Honestly, I’ve been trying to stay away from this situation that has evolved from the incident on opening day at Dodger Stadium. Anybody who knows me knows I have a life-long hatred of the Dodgers. But it has become so clear that Frank McCourt has done something I never thought possible; he’s made the Dodger organization eminently more hateable.
First and foremost, stop calling what happened a “tragedy.” Calling it a tragedy infers there is more than one victim. There is only one victim; his name is Bryan Stow and he is in a coma because a few individuals committed a criminal act by assaulting and pummeling him nearly to death.
If you want to talk about multiple parties, then you have to talk about who is responsible for this act of senseless brutality. Obviously, there are the people who committed the crime; these are people who need to be found and punished. But then there’s Dodger owner Frank McCourt. The importance of the fact this happened at McCourt’s ballpark cannot be understated, because he created the environment which made this assault possible.
What happened to Bryan Stow is the culmination of a series of events, all of which were set in motion by McCourt. Ask anybody who has been to Dodger Stadium in the last five years and they will tell you it has become a dangerous place. There is a distinct lack of security; there’s a distinct lack of uniformed police. There used to be a distinct presence of stadium personnel in the parking lots after the games; McCourt got rid of them while instituting a emphasis on beer sales. It is all a recipe for this kind of incident.
What worse is the day after Stow was beaten into a coma, McCourt denied that Dodger Stadium had a security problem, and it took nearly a week of the Dodgers being flamed in the media before McCourt finally admitted there was a problem and hired former LAPD chief William Bratton.
How the hell can one man be so blind? There’s a guy who was beaten into a coma on his property, which by definition means there’s a problem. The thing that really bothers me is that McCourt doesn’t react to the beating that occurred at his ballpark, rather he reacts to the flaming he received in the media. In other words, this hire smacks of a public relations move rather than a decision made in the interest of public safety.
This really ought to be the last straw; this should be the point where Major League Baseball steps in and assumes control of this franchise. Since the McCourts are in the middle of a nasty divorce, and since Frank McCourt is already circling the financial drain, it is pretty clear he stopped caring about the well-being of the franchise a while ago. But looking for leadership from Bud Selig is like looking for a ham sandwich in Mecca. Instead, we are all going to get to watch the death of one of the historic franchises of Major League Baseball, which means Bryan Stow near-death will ultimately be for nothing.
That’s the real tragedy.