Dodgers' Monitor Outlines His Job
“I’d prefer not to be called Monitor Schieffer,” Major League Baseball trustee and former U.S. Ambassador to Australia and Japan Tom Schieffer clarified to reporters on Friday at Dodger Stadium. And that was not the only clarification he made to reporters on Friday in the field level seats at Dodger Stadium as he went into more detail of his job function in his ever-present genteel Texas demeanor.
“We’re not here to make it harder for the organization to get its business. We’re here to try and find out what to do, what has happened, why has this problem arisen and what can we do to change it.”
Schieffer made it clear that the only change in day-to-day operations would occur if any transaction fell outside of the budget. As he told General Manager Ned Colletti earlier in the afternoon, “Basically you do what you’re doing, and you come see me if there’s some change in the budget or you want some change in the budget. I’m not the guy you go to go around other people.”
Schieffer made it clear that anything that falls into the budget whether it be trades or signings would not fall under his oversight. “If it’s inside the budget they can go for it.”
Essentially Schieffer will function as an auditor reporting his findings to Commissioner Bud Selig.
“You have to follow the dollar from place to place. That’s something you have to look at.”
Schieffer also ruled out going into Frank McCourt’s personal finanaces. “It’s only as it pertains to the ball club. We’re not in any of his personal life. It’s what comes in the club, what goes out of the club.”
As to whether he knew how long this process would take, Schieffer channeled his inner Donald Rumsfeld: “I don’t because I don’t know what I don’t know.”
Although he will stay as long as he is needed, he does hope this isn’t a long drawn-out process.
“The faster we can do it, that’s something I’m happy to do. I’ll be glad on the last day of the project. When that is, I don’t know.
“This is a pretty complicated situation as is often the case when you get into difficulties like this. You have to get from here to there, but you don’t know how far there is.”
Schieffer had a meeting with McCourt earlier on Friday and mentioned it came nowhere close to the North Korea levels he joked about in his press conference on Wednesday. “Easier than the North Koreans, but they set a pretty high bar.
“It’s been fine. And I think there has been a change from that news conference to now. There have been no objections.”
One of Schieffer’s immediate concerns was to talk to the players directly to allay any fears they might have. “I think they deserve to hear from me what we think the situation will be.”