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Why We Should All Be Rooting For Frank McCourt

Why We Should All Be Rooting For Frank McCourt

In Los Angeles and surrounding areas, “Frank McCourt Bashing” is becoming the sport of choice.  All over the blogosphere Dodger fans are calling

This is who you need to root for

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:

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.

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

30 Responses to “Why We Should All Be Rooting For Frank McCourt”

  1. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, the sky is falling in Dodger land. It fell under the Fox owners as well. For several years it perked up — but mostly because the N.L. West was so weak.

    Now the N.L. West is strong, and the Dodgers have a really weak team. Players are mailing it in most games.

    Torre was not the right manager for this squad. He had some injuries and player problems. Manny did not pan out. Pitching is a mess. And almost every player on the team is having an average to poor to very poor season.

    Fan, sports writers, bloggers — many see the sickness here and are crying out for a major change.

    Unless some new money comes into this team (either by additional owners or a complete sell) — next year will most likely not be any better.

    The Giants added the pieces they needed — and are on top. The Phillies were a strong team, added even more and they are on top. The Dodgers did not add the pieces they needed at the beginning or at the end of the season — and are a mess.

    There is not one starting lineup player on this team with over 350 ABs hitting over .300. Most likely, not one hitter will have 100 or more RBIs.

    I have no idea about the Dodger money situation, but it seems that too much of the income in — is going out to pay for the divorce activities and McCourts person living. I do not know it that is how other teams do it, but it makes for terrible team development and filling needs.

  2. Bobby says:

    we don’t want frank. mark you’re in the vast minority here.

    we do NOT want frank mccourt even in the city of Los Angeles, let alone owning our team.

    god help jamie win this case so they can both go to hell

  3. Mark Timmons says:

    Bobby,

    You don’t get it do you? If Jamie wins, the Appeal Process will take years, during which time the Dodgers WILL go to hell!

  4. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, look at the standing, look at the average game the Dodgers have played the second half of the season, look at the individual records of each player for the entire season — this team has enter hell. Some, I think, want out. Not many FAs will want to come here.

    It is very painful to watch or listen to a game.

    We want new ownership. Anything is better than having the McCourts own this team. Even Joe is leaving. And I am not sure that Donnie Boy is any better.

  5. Michael says:

    Although I greatly respect you Mark and your opinions, I really feel you are out in leftfield on this. To side with you here, “the path of least resistence” is the easy way out.
    Maybe you didn’t notice last week that the O’Malleys called out the McCourts for the embarrasment that thay have brought to the city and the organization. I really couldn’t agree more.
    The best possible outcome would be if MLB just stepped in [kick him out of their club] and forced him to sell. Sure it might hurt and take time to heal but I’ll take my chances.

    A snake is a snake

  6. GoNzO says:

    if McCourt were to appeal and this could take years, baseball would step in right away and use the in the best interest of baseball rule. If you think that MCourt paid for CBR out of his own pocket you are sadly mistaken:

    Camelback Ranch Glendale

    The city’s other big sports prize was landing the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, who train at Camelback Ranch Glendale.

    Like the arena, Glendale borrowed money to construct the spring-training ballpark that opened in 2009.

    The city has been forced to pay the ballpark debt with borrowed money.

    The tourism tax revenues and a commercial project called Main Street that were suppose to pay the city’s debt for the project have faltered.

    By 2014, the loan that Glendale took out as reserve to pay baseball debt will be depleted. By 2018, the city will face a $15.2 million ballpark payment. There’s a question whether $9.4 million the city expected from tourism taxes collected by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority will materialize because of the recession.

    And Main Street has gone un-built. The developers, HB Equities, who did not return calls, continue to chase funding to no apparent avail.

    City staff would provide no details on their alternative plans to generate revenue to pay the debt.

  7. GoNzO says:

    I just don’t get it, why are you so enamored to the thought that McCOurt will take the Dodgers to greatness? For going to the playoffs 4 out of the last six years? PLEASE. The Braves won ten straight division titles and no one rememebers them.

    You are apparently drinking the Kool-Aide and actually believe that he will spend to put a competitive team on the field after saying in court under OATH that his plan was always to dwindle the payroll.

    You say that you have no vested interest in backing up frank McCourt and I believe you, but the more you write how great he has been and what will happen if he is not awarded the team reminds me of Sarah Palin campaigning for McCain.

