When 13-year-old Jonathan Friedman was tinkering around with the Whack-a-Panda app template at camp this summer, the young baseball fan realized he knew just the guy people might want to throw stuff at:
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, duh!
The bankrupt, defamed masthead of L.A.'s baseball team long ago reached that threshold of unpopularity where it's impossible for people to assign him real feelings, or worry he might get sad/hurt if they throw a bag of peanuts at his forehead. (Or a hot dog, or a bag of popcorn.)
He's a punching bag. A dud. If the Dodgers lose, it's his fault. If someone gets beat up in the stands, it's his fault. And now, without ever having to come within 10 feet of the guy, we can show him how we really feel — on the one-sided food-fight battlefields of Android app “Get Frank Out.”
“He's been running us into the ground,” Friedman says, dejected, over the phone. “We've been on a losing streak. … What I've read is that he's been taking money from the team, and that money could have been spent to draft better players.”
We don't have an Android phone, and would rather hear Friedman describe how the whacking game works than witness it anyway, so we ask.
“He yells out,” the teen explains. “Every time you touch him, it hits him, and he says, “Ouch!”
Friedman says he hasn't heard anything from McCourt about the app. But he admits that if he actually ever met the man, he “probably wouldn't say anything at all, out of respect.”
No — not respect. Friedman rephrases. “If I ran into him in person,” he says, “I would not throw things at him.” Guess that's what fantasies are for.