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Frankly speaking, Selig should let McCourt's ex-wife toss pitch

by | CBSSports.com National Columnist
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If Bud Selig has a sense of humor, and we think if you liquored him up sufficiently it would reveal itself, he would trot out Jamie McCourt to throw out the first pitch of the World Series.

This won't sit well with the St. Louis Cardinals, who have always been the de facto guardians of Middle America's baseball conscience. They have their own icons, and they guard them well.

It would be hilarious for Jamie McCourt -- who is no longer connected to baseball -- to be on the mound. (Getty Images)  
It would be hilarious for Jamie McCourt -- who is no longer connected to baseball -- to be on the mound. (Getty Images)  
Besides, Jamie McCourt isn't even connected to baseball anymore, now that her divorce to Dodger owner and MLB Deadbeat of the Year Frank McCourt has finally been concluded. She ceded her claim on half the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for $130 million from Frank.

Who of course doesn't have $130 million, or anything close to it. He's going to court to fight Bud Selig for control of the Dodgers, and even if the team is auctioned off to new people with actual wallets, Jamie may never see her cash.

In short, she has less claim to the honor than Brad Pitt.

But Frank McCourt has been making Selig's shorts ride up so high and so hard that he might decide that this is one way to get back some of his own. I mean, Major League Baseball already turned the first pitch before Game 2 into a marketing opportunity, and some guy from Hilliard, Ohio, is getting his chance through some soft drink promotion.

So let's get off our high horse on the topic right now, shall we?

Point is, with the Dodgers and Selig about to enter their mutual death spiral, in a court battle that will start on (oh, yes) Halloween, there will be few enough opportunities for Selig to haunt McCourt and what he has done to the franchise between now and then.

The Dodgers as players handled their business with remarkable dignity, and Matt Kemp had an MVP-quality year by any definition. But as an organization, their self-inflicted pauperhood has undermined the value of one of the game's most shiny baubles.

And let's be fair, some of this is Bud's fault. He was so interested in carrying Rupert Murdoch's water as Murdoch was selling that he brought in McCourt, who had no money, to own the team.

With predictably hilarious results.

And let's be fair, some of this is Jamie's fault, for growing sick of Frank and turning the tenuous operation of the Dodgers into a pie fight.

With predictably hilarious results.

But let's be really fair too, and point to Frank McCourt as one of the least worthy members of a club of often unworthy men. There are not a lot of baseball owners whom you would want to eat with, even if they were paying, but Frank wouldn't be able to pay for the food which you wouldn't be able to eat because he'd cost you your appetite by, well, being Frank.

So this is all a compromise choice, inflicted upon the people of St. Louis under the "There But For The Grace Of God Go Thee" clause.

Jamie McCourt, throwing out the first pitch. Bud, standing next to her, his pants around his ankles with a sign hanging from his neck that reads, "Hey, It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time." And Frank's lawyers, being held back by overzealous security guards from serving the two of them with fistfuls of new frivolous lawsuits.

And all of them wearing Dodger gear -- hats with the bills half torn away, jackets with one sleeve ripped off, and a painting of Jackie Robinson throwing up.

Festive? No. But it serves as a valuable reminder even to the Cardinals and Texas Rangers that they are both one bad sale away from being in the same hideous state -- sort of like the new emperor of Rome entering the city in triumph while a slave whispers repeatedly into his ear, "All glory is fleeting, all glory is fleeting. Hey Dumbass, are you listening here? All glory is fleeting."

Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.com

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