Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Door Is Still Open

I was interviewed on a local sports-talk radio show yesterday and was asked if it wasn’t “if, but when” MLB would take over the Dodgers.

Is I have always maintained, it is not a given that Frank McCourt will lose control of the Dodgers – like it or not!

Photo from TMZ

Today, we learned that Frank and Jamie McCourt have allegedly reached a settlement contingent upon two things:

  1. Bud Selig and MLB approving the FOX contract Frank has in place; and
  2. A one-day hearing as to whether the Dodgers are community property or not.

Frankly, I think Bud has to approve the deal with FOX and let the court decide ownership.  Of course, every reporter is going to say that if Judge Gordon rules that the Dodgers are community property, then Frank will be forced to sell.  As always, I marvel at their lack of imagination.

It has pretty much been me against the world in what will happen with the Dodgers.  Don’t get me wrong – I’d take Mark Cuban as owner in an “LA Minute” but I have been the lone voice in saying that McCourt might maintain ownership of the Dodgers.

In fact, I am going to go as far to say that if you are truly a Dodger fan and want to see this team win now, then the best chance you have is if the Court happens the rule in favor of Frank and Bud approves the MLB deal. Frank will be flush with cash and the Dodgers will become buyers before the trade deadline, because Frank knows that getting a couple of high caliber players and winning a few games will put butts in seats.  The fans who scorned Frank will return if he were to acquire a David Wright  and/or other stars.

You’ll come back too.  Fickle fans always do!

About Mark Timmons

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

39 Responses to “The Door Is Still Open”

  1. My fear is that those who operate on the brink of of financial disaster are doomed to repeat themseleves…..Give McCourt the $$ and there is always the chance we are addressing the same issue years down the line…..

    And when is this one day hearing suppose to occur?….Next week ot next year?

  2. Dusto says:

    The problem here is, this team is not capable of winning now unless they sell off some assets. Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands and other for David Wright and Carlos Beltran does not seem reasonable. Plus, Ned Colletti could never pull off such a good deal.

  3. Dusto says:

    Aside for hoping for new ownership, just for the sake of new ownership, hopefully it would also mean new management!

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “The Door is Still Open”, but it could get slammed shut.

    I disagree with your assessment that Selig has to approve the Fox deal. First of all, if he does approve the deal and Gordon rules that the Dodgers are separate property, then Jamie is supposed to get $100 million. Maybe Frank’s got a secret investor hidden away, but if he doesn’t, that $100 million has to come from the Fox money, which Frank said was going to be solely used to improve the team. I’m sure there are other reasons, but the use of the Fox money has to be a strong consideration in MLB’s decision to approve or disapprove that deal.

    And if Gordon determines that the team is community property, unless there is a sudden reconciliation between Frank and Jamie, then a sale would become the only viable long term solution.

    And then there’s the current ongoing investigation into the Dodgers, which I’m convinced, covers a lot more than just financial issues. The final report, which is due soon, will determine in very large measure whether or not MLB seizes the Dodgers and puts it up for sale. Not meeting the June 30 payroll only adds fuel to the fire.

    This thing isn’t over, but I suspect we’ll learn a lot over the coming weeks. So the door is indeed open (maybe just ajar), but it wouldn’t take much to close it.

    Glass was Half Full has it correct when he says:

    “My fear is that those who operate on the brink of of financial disaster are doomed to repeat themseleves…..Give McCourt the $$ and there is always the chance we are addressing the same issue years down the line…..” Can McLeopard change his spots? I’m not so sure.

  5. Badger says:

    The team IS community property. First of all it’s California, secondly the questionable MPA has already been thrown out by Gordon – how else could it be ruled?

    It is obvious to everyone west, east, north and south of Indianapolis what this is and that is last ditch effort to fool the people into believing this down payment on the Fox deal will go to players. No way it does. Half full and Brooklyn are on the money on this one.

    If Selig doesn’t handle this right, the L.A. Dodgers are going to be playing in front of 15,000 a night for the next several years. The people have spoken – it is time for McMalfeasance to go.

    • Lever says:

      “The team IS community property. First of all it’s California, secondly the questionable MPA has already been thrown out by Gordon – how else could it be ruled?”

      I don’t understand why it even has to go to Court. Judge Badger has ruled. This isn’t an issue at all.

