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

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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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.