Every group of friends has that one guy nobody likes. When you hang out with your buddies and that one “friend” (let’s just call him Zelda) shows up out of nowhere, you immediately dread the evening. You begin to question the rest of the group:“Who the hell invited him? Did you tell him where we were?!”
In the world of baseball, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has become that “friend” that nobody likes. For years, fans and local radio hosts have criticized him for not investing enough in the team, and it seems as if Major League Baseball shares the same discontent. MLB commissioner Bud Selig flew to Los Angeles wearing a cape and tights to save us from the wretched owner. Okay, that did not really happen, but Selig did seize financial control of the Dodgers on April 20 because of his “deep concerns for the finances and operations” of the franchise.
He recently appointed former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer to monitor and investigate the Dodgers’ financial woes. He also made it a point let people know that “Mr. McCourt is the owner of the franchise,” the former U.S. ambassador said in an interview with KTLA Channel 5. “The organization will do the work.”
But McCourt won’t go down without a fight.
“Nobody handed the Dodgers to me,” McCourt said in a press conference. “Nobody is going to take them away.
“It is not appropriate for one party’s property to be seized by another party,” McCourt said, “just because they got divorced or for some arbitrary reason.”
The former Boston parking lot developer just doesn’t get it. The divorce is one of a myriad of reasons Selig and Los Angeles wants him out. He continued his rant on CNBC Thursday morning when he went on the Squak Box program to voice his displeasure with the situation.
“We haven’t asked for or taken a nickel from MLB’s emergency money,” McCourt said. “We have in front of baseball a multi-billion dollar transaction, consistent with the transactions that they’ve approved with others, that secures the long-term stability of the Dodgers for the next couple of decades and infuses nearly $300 million into the Dodgers immediately.”
It is true that McCourt has not taken a nickel from MLB’s emergency money, but he asked for 600 million nickels (that’s $30 million for those who weren’t mathletes in school) from FOX just to meet payroll. That, apparently, was the final straw for Selig. And McCourt claims the alleged television deal with FOX would infuse $300 million in the team, but would he really use that money on the team? The owners have pitted the Dodgers with over $400 million in debt, and documents read during the divorce proceedings revealed that both Frank and Jamie McCourt pocketed more than $100 million in revenue to support their lavish lifestyle. The documents also exposed the owners’ plans to reduce payroll and increase ticket prices to generate more revenue. Let’s not forget his two sons who received a combined $600,000 salary while one is employed at Goldman Sachs and the other is attending school.
It’s surprising Selig did not act swiftly following the courtroom drama, but he, like Dodger fans, could not take it anymore following the news of the $30 million loan. McCourt will challenge Selig in court, but he will ultimately lose and be forced to sell the team. Just do all of us a favor and let it go, Frank. You’re not going to win, but you well get paid.