  6. DRomo says:

    Like some above here I disagree that the MLB is going to HAVE to approve the deal. Todays agreement between Frank and Jamie is contingent on the approval of the FOX deal. MLB is reluctant to accept the deal because they believe it may de-value the franchise. The deal Frank negotiated is a low ball deal for a franchise like the Dodgers and if the Judge rules next month that the Dodgers are indeed community property and will be sold (because despites Mark’s claim neither party has the cash flow to buy the other out) This would severely hamstring the next owner by tying them into a TV deal for 20 yrs. The answer is the Dodgers having their own television network. The Lakers are creating one, the Yankees have one, the Red Sox too. The point is it is the wave of the future and a steady revenue stream for big market teams that far exceed the revenue streams the Dodgers are used to.
    Frank’s desperation deal with FOX is strictly to provide him with upfront cash flow to pay his debts and pay off Jamie. Sure it is his purgative to run his own business into the ground but with the hammer over his head being the Commissioner’s “best interest of Baseball” clause one could argue having a Dodger’s network out west thus giving the Dodger’s back the ability to be players again in major free agency and actually relevant annually is in the “BEST INTEREST OF BASEBALL”.
    So with the actual ownership not being decided until after the next payroll date I can see MLB not approving the deal because of its length vs. the uncertainty of the current owners. This team will be much more marketable if it must be sold if it is a free agent at the end of the current TV deal.
    As for Frank spending money to draw talent on this roster: The same can be said for any new owner. Every new owner in sports immediately spends money to make a splash. Franks trust is shot. For better or worse we in LA are done with him and want to move on. Maybe Dodger fans frustrations aren’t felt all the way to Indiana?

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This from Dilbeck:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgers/2011/06/frank-jamie-mccourt-mlb-dodgers-divorce-settlement.html

    Dilbeck says the following, which pretty much mirrors what Half Full wrote, and is in line with my thinking, Badger’s thinking, and probably a lot of other people’s thinking (but not everybody).

    “The McCourts have created this financial quagmire and mortgaging the future yet again to pay for sins of the present is an old, tired, useless and weak endeavor.”

    Leverage can take you only so far. Eventually the bills have to be paid, in full.

  8. Stan Park says:

    I do agree to an extent about your thought that Frank McCourt could indeed maintain ownership of the Dodgers, it’s difficult for me to agree that fickle fans do indeed come back. The tragic trend that has been growing with Dodger tickets is simply that interest has all but died for single-game purchasers.

    The season ticket holders are definitely still going out to Dodger Stadium, but the consensus sentiment that has permeated throughout Dodger Nation is that the fans believe that boycotting home games is the best way to express discontent for McCourt when in the end, it’s the players who suffer from playing to sparse support at home. Hopefully, there is an end to this coming sooner than later.

  9. SpokaneBob says:

    Can anyone come up with an e-mail address for Bud? I would like to ask him as a Dodger fan since 1958, to please not approve the Fox deal and rid the team of the scumbag and his slutty wife.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Well said Romo.

    However, one point of clarification. Perhaps “…Dodger fans frustrations aren’t felt all the way to Indiana”, but apparently they pick up energy when they get out of Indiana. I can feel them way out here in NY.

    $3 billion is a lot of money, but maybe not so much in a deal of this sort over a 17 year period. And why should the Dodgers share their regional network when it can be all their own? Any new owner coming in will definitely have the coin to finance a startup Dodger network beginning in 2014. McDesperate is doing this deal because he knows that he can’t hold out until 2014 (apparently not past June 30, 2011). And could it be that Fox knows that, and is taking advantage of the situation? You can bet the house on it. Besides, why would anyone want Fox involved with the Dodgers again. Haven’t we seen that act?

  11. Michael says:

    I will agree with you on one point. You are the LONE RANGER!

    There is no way in hell Bud is going to give this guy a lifeline.

    If you have watched any home games, the fans have spoken. It’s personal now and they ain’t coming back unless it’s a night when Frank gets some award to BOO him

    Like DRomo said it’s “Hammer Time”

  12. Glass Was Half Full says:

    True Blue LA has a link to the settlement documentation…Could someone smarter than me…ok anyone…read this dang thing and put it in layman terms?

    I am confused as it refers specifically to a $385 million loan from Fox and how it is to be disperesed…..Is the amount of the Fox contract 3 billion over 17 years?…a little confusing….I need some free legal anylasis!

  13. Voldomer says:

    “In fact, I am going to go as far to say that if you are truly a Dodger fan and want to see this team win now, then the best chance you have is if the Court happens the rule in favor of Frank and Bud approves the MLB deal.”

    As one who is “truly a Dodger fan,” I would actually prefer they NOT “win now” if that is what it takes to see the McCourts gone. I certainly intend no ill will toward the guys on the field, but instead think a little delayed gratification would be a good thing if that is what is necessary to save the ship long-term.

  14. DRomo says:

    Just a clarification. I BY NO MEANS MEANT TO TAKE A CHEAP SHOT AT MARK. The Indiana comment was meant to say it is more obvious in Southern California that Dodger fans are boycotting the Stadium. It is talked about everywhere I go.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “As one who is “truly a Dodger fan,” I would actually prefer they NOT “win now” if that is what it takes to see the McCourts gone. I certainly intend no ill will toward the guys on the field, but instead think a little delayed gratification would be a good thing if that is what is necessary to save the ship long-term.”