  8. lawdog says:

    If Jamie wins the Dodgers will to sold by court order. There is no winning argument that can be made on appeal so the process will at least bring us blessed relief from the McBasatrds, sooner rather than later.

    If Frank wins you can also bank on Jamie filing the same kind of appeal with the same kind of probable result. The trial court has rational basis for either decision, but I think the “forged changes to Franks 3 copies of the Marital Property after Jamie signed all six, her 3 and his 3 will end up biting Frank in the ass in the end.

    If Frank wins, he will continue to bleed the club to death in order to support his obscene life style. He will eventually go bankrupt and take the Dodgers with him into financial ruin. Our true hope is that Jamie wins which will mean the Dogs get sold sooner instead of much later in bankruptcy court with Frank.

  9. lawdog says:

    It’s actually an interesting legal issue: If the MPA was supposed to give Frank the rights to the team and the attorney drafting the MPA goofed–as he testified, then the agreement did not reflect the expectations of the parties and unless Jamie admits that the real intent of the parties was as the attorney testified, the written agreement must be set aside for mistake. Jamie can take advantage of Frank here by just refusing to admit that she intended to trade the real property for the Dogs.

    But if Jamie is correct, the only purpose of the MPA would be to avoid creditors. That is an illegal purpose. No contract is enforceable if it is made with the purpose of defrauding creditors. Hence, under any circumstance other than Jamie agreeing to the attorney’s testimony as to the true purpose of the MPA, (which she won’t do), the agreement is going to be set aside and the Dogs will be ordered sold so Jamie can have half the value. McBastard will probably sue the pants off that Boston attorney for malpractice.

  10. Badger says:

    It’s gone to an un-biding mediation.

    And, if I understand this correctly, if Jamie “wins” the team is community property, she owns half and Frankie owns half. He is trying to cut her completely out of it. He’s pissed. And if what I am reading on DodgerDivorce is accurate, and frankly I think Josh knows a whole lot more about this than does Mark, then Frank hasn’t had a good couple of days.

    If it’s community property they need to divide the assets and that will force a sale, because Frankie McOverdrawn has no ability to pay her. There isn’t a bank on this planet that will loan him the money on that one.

    And the idea the Dodgers will turn into the Royals if Jamie wins is ludicrous. The Dodgers draw 3.5 million win or lose. If this team was as exciting as the Phillies or the Yankees, they could draw 4 million. And the t.v. deal will evolve into a cable deal that will push the value of this franchise over $1 billion. There is absolutely no logical reason to believe a new owner will be anything like the old owner. The McCourts are – unique.

    Most of us favor a sale of the team for very sound, logical reasons.

  11. Jaydavis says:

    Mark, Frank got lucky buying the dodgers at the right time. Would have been nice to see this divorce happen 4 years ago.
    I read somewhere that the tax payers payed for the spring training complex.
    Frank will sell the dodgers if the price is right.
    oscar de la hoya as our next owner

  12. lawdog says:

    It’s hard to believe, but the McBastards make Fox and Rupert look good by comparison.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    Michael said:

    “The best possible outcome would be if MLB just stepped in [kick him out of their club] and forced him to sell. Sure it might hurt and take time to heal but I’ll take my chances.”

    No way that will happen – Baseball would get their ass sued off and it would deflate other teams values as well. The only way that happens is if the Dodgers are bankrupt! I suggest you deal in reality.

    Gonzo,

    I am not enamoured with McCourt, it’s just that even if the Court orders the Dodgers sold the appeal process will take years.

    McCourt is our best chance right now.

    Badger,
    We will see who knows what, won’t we? And, there were years in the 90′s when the Dodgers drew as little as 2.2 Million. 3.5 is not automatic

    JayDavis,

    The taxpayers paid some, but Frank Paid and Extra $30 mil to upgrade. The Sox did not. That’s a fact!

    Everyone,

    If the team could be sold to an owner with deep pockets, I am no board.

    Here’s what you guys don’t get: IT AIN’T HAPPENING!

