than Puig for the next two years, and made a one for one offer. The Red Sox said no, and that was undoubtedly the entire conversation. No wheeling and dealing. The Red Sox are already over the luxury tax threshold, and are not willing to take on more salary so they can sign JDM. If they can move JBJ for prospects, they would consider that. Puig will be in RF for the Dodgers for the next 2 years (at least) unless he reverts to his old self. If Verdugo is added to the 25 man, it will be as the LF not the RF. Verdugo would go to RF in 2 years if Puig decides to move on in free agency.

  10. Cannot wait for ST. Two years ago they broadcast almost every ST game. Last they broadcast only about half. Does anyone know the ST broadcast schedule? I use MLBTV package.

  11. John Paul Morosi says Gerritt Cole to Houston is imminent.

    And to back what AC said, Pitt would likely get a pretty good haul for him.

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