    Voldomer, my exact sentiments. Instant gratification tends to be ephemeral.

    And perhaps new ownership could get us some impact players over the winter without sacrificing the good young talent that this team appears to have. Getting some players from the outside and melding them with homegrown talent is the way I prefer to go.

  16. DRomo says:

    A new owner would likely come in with deep pockets. Allowing the Dodgers to make a splash with a Pujols (doubtful) or Fielder (I would accept holding my nose) also CC will be back on the market. Imagine a front 3 of CC, Kershaw, Bills (who is regressing into a #3 or 4). Wow. All it takes is money :)

    1 thing that might be telling as far as Franks future goes. A few months ago when he was making his media tour and begging for forgivness he said ZERO of the FOX money would go to Jamie. That is already turned out to be false. It was detailed out today that of the front loaded cash Frank would recieve a lot of it gets spent on debt, Jamie, and elsewhere before the Dodgers get a crack at it. The remaining cash is still substantial but not what Frank said to the fans!

  17. Badger says:

    We should have been able to get CC before the Yankees did. He is a California guy. New owners will indeed put us in line for serious bidding on big time veterans. Same owners means more of what you see now. Bud knows that. MLB owners know that, the American people know it. The only smart move is to move Frank out. The Dodgers are too important to all of MLB to allow continued malfeasance and mismanagement. That is why Bud moved his people into place. That is why

    Who’s Lever?

    And to this day, the guy in Indiana is the ONLY guy I have heard make any claims that Frank just might win this thing. “There is no way in hell Bud is going to give this guy a lifeline.” Amen Michael. It won’t happen. It CAN’T HAPPEN. It’s in the worst interest of baseball. Selig is on his way out, he doesn’t want this added to his bad judgment on the steroid issues.

    Write letters to Bud’s office. And if anyone can find an email address, I’ll write to it too. Or send him a fax:

    #

    The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
    Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
    Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
    City: New York, State: NY Zip Code: 10167
    Phone: 212-931-7800
    Fax: 212-949-5654

    Oh, and what Romey said.

  18. Jared Massey says:

    In my amateur legal opinion, I don’t see how the commissioner’s office approves of the Fox deal when the McCourt’s settlement dictates that a portion of it goes to them directly.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Want a good reason why Selig held up his decision on the Fox deal. We now have it. They now have it in black and white that a large chunk of the Fox money goes to settle personal issues, not to fix the Dodger brand.

    He’s also held up a decision on the disposition of the Dodgers because they’re waiting for the Schieffer report, which should offer a detailed breakdown of operations under McCourt, and other matters. Decisions will be announced when everything is firmly in place. The last thing Selig, the owners, or anyone at MLB wants is a decision based on anything that would leave any holes for Frank to squirm through. It’s like when the Dodgers have a 5-1 lead. That’s no reason not to continue scoring more runs. When you’ve got the other team down, just pile on some more.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dilbeck hit it right on the head with both of his posts in the LA Times.

  21. Bill Russell says:

    No way can McCourt keep this team. The money left over from the debt’s currently owed and after paying off all the lawyers will soon drift away leaving us in a worse situation than we already are in. Hopefully Bud will not let this happen.

  22. Mark_Timmons says:

    I guess since everyone thinks I am wrong, I will just cave in.

    NOT!

    If Bud rejects the FOX deal, he will rue the day he did.

    On the other hand, if he rejects the deal, he could change his legacy. He could go from \”The Commish Who Ruled During the Steroid Era\” to the \”Commish who lost the biggst judgement in the history of MLB.\”

    That\’s his problem – there are several teams in MLB who have owners that make McCourt look like Dave Ramsey. They aren\’t your team, so you don\’t care, but Bud should know better. We will see…

    I\’ve never been afraid to take the road less traveled. Rememebr what I have told you….

  23. DRomo says:

    My opinion is if Frank somehow survives the summer he will honestly do better as an owner over time…..over a LONG time. The healing process for this team and franchise will be long slow and painful!!!

    A new owner with no baggage will immediately pump cash into the team. New owners almost always come in with a splash. Bud Selig would not dare make the same mistake of having an owner not ready to put his money where his mouth is.

    As a life long Dodger fan, my opinion is we have waited long enough. frank may truly be sorry but like every bad relationship sometimes there comes a point where you just have to admit you have to part ways. 13 more days until June 30th.

  24. DRomo says:

    Mark, could Bud not argue that the ownership is in question and a possible new owner should be able to negotiate his own TV deal?

