Apparently, Frank McCourt did not appreciate our advice.If the owner of the Dodgers is going down, he’s going down swinging. The team filed for bankruptcy today, while simultaneously blaming it all on Bud Selig.
From the Dodgers’ press release:
I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn’t achieve with the Commissioner directly.”
In other words, “This is all your fault, Bud.” Maybe if you’d been a little nicer to me, I wouldn’t have to do this.
McCourt is hoping that a bankruptcy judge will agree. We’re not so sure that one will.
McCourt thinks that MLB is intentionally hurting the franchise so that they can blame him and force him out of ownership. Which is probably true, because McCourt is not a very good owner and the powers that be would definitely like to replace him.
However, the constitution that all MLB owners agree to basically gives the Commissioner that right. He can do almost anything if he believes it is in the “best interest of baseball,” including taking over the team and forcing a sale.
Selig’s biggest complaint is that McCourt has taken millions out of the Dodgers business to fund his personal lifestyle. He rejected McCourt’s TV deal with FOX explicitly for that reason, because McCourt was planning to use money from that deal to settle his divorce.
McCourt says if he could just get rid of that pesky divorce all will be well. That’s where he’s hoping the bankruptcy pays off. Because the whole point is to pay off creditors, any judge should be eager to approve the TV deal and settle everyone up.
However, the LA Times reported last week that if the team filed for bankruptcy FOX would no longer support the deal. One, because it doesn’t make good business sense anymore and two, because FOX’s relationship with MLB is way more important than their relationship with the Dodgers. Why tick them off on behalf of a doomed owner?
Inexplicably, McCourt knew this, yet filed for bankruptcy anyway, signaling once again that he simply does not get it. He’s hitched all of his fortunes to the Dodgers’ wagon, so if he has burn it to the ground in order to save it, that’s what he’ll do.
He is absolutely desperate to remain part of a club that doesn’t want him as a member. There’s no happy ending to that story.
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