I was wondering what the title of the person baseball chose to run the Dodgers would be. I liked “Lord Protector,” but figured that wouldn’t fly. “Trustee” seemed cool, but that may suggest some legal duties to the team and its stakeholders that baseball would rather not have.
They have settled on “Monitor,” which is rather passive. But it’s also a “Crisis on Infinite Earths” shoutout, so that’s cool. Not that Bud Selig had that in mind because that would be too impossibly cool for words.
Anyway, here’s the official statement:
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that he has appointed J. Thomas Schieffer, the former president of the Texas Rangers, as the Monitor of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise. Schieffer will represent the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in the oversight of the day-to-day operations, business and finances of the Dodgers and all of the franchise’s related entities.
Schieffer, an investor in the ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that purchased the Rangers in 1989, was the club president from 1991-1999 and the franchise’s general partner from November 1994 until June 1998. The Fort Worth native was the club’s partner in charge of ballpark development in advance of the 1994 opening of The Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers won their first three American League West titles (1996, 1998-1999) in club history in the years during Schieffer’s tenure.
I know some people wanted Peter O’Malley or someone with a history with the Dodgers to come on board, but that never made much sense. The warm fuzzies the fans want have to come from the eventual long term owner, not the caretaker. At the same time, baseball needs someone to make hard decisions and prepare the team for ultimate sale, and someone with a former connection to the team wouldn’t be the best choice.
For what it’s worth, Schieffer was the Ambassador to Japan and Australia during the Bush Administration. He is also the younger brother of Bob Schieffer of CBS News. For a time he was in the Texas gubernatorial race last year as a Democrat, which is strange considering how long he worked for Bush with both the Rangers and in government. But hey, strange bedfellows and all of that.
No matter what you can say about him, his resume suggests competence. And competence is something that the Los Angeles Dodgers desperately need.