File photo of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaking at a news conference about increased security at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

UPDATE: Frank McCourt took calls from Dodgers fans; didn’t help himself


UPDATE: It doesn’t sound like Frank McCourt changed any minds during his radio hit today. According to Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts, McCourt basically said everyone is lying about him:

“If the stuff that was written about me was true, I wouldn’t trust me either”

Except that most of the stuff that has everyone hating and not trusting him were things that came out under oath during his divorce proceedings. Or, as Jon notes, all of the defenses McCourt raises are ludicrous on their face. Such as his claim that the FOX deal is totally fabulous despite the fact that it was clearly struck while McCourt was desperate. And that his financial woes are the result of Major League Baseball blocking the deal, even though it is a deal for the future and that it’s his past that is catching up with him.

The fans aren’t buying it either. The first caller on the radio show said that he won’t go to a Dodger game as long as McCourt owns the team. I don’t think that person is alone.

For a totally thorough recap, go to Dodger Divorce, where my friend Josh Fisher and ESPN’s Molly Knight, each of whom have been covering McCourt in detail for years, live-chatted the call, the recap of which you read now.  It’s not pretty for Frank McCourt. Unfortunately for him, he’s too deluded to realize it.

2:29 PM: This ought to be fun. Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts comes word that Dodgers “owner” Frank McCourt join Steve Mason and John Ireland at 3 p.m. Pacific time on ESPN AM 710 in Los Angeles. And during the broadcast he’s going to take calls from fans.

Here’s hoping that some good sharp questions are allowed through the call screeners. Not ranting lunatics, but Dodgers fans who can explain to Frank McCourt that his problems are not, contrary to his claims, one of fan perception. And fans who can demand from him something a little better than the condescension he’s been giving them for some time.

Mostly, though, this should be good for Frank McCourt awkwardness. He doesn’t strike me as a man who is very self-aware. It should be interesting to hear what happens when he’s challenged.

Breitbart gives Curt Schilling a radio show to fight the Clinton criminal conspiracy

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27:  Former ESPN Analyst Curt Schilling talks about his ESPN dismissal and politics during SiriusXM's Breitbart News Patriot Forum hosted by Stephen K. Bannon and co-host Alex Marlow at the SiriusXM Studio on April 27, 2016 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
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Former major league pitcher and recently unemployed baseball commentator Curt Schilling has a new gig. He will be joining Breitbart News as the host of a daily online radio show during which he will offer political commentary and take calls from listeners. The radio show will be called “Whatever it Takes.”

The press release describes the show as, “Schilling’s unfiltered and insightful commentary on a mix of topics ranging from politics and culture to current affairs and perhaps some sports.”

Here’s Schilling’s take on it all, again, from the press release:

“God places things in our lives for specific reasons. After being fired by ESPN for my conservative opinions, I arrive here at Breitbart News, which I consider the last bastion of actual journalism. Yes, it’s openly conservative, but as much as liberals despise us they can’t deny the facts behind the arguments. This is the most important election of our lifetimes and under no circumstances can we allow a career criminal to be put in the Oval Office . . . I am proud to be a part of a team that will continue to point out the very thing that’s ruining this country: liberal, progressive, socialist agenda driven by the elite globalist connected to American politics and the Clinton family.”

That’s special. And I suspect the sorts of people who tell Bill and me to “stick to sports” won’t be doing the same to Schilling. Which is fine. I’m all for letting a thousand freak flags fly.  And Schilling’s is one of the freakiest.

In other news, Schilling tried to organize a Donald Trump rally over the weekend at Boston’s city hall. About 15 people showed up for it. Good luck with those radio ratings, Curt.

World Series umpiring crew announced. Hi, Joe West!

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 12: Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs is ejected from the game in the ninth inning by umpire Joe West #22 at against the St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium on September 12, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.

A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.

Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:

Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)