McCourt focuses in on postseason
Dodgers chairman says team has pulled together
Los Angeles Dodgers chairman Frank McCourt chatted with fans Wednesday prior to the start of Game 1 of the NLDS. McCourt touched upon a number of topics, including facing the Mets, improvements to Dodger Stadium, and possible offseason acquisitions.
Frank McCourt: Hi everyone. It is nice to be with you, and it is a very exciting day for the Dodgers. Let's get started.
Base_Ball_2: Mr. McCourt, how do you feel going into the NLDS against the Mets? How do you think the Dodgers match up?
McCourt: It's been a lot of work by the entire team to get here, so there is a great deal of satisfaction on the one hand, and on the other hand, we need to stay focused and play one game at a time to win this series. As far as the matchup is concerned, I think our team is ready to take on anyone right now because of the way our guys have pulled together and become a team.
Base_Ball: Frank, I am a lifelong Dodger fan of 38 years. I just wondered, after so much turmoil in the past two offseasons, do you feel a little vindicated with how the team has played since the past season's overhaul?
McCourt: It has nothing to do with vindication; it is all about winning Championships. That said, I do think that we have the foundation in place now to be competitive and win on a regular basis.
Base_Ball: Who has been your most surprising player this year for the Dodgers?
McCourt: It would be impossible for me to single out one player, because I think what distinguishes this group of guys is that they blend together so well as a team.
Base_Ball: Have you ever had as much fun being a fan of baseball than this year?
McCourt: I love baseball, and I always think it is fun, but you're right -- this year is pretty special.
Base_Ball_3: Where will you be watching the game today?
McCourt: I will be right next to our dugout, in the stands at Shea Stadium.
smurfsam5: What improvements to the stadium are being planned for the offseason?
McCourt: Right now, our focus is on winning in the postseason. After the season is over, we're going to share our plans for the next phase in the restoration project with our fans.
godisdodger: Are the Dodgers going to pursue Barry Zito in the offseason, or is a big bat more important?
McCourt: In the offseason, Ned Colletti, Grady Little and I will do what we did this entire year, and we'll talk on a daily basis about what this team needs to continue to improve. As I've said before, we want to win, and we want to win on a regular basis, year in and year out.
la4bob: Thanks for the great work and great teams for the last three years, Frank. As a Dodger fan for 40-plus years, it's nice to see the Dodgers getting back to the organization it should be.
McCourt: I appreciate those generous and kind words, but the thanks really go to you, and all the loyal Dodger fans. You've supported this team through thick and thin, and this year, you came to Dodger Stadium in record numbers. The thanks should be directed to you fans, and you deserve a World Championship.
Base_Ball: Anything special planned for the Dodgers playoff games at Dodger Stadium?
McCourt: We have some great things planned when we get back home to L.A. It's going to be an amazing weekend at Dodger Stadium, and yes, we have a few surprises planned.
ajacobs87: Going into the last six games of the year, what did you think the Dodgers had to do to make the postseason?
McCourt: Win -- and continue to do what they've done the entire year -- that is, play as hard as they could, and never quit. This team's resiliency is its trademark, and that resiliency provided a lot of magic this season. I have a strong belief that that magic will continue.
Khiem_Vu: Why did you improve Dodger Stadium?
McCourt: We have three goals -- providing the best fan experience in baseball to our fans is one of our three goals. In my opinion, making Dodger Stadium the best place for our fans to watch their team play is a big part of making that goal a reality.
Bryan_Baldwin: Is it exciting knowing we can play the Padres in the NLCS and really show them what talent we have?
McCourt: It will be exciting to play in the NLCS, period.
lomitaboy: Frank, great job this season. Do you see the Dodgers going after any big names next season?
McCourt: Our first goal is to win, and whomever Ned believes will improve this team, and help us win, I'm all for it. I think he and Grady did a great job blending last offseason's acquisitions with the young talent coming up through our system. I think that formula will continue to work for us.
Charles_Rho: Do the Dodgers have any interest in signing Seung Yeop Lee (played at the World Championship this year) from South Korea?
McCourt: I'm not going to comment on any specific players that we might sign, but I will say that one of the things that makes the Dodgers unique, and I think is one reason for the team's international following, is that we don't hesitate to sign talent from around the world. Just look at this year's team.
jocker213: Mr. McCourt, first of all, thank you for all this. Thank you for bringing life to this team. My question is if you could tell me, in percentages, the chances of Eric Gagne coming back next year.
McCourt: Thanks for your support. I see lots of questions about returning veterans, and Ned and I will sit down when the season is over, and I'm sure he'll share all his thoughts and ideas with me. What I can tell you is that we will continue to do everything we can to put the Dodgers in a position to compete, and to win, year in and year out.
jkentfan: I would like to offer my sincere gratitude for your signing one of my all-time favorite players, Mr. Jeff Kent. Wouldn't it be great if he were to leave this season, he could leave with a World Series ring?
McCourt: I think that would be great, too. Jeff and all of the veterans on the team know how hard it is to get to this point, and they're not going to let anything distract them from their collective goal, and that is to win it all.
McCourt: OK, guys. I have to get to the ballpark, so one last question before I go.
Base_Ball_3: I know that a "W" is all that matters, but do you have any predictions on the final score today?
McCourt: No predictions on the final score, but I do have a very positive feeling about this team, and their readiness to play. Ned, Grady and their supporting staff have done a great job preparing the players, but as we saw in San Francisco this past weekend, the players themselves now have that look in their eyes. They want to win badly, and I believe they will.
McCourt: Thanks for your incredible support all season long. This is what it is all about -- postseason baseball. Sorry I have to run, but I have to leave the hotel now to get to Shea. Go Dodgers!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.