LA Times columnist T.J. Simers summed up the mood in Chavez Ravine last night after Bud Selgi announced he was taking control of their beloved Dodgers.”Clueless reporters are asking Dodgers officials Wednesday if this is the darkest day in the organisation’s history. Come on, it’s time to celebrate. The worst day in Dodgers’ history was Jan. 29, 2004, Major League Baseball owners unanimously approving the scheming McCourts’ plan to buy the Dodgers.”
The McCourts have become Public Enemy No. 1 in their town (which is not even their town; Frank lives in Boston), especially since their divorce proceedings revealed how they took millions of dollars out of the team to fund their own extravagant lifestyles.
Meanwhile win totals and attendance plummeted.
When McCourt took a $30 million personal loan from FOX last week — given to the owner, not the team, to circumvent Selig’s approval) and offered against no collateral, on the hopes of a greasing the wheels for a TV deal — that was the final straw for MLB.
While seeing your team humbled is never fun, Dodger fans recognise that they needed to hit rock bottom before they could ever rise again. And Bud Selig of all people, will save them.
Selig will soon announce a trustee to oversee the team. All major expenditures will have to be approved by that person, but thankfully that didn’t the stop the Texas Rangers from acquiring the parts that took them to the World Series last year.
From there it’s assumed that MLB, after a full review of the Dodgers’ financial situation, Selig will force the McCourts out by putting the team up for sale.
McCourt says he will fight, but it’s unclear how he plans to do that. He’s broke. He had to go to Fox because no bank would give him a loan. His divorce proceedings are at 18 months and counting. He now owes FOX $30 million, but they don’t care about that as long as they get their $3 billion TV deal. That 20-year broadcast rights pact was McCourt’s only way out of this financial hole, but that deal still has to be approved … by Bud Selig.
Plus, thanks to the “best interests of baseball” clause, Selig can do pretty much whatever he wants. That’s basically how McCourt ended up owning the Dodgers in the first place. Selig made this mess and now he’s going to clean it up.
It will take time, but he does there will be no shortage of wealthy Southern Californians willing to take the team off his hands.