Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt lashed out at Bud Selig yesterday, saying it was “un-American” for the MLB Commissioner to seize control for Mc Court’s private property.McCourt said, “No one handed me the Dodgers and no one is going to take it away from me.”
A fair point. Too bad that’s not exactly true.
MLB had vote to approve McCourt when he bought the team in 2004, and while we haven’t seen his ownership agreement he signed to join their club, we’re guessing they can also take it away.
It’s also hard for McCourt to argue that he earned the Dodgers all on his own. Yes, he’s one of the few people to ever own a MLB team without minority partners, but McCourt financed his purchase almost entirely with debt.
And while the Dodgers value has nearly doubled since he took over, the team’s debt load has only gotten worse.
The franchise’s revenues have skyrocketed, but so have their expenses. McCourt has raised ticket prices and slashed payroll, but the team’s current debt exceeds the price he paid for the team.
McCourt claims the new $3 billion TV deal that he negotiated with FOX will save the team, and it probably would. But McCourt and his soon-to-be ex-wife have already used money borrowed from team properties to pay their own expenses, instead of investing it back in the franchise.
Finally, McCourt went around MLB rules to borrow $30 million from FOX just to meet payroll this month. Is it any wonder why Selig doesn’t trust him to spend that new windfall wisely?
The Dodgers may not have been “handed” to Frank McCourt, but he sure has taken a lot of handouts..