  14. chucky says:

    Opening Day payrolls (copy and pasted directly from Cot’s)
    (Major League contracts plus pro-rated signing bonuses):
    2010: $102,090,283

    2009: $100,414,592

    2008: $118,588,536

    2007: $108,454,524

    2006: $ 98,447,187
    2005: $ 83,039,000

    2004: $ 92,902,001

    2003: $105,872,620
    2002: $ 94,850,953

    2001: $109,105,952
    2000: $ 90,700,000

    Look at the above, though I don’t really like the McCheaps I can see that he has maintained the baseball salary level at its historical level. Yes I know that salaries have gone up and down the past years but he has maintained the salary level. He has spent money to fix up Dodger stadium (he added more seats) and he has built a new training facility. The publicity of the saving moves (Cleveland and Santana/Blake) and some ill advised trades that have given up some UNDER achieving minors (who may eventually overachieve) has gone bad for the McCheaps. You then add the information about their spending/life style and that infromation has ruined their reputation. That is what the O’Malley comment was about, creditability. Do you give up on the ownership due to it’s lack of creditability or do you allow him to rebuild that creditability? What will the eventual settlement cost him and cost the dodgers? What about the debt level that he is maintaining? Is the new cable deal (and new cable channels) really going to save the Dodgers financially? I read that the Yankees are only able to spend like they do because “the boss” got that cable channel before it was fashionable to do so.

    The dodgers must have a very busy off-season (since it started last night) and I think the divorce needs to be settled ASAP so that the team can concentrate on what their financial obligations will be and what can they spend. I posted a dream line-up that said salary has to go up to $125mm – $150mm, I know that won’t happen but they need starters, hitters, releavers and a back stop (catcher).

    Rather than commenting on the divorce let’s give Collette some ideas on how to reshape the roster? By the way, let’s get rid of Collette instead.

    For those in the know;
    Remember the Serenity Prayer:
    PEACE

  15. Badger says:

    There were years where the Dodgers drew 2.2 million – like that is a bad thing. How many teams would love to have that figure this year?

    “At the gates, an average of more than 2.79 million fans have watched Dodger games at Dodger Stadium per season during the past 45 years. In 1978, Dodger Stadium became the first ballpark to host more than three million fans in a season when the Dodgers drew 3,347,845 in attendance. Following another three-million attendance mark in 1980, the Dodgers set the all-time Major League season attendance record in 1982, drawing 3,608,881 fans. Toronto, Colorado and Atlanta have since topped that mark, but the Dodgers can also boast seasons of more than three million in attendance from 1983-86, 1990-91, 1993 and 1996-2006. Nine of the top 25 NL single-season attendance marks have been recorded at Dodger Stadium.”

    The fans love this team.

    I was with my grandfater in ’59 when there was over 93,000 at a Dodger Game. The all time record to see a baseball game, a record that will likely NEVER be broken, happened in Los Angeles to mark the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers move to L.A. – 115,000 wathced the Dodgers play that night. The only city and the only team with a chance to outdraw the Los Angeles Dodgers is the New York Yankees.

    You may be right when you say IT AIN’T HAPPENING! We all know that is a possibility. And, everyone I know but you is hoping that it indeed DOES happen. If Frankie remains owner, I am done attending Dodger games. They are still my team, and I will follow them, but I refuse to put any of my money in that man’s pocket. I know I am not the only one who feels that way.

    But, another 44,000 paid to see last night’s shellacking. Mr. and Mrs. McCon thank you all for attending.

  16. Jaydavis says:

    Two-thirds of the funding for the complex, which ended up costing $100 million, came from the state-run Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. The city of Glendale was responsible for the remaining one-third and expects to generate its funding with sales taxes and other revenues from the 500 acres that will be developed near the ballpark, which was simply referred to as Glendale Ballpark during most of its construction.

  17. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Next thing we will hear at the divorce trial is that Jamie was been involved in witchcraft.

  18. Mark Timmons says:

    Jaydavis,

    You are correct about the funding, but tour the WhiteSox facilities and then tour the Dodgers side. There is no comparison, and the reason for that is that McCourt spent somewhere between $25 and $30 million additional OVER AND ABOVE what the taxpayers funded.

    You never hear about that.

  19. Mark Timmons says:

    Roger,

    Involved with witchcraft? Does being a witch qualify as “being involved?”

    Oh, actually she’s not a witch. It just rhymes with witch.

  20. Badger says:

    I read what chucky said, and I think he is being hopeful. He also posted improvements in the roster that would add about $35 million and like he said himself, that isn’t going to happen.

