Dodgers vice chairman and president Jamie McCourt fielded questions from fans during an online chat Tuesday. McCourt answered questions about the Dodgers Women's Initiative & Network (WIN) and what the club is doing to make the fan experience at Dodger Stadium the best in baseball.
McCourt: Hey everyone. Thanks for being a part of this live chat. I hope you're going to be watching the All-Star Game tonight. We're so thrilled Nomar Garciaparra is part of the team and that Brad Penny is starting. We hope the National League wins. Now let's get started with the chat.
dodgerdog1238: Do you like the 2006 Dodgers? Do you think they will make the playoffs?
McCourt: I think that this team is very talented, but what puts it over the top is character and camaraderie in the clubhouse. The relationships between the veterans and the rookies are quite impressive and that's what you always hope for. I believe that the coaching staff that's been assembled and all these ingredients will make a us a contender in 2006.
Base_Ball_2: Can we expect bold and smart movements in order to improve the team's pitching and another bat that could give the Dodgers much more offense in the second half of the season?
McCourt: Those are really questions for Ned Colletti, our general manager. That said, you've heard him say that we're looking to add to our pitching staff, but it's a question of what's out there. With so many teams still in contention, it may be difficult to find exactly what we want, but Ned and his staff are working tirelessly every day to do just that.
scalino: What are some of the current business initiatives you are working on or developing right now?
McCourt: We're trying to provide our fans with the best experience in all of baseball and we're constantly looking to enhance the stadium with further amenities. You've already seen the renovations with the replacement of every seat in the bowl and we're looking to improve additional amenities for our fans in this next offseason. We continue to look for ways to reach out to our fans, like the Spanish-language website we recently launched, losdodgers.com, and the new blog on dodgers.com. Our fan loyalty program has been a real success and already has more than 4,500 members, one of whom won the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend on DodgerVision last week. These are just some of the recent examples of our business initiatives.
Base_Ball: What do you teach the women during WIN events?
McCourt: As you may know, WIN was launched to give women the opportunity to understand what goes on at Dodger Stadium both on and off the field and gives them a chance to interact with the players, coaches and front office personnel. Women make up 40 percent of our fans base and we're really looking to give them the opportunity to understand all of the things in baseball. The most important thing to remember is that the game belongs to everyone. The lessons learned on the field, like how to excel as an individual within a team framework, are the same lessons that you would apply in your business life. You have to stay focused and play to win.
Base_Ball_2: How do you think baseball should deal with the steroid issue?
McCourt: As a mother of four boys, the most important issue to me is the health of the players. All of baseball, whether it's the players themselves, the front office, the MLB Players Association or the agents, should all be looking out for the players' health. Furthermore, these players are looked up to by our children and we need them to hold themselves to high standards.
scalino: You have said you would like to reach four million fans in attendance. Do you think that number is possible to reach for the Dodgers?
McCourt: Without a doubt. The Dodgers have incredible fans who support the team. We're on track for a record-setting season when it comes to attendance this year and given our commitment to constantly enhancing the fan experience, this will only get better.
time2diecs: Do you think the Dodgers will win a World Series in the next five years?
McCourt: We're committed to putting a winning team on the field, year after year. We want to win and do it the right way. We have a wonderful farm system that we'll continue to invest in. That said, even with our rookies performing incredibly well like they have been this year, there is a balance between young talented rookies and savey veterans. That combination will enable us to achieve our goal.
McCourt: Thanks for all of your questions. As you've read or heard over the last two years, our three goals are to produce championship baseball year after year, create an incredible experience for our fans and continue to expand our involvement in the Los Angeles community. While I touched on the first two goals already, I want you all to know just how important our community involvement is to me. The Dodgers are bigger than just what takes place on the field. Through the Dodgers Dream Foundation, we've reached hundreds of thousands of people this year alone, through health, educational and recreational initiatives. We have a dedicated group of Dodgers legends, current players, coaches and front office staff who are dedicated to the community. I really appreciate the opportunity to hear directly from our fans and please continue to give us your feedback. Enjoy the All-Star Game tonight and I hope to see you at Dodger Stadium soon. Think Blue.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.