The Spiteful Dodger

After last week's cover story on Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his history of twisted business dealings that left his partners — and perhaps his wife, Jamie — in the dust ("Dodger Dog," by Gene Maddaus, Aug. 5), we heard from a lot of disgruntled baseball fans, and from a very happy one named Brian: "Loved the article. Keep it up — S.F. Giants fan."

Mostly, though, these readers are homegrown Giants haters who have turned their ire inward. Says JCMacman: "We used to attend around a dozen Dodger games per season but no more. There are countless reasons to loathe the McCourts, but the continuous lies told by them are too much to bear."

"As a baseball fan," adds Sheila Syracuse, "the McCourts are a disgrace to the game, and as a Dodger fan they have turned our treasured franchise into a mess and embarrassed our city. From the moment the McCourts purchased the Dodgers and removed the silhouettes of Koufax, Drysdale, Wills, Valenzuela and others from the wall behind the warning track and replaced them with advertisements, I knew our club was in trouble."

RobE plays it out: "So let me see if I get this straight: Jamie was afraid that the whole leveraged house of cards could finally come crashing down, even though she has been living high on the hog off of that leverage for years and years. And now she wants to bail so that she can have a nest egg and leave Frank holding the bag full of debt obligations before doomsday finally comes.

"No stand by your man, huh, Jamie?" RobE continues. "Not that Frank is any bargain, but she's little more than a matrimonial opportunist (which is a politically correct way of saying 'gold digger') and therefore has no more moral standing than he does. They both make me want to puke."

"I have three games left this year on my 14-game package," writes Dave Smith. "I'll go, but I'll park down the street for free and bring my own food. After that, the only Dodger games I'll be attending will be in front of the TV or at a sports bar until the Dodgers are out of the hands of Frank and Jamie."

Steve wonders, simply, "Can we put McCourt on waivers?"


Our news piece on the arms-dealing Botach family ("Arms Merchants of South Central," by Penn Bullock, Aug. 5) got mixed grades from readers. Robert writes: "As an English teacher, I give this piece of writing an F. Though the underlying stories are interesting and full of shady characters, the article meanders all over the place, making speculations based on little to no evidence, and ends inconclusively. It leaves the reader wondering what the story is exactly that the author is trying to tell."

But Warholia had no such issues: "Brava on a brave, dense, important and difficult story. Alas, it seems a bit short. The Botach family is fascinating, and worth many more inches. Hopefully, Mr. [Bullock] will have the opportunity to explore each of these characters in greater depth in the future. Shmuley, especially. His story MUST be told."

Janice Freeland agrees, adding, "Shmuley is a disgrace to Judaism, charity and facial hair, and Diveroli willfully endangered the lives of people fighting for the survival of cosmopolitan society in a corner of the globe that needs it desperately. I echo the previous commentator: Brava to Penn Bullock. Keep at them."


Karina Longworth's take on the re-release of Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown got a response from fellow critic David Edelstein and others. Says Edelstein: "Thanks for the citation, but I want to add that I liked the movie when it came out and like it better — in fact, absolutely love it — now. I think it's a great stoner hangout pulp movie, with a rhythm all its own (possible comparisons are not just Elmore Leonard but Charles Willeford). The violence is largely offscreen or seen from a distance, sans gore, and is all the more shocking for it."

Opsin is down: "I agree that this is a really interesting examination of what is easily my favorite Tarantino movie. I hadn't spotted previously, but the comment about it being his least-cartoonish film absolutely rings true, and that quiet honesty is a large part of why it's the only Tarantino movie I can keep coming back to."

Some petty reader going by the name of the late, great Manny Farber claims Longworth's is "a pitiful attempt to ape the tossed-off-clever, allusive, cultural-historical stylings of J. Hoberman."

But VT27 begs to differ: "Here on planet Earth, the rest of us found this to be an excellent analysis."

Final word, however, goes to Jay Markowitz: "I thought the movie was plodding and boring. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it."


Every once in a while, a reader gets carried away — like, really carried away in a good and delightful way. So it is with Aunti Mae, responding at length to Beth Barrett's story "The Vision of Michael LoGrande" (Aug. 5). A short excerpt: "He was a very ordinary man, nothing special, nothing grand, he was Little Man Mike LoGrande, spending his life with no direction or plan.

"Then one day he decided to change his life, but he didn't know how. All Little Man Mike LoGrande knew was that he didn't want to be ordinary anymore. He decided to start his quest by going to the local library and reading inspirational books on success. Poor Little Man Mike LoGrande was so ordinary that he couldn't comprehend the words he read. The librarian, seeing Little Man Mike LoGrande's frustration, took him over to the children's section, and handed him the book titled The Little Engine That Could. ...

"Little Man Mike LoGrande decided that if The Little Blue Engine, in The Little Engine That Could, could accomplish his goals, so could he, and Little Man Mike LoGrande began to repeat over and over again, 'I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!'"


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