In Los Angeles and surrounding areas, “Frank McCourt Bashing” is becoming the sport of choice. All over the blogosphere Dodger fans are calling
for him to be forced the sell the team or that Jamie be awarded the Dodgers or half the Dodgers. They mistakenly think that if the happens Frank McCourt will just magically disappear. How wrong they are! One thing appear clear to me – Frank McCourt has no intention of selling the Dodgers.
But, you say “If the Court orders him to he will just have to do it.” That is where you are grossly mistaken. If the Court awards the team to Jamie McCourt, Frank will appeal (more on what that means later). If the Court decides that the team is “joint marital property,” Frank will appeal. Personally, I do not think either of those two scenarios will play out. In my opinion, the most likely outcome is that the Court will calculate the value of the McCourts personal property, the value of the Dodgers and other assets and subtract the debt, leaving somewhere around $200 to $300 million. The Court will then award the personal property to Jamie McCourt and order Frank to pay her half of the remainder, which will likely be somewhere around $100 million (maybe less). Frank may not appeal that. It is also possible that they will strike an agreement on a settlement, because both sides know that anything which appears to be unfair will provoke an appeal from either side.
The Appeal could drag on for years to the Appellate Level, Circuit Level, and as bent as these two spouses are towards each other, they could ask for a Writ of Certiorari to the US Supreme Court. That would be extreme, but is there anything about this case that makes you think the parties are not extreme? How long would that take? If it went all the way, it could take 4-7 years.
Attention Dodger Fans,
If you want to see the Dodgers become the KC Royals, root for Jamie or root for Judge Gordon to order the Dodgers sold. However, if you are a Dodger fan like me, you should root for Frank McCourt to win and put this fiasco behind him. Let me remind you that while Frank McCourt has made some big mistakes as the owner of the Dodgers, he has improved the Dodgers in EVERY aspect since he took over. Let me remind you of the following:
- Since 2004, the Dodgers have been in the playoffs 4 out of 7 years. Prior to 2004, the Dodgers made the playoffs just twice in 15 years, and yet you hate McCourt?
- Dodger Stadium has been improved and while still an older stadium, it is very nice, clean and still a jewel.
- Frank moved the team to Arizona where he built a state-of-the-art facility which is dramatically superior to the White Sox’ digs on the same location. He spent over $30 million more than Jerry Reinsdorf and approved a year-around staff pf 8-10 people to run the operation.
- The farm system is in much better shape than when Frank took over the team in 2004, with extreme depth at the A and Rookie Levels.
Everyone lists all the mistakes and obvious greed by the McCourts as the determining factor. I am certain that none of us have all the facts. It’s just that some or most of you want to jump to a conclusion and it’s not that simple. While Frank has made a number of blunders of the extra-ordinary kind, I can tell you this (pay attention): Frank McCourt wants to put butts in seats, because those butts not only pay for the tickets, but they also spend on food, drinks and Dodger gear and the better the Dodgers do, the more gear fans buy. In order to make money, Frank absolutely knows that he has to put a good product (i.e., winning product) on the field. In have every confidence that he will do that, if he is not killed with legal fees and the like.
The rats aren’t jumping off the ship (as yet). The braintrust of the Dodgers is solidly in place. The sky is not falling and the end is not near. This team is not as bad as they looked this year. Joe Torre did not leave because of the McCourt Fiasco. He left because players didn’t listen to him anymore. He was becoming irrelevant. If he’s smart, he’ll take a job with the Dodgers, because if he goes to the Mets, it will end badly for him.
Look at the Phillies: After making the playoffs the previous two years, the Phillies fired Milt Thompson, their hitting coach, halfway through the season, and look what happened to them. The Dodgers biggest mistake was keeping Mattingly, and the newest question is whether he will do any better as a manager. His leash will be short. Wallach will probably be on the staff and I could see Gibby coming home too.
If you are a Dodger fan, you should pray to the Big Dodger in the Sky for him to end this in Franks’ favor… with a quickness. Anything else will put the Dodgers back into the early 1990′s funk. Is that what you want? Frank McCourt is running the Dodgers. MLB is not involved. Hope that it stays that way. We should have some idea on the divorce in the next few days… Frankly, I look for a settlement. Both sides will lose if it keeps going.