    If McCourt wins, and the fans lose, maybe he will be able to rebound in 2013. It’s clear the fans won’t stop coming – if ever there were reason for that it is now, and 44,000 more sheeple showed up last night to see a crappy Dodger team get blanked for a MLB leading 17th time this season. If 44,000 are willing to pay to see garbage ball and support a fraud like Frankie, then he does indeed have a shot at turning this thing around. It won’t happen for at least 3 years though. He has a debt load that is enormous, and no matter what the judgment is, like I have been trying to say all along, this divorce is going to cost him big time. It already has in many venues.

    The Dodgers are in financial trouble folks. There is just no getting around that fact. However, since they continue to draw, they could turn it around within a couple of years. Frank just needs to hang on until the cable deal goes through. In the mean time, he continues to borrow money. He is like your college freshman kid with his first credit card – who cares what happens later, I am livin’ large tonight!

    I too am hopeful. Like most Dodger fans who are actually talking about this, I am hopeful these two are run out of town.

  21. Jim D says:

    Sorry Mark……FRANK MUST GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    Mark == here, read our lips . . . and I will move them slowly . . .

    Frank is broke.

    Frank is over extended.

    Frank has lost his hold on the city.

    Frank has no bank.

    Frank even tried to have players give some of their salary to charities — fine, but it was a must do and sign here on your contract. He probably used that figure as “the club” giving to charity — a tax right-off.

    Frank needs to go back to what he knows — parking lots.

    Heck, Frank probably cannot walk down the Santa Monica Pier without people pointing their fingers at him and shaking their heads.

  23. Long Live Vin says:

    What will a settlement bring? As I write this, Kemp whiffs again and throws his helmet…like you really care, you POS.

    Anyway, if Frank wins…then how can he afford to pay for personnel, scouting, etc, etc…? when he’s already over extended.

    It’s not that I don’t like him…but I (we) deserve an owner who cares about one thing only: winning.

    If/when the Dodgers win (continuously) I don’t care who the owner is…as long as we beat the Giants and Padres (and maybe a little payback to the Phillies…friggin Victorino…I still can’t stand him).

  24. Jaydavis says:

    You remind me of lee hacksaw hamilton, and that’s a good thing

  25. David S says:

    I am in no way a suporter of Frank McCourt, or Jamie for that matter, and would love to have a new owner (ASAP), or at least a new GM, President, etc … who will stand up to Frank and get him to put more money into the actual team (majors and minors). I love the stadium improvements (which were needed), but the product on the field is just as important.

    The Dodgers have a little over $61 million committed in salary for the 2011 season, a third of which (~$21 million) is going to players no longer on the team (Ramirez, Schmidt, Garciaparra, Jones and Pierre). Money will be extremely tight this off-season unless they get creative, which thankfully is quite possible, though with his track record of bad, or unecessary trades and free agent signings, I have little faith that Colletti is up to the challenge.

    The team only has a little under $13 million committed for the 2012 season. While most of the key players are still under team control (Ethier, Kemp, Kershaw, Billingsley and Loney). Free Agents can be signed this winter, if the contracts are back-loaded a bit.

    If Frank wants to win back the fans, now is the time.

    - Pour some money back into the team (instead of your own pockets).

    - Increase the budget for amateur prospects (MLB Draft, Int’l Signings) as it is the back bone of the franchise. We have more than our share of top players dealt in the last couple of years,(Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay, etc…) that we should have been able to trade for, but due to a lack of talent in the upper minors (the sole fault of the McCourts failure to secure talent).

    - Get out of the way and let the best scouting department in the game (Logan White, Tim Hallgren, DeJon Watson) due what they do best.

    - Remember Frank, the easiest way to keep the payroll down to the level you want, is to have a strong minor league feeder system.

  26. AnewBlueDay/Roger Dodger says:

    So why do the Giants have Posey and we have AJ Ellis? Posey must be their MVP for the 2nd half of the season.

    Ah, I see the Dodgers did suite up for the game tonight. Running out the string.

    Wow, this Dodger team is terrible.

    Go Dodgers. Win win win.

  27. gabe says:

    I’d rather have 7 more years of Frank than a lifetime. Let’s hope the judge forces the McCourts to sell.

  28. Badger says:

    David:

    http://www.truebluela.com/2009/1/14/720656/dodger-payroll

    some of that of course is estimated due to arb eligible players.

    Do you have different information?

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