Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Dodgers' McCourts are courting trouble

There are two Los Angeles institutions that must be treasured at all costs.

One is the Pantry restaurant, located at 877 S. Figueroa in Downtown Los Angeles.

The other is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At the Pantry, the sign says “Always Open,” and the ads say “Since 1924 Never Closed.”

Neither statement is actually true, because of a tiny flub by the current owner. The Pantry is owned by former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. On Nov. 26, 1997, the Pantry flunked a health inspection. The staff worked all night to correct the problem, and the mayor pulled strings to get an expedited inspection. The Pantry reopened the next day, to the credit of Mayor Riordan, who used all of his influence to correct the problem because he loves Los Angeles and understands the honor and tradition of the Pantry.

Back in the day, the Pantry’s waiters were mostly ex-cons who worked on the outside in between prison stints. They were singularly rude yet wickedly delightful, with their skinny black suits and thin neckties. They always gave us bowls of radishes with the menus.

Today, the real rats are not at the Pantry, but at Dodger Stadium.

Last season, it was fun to joke about filing a complaint-in-intervention (on behalf of the fans) in the McCourts' divorce action, but those days are long gone.

The days of joking about the McCourts are over.

Those days are over, not because they traded Russell Martin and Orlando Hudson — how do they expect loyalty from the fans whey they get rid of the players we like? — or because they doubled the price of parking, which deluged the surrounding neighborhood with drunk people.

The days of joking about the McCourts are over because the McCourts have no love for Los Angeles and no respect for our institutions.

When God blesses you with the ownership of either the Pantry or the Dodgers, the only proper response is total gratitude and respect, but the McCourts show neither.

Not content with milking the franchise while depriving it of decent pitchers, the McCourts beefed up sales of alcohol at the stadium and fired the director of security.

That’s why the Opening Day attack on paramedic and Giants fan Bryan Stow should not be a surprise. Prior to the beating, which left Stow in a coma, he texted a friend that he was scared.

There was inadequate security. There were drunks harassing Giants fans. The tragedy was not a surprise.

The reward for information leading to the arrest of the assailants is now at $150,000. The Dodgers have put $25,000 into the pot. Radio host Tom Leykis has put up another $50,000.

And now, while the Giants organization has offered to pay for Stow’s medical care, instead of writing a large check, the Dodgers have asked the fans to donate. They plan a “drive-through fundraiser” co-hosted by Stow’s employer.

McCourt calls the incident “fan violence.”

Talk about cheap.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La CaƱada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at

The Dodgers' McCourts are courting trouble

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