    Also if a large chunk of the TV deal goes to personal expenses (i.e. who the hell is gonna pay Franks legal bills? Not to mention Jamies pay out?) Couldn’t that prove Frank is irresponsible with the franchise?

    I honestly don’t know. What say you?

  25. Badger says:

    Well, you have been wrong many times before, and I think you will be wrong again.

    Dilbeck has it right. All of baseball wants McCourt gone. All of Los Angeles wants him gone. Every fan but you wants him gone – this has to happen. All Bud has to do is say no to a bad t.v. deal and let the chips fall. The Dodgers deserve their own t.v. network. The fans deserve more responsible ownership.

    Let the jerk-wad sue. It’s what he does. Baseball will survive it.

    • Lever says:

      Oh, they will survive, but they might be way poorer for it. Mark may or may not be right, but he’s the only one considering other possibilities. Everyone else just mindlessly follows what the media says… and we know – they are never wrong! ;)

      • Badger says:

        Mark loves being controversial. He’s been doing this for years.

        Mindless? Why do you say that? It’s hardly mindless. We all have considered “the other side” and have decided we have had enough.

        If you have been doing the reading on this, it makes perfect sense for Bud not to approve the deal. I think it’s mindless to take Frank’s side on this issue. Look what he has done to this club.

  26. Mark_Timmons says:

    Here\’s what most of you either don\’t understand or haven\’t considered:

    1. Bud is not going to let Mark Cuban buy the Dodgers – he\’ll pick someone like the Ricketts family in Chicago – they are also in way deep and out of debt compliance.

    2. Bud does not want another owner like the Yankees who will disrupt the balance of power.

    3. Bud will go with someone like who owns the Rangers.

    4. We may be better off – we may not be.

    5. If I thought for a second that Mark Cuban was a possibility – I\’d drive this train. It ain\’t happening.

  27. Badger says:

    “If I thought for a second that Mark Cuban was a possibility – I\’d drive this train. It ain\’t happening.”

    I doubt it.

    For those who haven’t been reading Josh Fisher, here’s the latest update. Optional for Lever, I know he doesn’t trust anyone who writes:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=6674247

    Looks like it’s still questionable. MBL doesn’t want it’s dirty laundry aired, and McCockroach and his lifestyle of litigation will spend his last dime blowing the lid off. The man has the conscious level of an aphid.

    comments:

    “A one-day trial to determine if the Dodgers are community property? Are you kidding me? The result would appear pre-ordained. . . Jamie loses. . . Too much work for this ‘bureaucratic’ Judge were it to be otherwise. . .

    Shame on Judge Gordon (and I use the term ‘Judge’ loosely). . . .

    This is what happens when we (as a society) permit ‘legal monopolists’ to rule and we fail to enforce our ‘citizen-empowerment’ capitalist values.”

    Ugly. But, in the land of greed it’s not all that surprising. Now Frank and Jamie are allies. Nuts. And, it would appear that she will get $100 million of the Fox down payment, her alimony and most of the houses, so, she actually pulls off a reasonable settlement by losing.

    I think this may be why Mark supports Frank. They operate in the same tax bracket. When you are a multi-millionaire, you can’t lose. Just re-arrange the chips and the game goes on.

    What a strange time we are living in.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Badger,

      You read way too much into what I say:

      1. The only thing I somewhat admire about McCourt is his ability to use little money of his own and have the balls to do it;

      2. I despise his lifestyle;

      3. I’m not in his tax bracket – not even close; and

      4. I would love to have a better owner.

      I just tell you all what I think will happen – not what I want to happen. Don’t confuse my saying that I think McCourt will keep the Dodgers with support. It’s far from that. Maybe he will learn a lesson and live within his means after this.

      He is still the owner, but there a lot of hurdles to overcome yet.

  28. Harpo in SD says:

    Mark,
     
    You are far from the only person of the opinion that McCourt might well continue as owner of the Dodgers.
     
    I have expressed that same opinion in several venues, including here:
    http://dodgersoul.com/discussion/comment/158000/#Comment_158000
     

  29. Mark_Timmons says:

    Harpo,

    You are a smart man!

  30. Badger says:

    Uh, Mark… did you read the entire thread on which Harpo expressed his opinions? You might want to consider doing so.

  31. Mark_Timmons says:

    I did, Badger…. well not all but I skimmed it.

    Same ole\’, same ole\’

    It still boils down to whether Bud wants those skeletons in his closet discovered…

  32. Badger says:

    So the Los Angeles Dodgers get ruined because Bud and other owners fear litigation from a miscreant lint ball like Frank McCourt?

    If that’s the case, MLB deserves to fall off the map.

    Frank McCourt is nothing more than a bug on the windshield of Major League Baseball. Turn on the wipers Bud.

  33. Jae says:

    I think it is a little more complicated than that…

  34. Badger says:

    It always is…….

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