The Dodgers paid an exec $400K to run a $1.6M charity


The Dodgers Dream Foundation is “a nonprofit charity whose mission is to serve the educational and
athletic needs of children and is supported by donations from the
public.” It has an annual budget of about $1.6 million.  The New York Times reports that a full one-quarter of that budget — $400,000 — went to its chairman, Howard Sunkin. Sunkin also happens to be the team’s senior vice president for public affairs, which is basically a lobbying/p.r. position.

This is a tremendously outsized salary for a charity of this size to paying out to its top executive.  It is also just the latest bit of evidence that the McCourts either (a) have no financial sense; or (b) have some reason to want to funnel Sunkin’s lobbying salary through the charity.  And who knows? Maybe they funnel money back from the Dodgers to the charity to make up for it?  Not much the McCourts do with money makes sense, so it’s hard to determine whether this is mismanagement, brilliance, chicanery or some benign work-around.

The only thing we know for sure is that the more we learn about how owners spend their money — the Dodgers owners and every other owner, really — the less we really want to learn.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

billy beane getty

I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.

Brewers fire pitching coach Rick Kranitz

Wily Peralta, Rick Kranitz, Hernan Perez, Martin Maldonado
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Despite a change at general manager from Doug Melvin to David Stearns the Brewers quickly made it clear that they’re keeping Craig Counsell as manager, but today they fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

In fact, all of Milwaukee’s coaches except for hitting coach Darnell Coles and third base coach Ed Sedar were let go, as Counsell shakes up his staff after managing the Brewers to a 61-76 record as Ron Roenicke’s replacement.

Kranitz took over as the Brewers’ pitching coach in 2011, during which time they’ve ranked 11th among NL teams in ERA.