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Hullabaloo


Friday, February 21, 2003

 
Koufax

It is hard to explain just how thoroughly Rupert Murdoch and his cadre of greedy sharks have ruined my baseball team, the Dodgers. They have systematically destroyed the tradition that survived everything from Branch Rickey's noble decision to sign Jackie Robinson and end the color line in baseball, to the move out to LA to recreate themselves from the Brooklyn Bums to the classiest team in the national league (or at least a perennial contender.)

They destroyed the best farm system in baseball, hired (then mercifully fired) Texas Republican psych case Kevin Malone who Enroned the team for the forseeable future with contracts for old and/or worthless banged up pitchers worth many, many tens of millions and stripped the club of virtually all ties to its century long legacy. (Not to mention treating the best manager in baseball, Mike Scioscia, so badly that he left the organization he'd been born to manage to take our crosstown rivals to the world series instead.)

Now that NewsCorp achieved its goal of keeping Disney out of the sports media market in Southern California, they are selling the team (which they only bought for the purposes of gaining the media rights in the first place.) I'm surprised they haven't fired Vin Scully as a cost-cutting measure.

This week, to add insult to injury, that fishwrap piece of shit the NY Post had to print another speculative "outing" piece in it's heinous gossip pages that has resulted in the embarrassment and resignation of one of the greatest baseball players in history from the only organization he ever worked for.

Koufax Shuts Out Dodgers

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, whose brilliance on the mound captivated fans in the 1960s and defined the Dodgers' greatest era in Los Angeles, has severed ties with the club in protest of another News Corp. subsidiary.

Koufax, a very private man who established a standard for pitching excellence in four of the most dominant seasons in the game's history from 1963-66, recently informed the Dodgers he would no longer attend spring training here at Dodgertown, visit Dodger Stadium or participate in activities while they are owned by the media conglomerate, because of a report in the New York Post that apparently intimated that he is homosexual. The Post is owned by News Corp.

Through friend Derrick Hall, a Dodger senior vice president, Koufax declined comment Thursday night, but officials familiar with the situation said the legendary left-hander, and Vero Beach resident, broke off ties after 48 years in response to a two-sentence gossip item published in the Post on Dec. 19. The Post reported that a "Hall of Fame baseball hero" had "cooperated with a best-selling biography only because the author promised to keep it secret that he is gay. The author kept her word, but big mouths at the publishing house can't keep from flapping." Koufax, who was not specifically named by the paper, is the subject of Jane Leavy's acclaimed biography, "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy," published last September.

News Corp. is undertaking steps to sell the Dodgers, but the timetable doesn't help team officials saddened by what they perceive as the Post's unfair treatment of Koufax.

Expressing his feelings to the Dodgers through Hall shortly after learning of the report, Koufax said "it does not make sense for me to promote any" of the companies controlled by News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, adding he would "feel foolish to be associated with or promote one entity if it helps another." Hall said Koufax stressed, "I have no problems with the Dodgers or their current or previous management. It's more so about [News Corp.]."

Whatever his sexuality, he isn't a whore. And I imagine his sissy, hall-of fame fast ball could still knock Rupert on his ass from 90 feet away.