It’s one thing to tell folks they have a better shot of getting into heaven rooting for the Dodgers, quite another to proclaim McCourt the savior.
“I love the guy,” Lasorda said, “and you can believe me as sure as I am sitting here and talking to you right now.”
“You keep talking like that,” I said, “and if McCourt continues to flounder, he could very well take your legacy down with him. No doubt Dodger fans want to hear Lasorda talking about better days ahead, but are you sure they want you promising McCourt will be the one who is going to deliver them?”
“I agree with everything he’s done,” Lasorda said. “Einstein once said an ounce of loyalty is worth more than a pound of knowledge.”
That would explain why he’s ignoring the facts.
“Hey, I believe the majority of Dodger fans think the same way as I do,” Lasorda said. “They believe he’s doing something to help this organization be successful.”
I said something about his being out to lunch, and as soon as I mentioned lunch Lasorda seemed to perk up. But I wanted to know whether he was supporting McCourt now because McCourt put him back on top of the Dodger mountain.
“Exactly,” he admitted. “I was hurt, and [respect] is what Frank gave me, and why I love the man.”
It’s a hard sell, though, telling fans McCourt is on the ball when evidence suggests otherwise. But I commended Lasorda on delivering his blarney with such passion, and he appeared surprised.
“I’m sincere,” he said. “Hook me to a lie detector. I’ll bet my lungs I’m telling the truth. I love Frank and Jamie McCourt. Set up a lie detector, and when I pass, you apologize to them for challenging my loyalty and love for them.”
I said I’d find a polygraph, and ask about pitching to Jack Clark and trading Paul Konerko. And if I do have to apologize, I’ll give the McCourts a call, and never get a return call.
“You’re really something,” Lasorda huffed. “I read those letters in the paper about you, and it’s not love. You know what, I might be the only friend you have.”