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McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:34 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 11:19 am
It's not quite the "Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead" moment yet.

But Frank McCourt has never been closer to becoming the ex-Dodgers owner than he is right now.

But McCourt and Major League Baseball jointly announced overnight Tuesday -- at 1:03 a.m. EDT, to be exact -- that they have "agreed to a court supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designated to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner Frank McCourt."

Translation: McCourt, cornered from all sides and quickly running out of money, has lost his appetite to fight following two years of lawyers, litigation, obstinance and sheer delusion.

In what amounts to a final surrender, McCourt essentially has agreed to auction off the team and disappear. In return, MLB gets what it wants: The Dodgers wrested from McCourt's cold clutch without a messy court fight in which secret financial details could be publicly revealed. The league will help facilitate the sale through the Blackstone Group LP.

The sale is expected to include the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots. McCourt purchased the club and the properties for $421 million in 2004.

Best-case scenario for MLB, Los Angeles and Dodgers fans: A new owner is in place by opening day.

The Dodgers have been in free-fall since Frank and Jamie McCourt's marriage began crumbling in 2009, and the all-out war that developed between the two turned into one the ugliest and messiest battles in baseball history. Their excessively materialistic lifestyle first provided fodder for Los Angeles gossip columns, and then grist for MLB to seize the team from McCourt after it accused him of "looting" millions of dollars from the Dodgers to finance his over-leveraged personal life.

The aptly named McCourt battled in both divorce court and bankruptcy court trying to keep the Dodgers while remaining financially solvent. It's been clear to everyone but him for more than a year that he was fighting a losing battle.

His last-ditch bid to reverse his fall came when he attempted to arrange a future television contract that would front him millions even while the Dodgers were still operating under a present television contract with Fox. Selig would not allow it, and that was the basis for McCourt's latest battle with MLB.

Frankly, that McCourt stubbornly hung on for this long is an upset, given that there were rampant rumors last summer that he would not be able to meet payroll, which would have given MLB carte blanche to remove him as owner.

Or, as I wrote on June 22: "Welcome to the final days of the Dodgers' banana republic. You can hear the choppers whirring just over the hills. Soon, they'll have the place fully surrounded. It won't be long until Frank McCourt will be forced down from his coconut tree, frisked and exiled."

That time has come. According to financial figures McCourt himself submitted to the Bankruptcy Court, even if he settled his divorce and sold the club's television rights, he would still be far short of what he needs to restore the luster to the Dodgers and to renovate Dodger Stadium. As it is, McCourt has agreed to pay his ex-wife, Jamie, a divorce settlement of $130 million.

On the field, the Dodgers in 2011 drew fewer than three million fans in a non-strike-shortened season for the first time in 19 years and for only the second time since 1989.

Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, has expressed interest in the club. Closer to home, Dennis Gilbert, the one-time agent who headed a group that nearly landed the Texas Rangers in 2010, would be a perfect choice. Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has been rumored as potentially being interested, and one industry source theorizes that Oakland owner Lew Wolff, frustrated with the Athletics' inability to gain a new stadium, is another possibility.
Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:03 am
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Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:41 am

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Seriously, if you are going to use a flying Elvis Patriots logo, don't go on stupid rants about rants.  Assuming you are from NE, you should know better than anyone that good ownership is the key to a winning franchise. 

The Red Sox were the laughing stock of baseball for 86 years under ownership by the racist Yawkey's and the Yawkey Trust.  Once Warner and Henry took over, BANG, World Series Championship.

The Patriots were the laughing stock of football under the Sullivan regime, and Victor Kiam.  The Busch took over, probably to sustain his weekend beer sales in NE during football season (moving the team to StL would not have created an increase in beer sales, and NE would have lost a lot of beer sales), there was improvement.  Then Kraft takes over, and now we have 3 Championships, and a legitimate contender every year.

The Celtics thrived when they had great ownership.

The Bruins have been owned, for many years now, buy a money making powerhouse, Delaware North.  During the late 80s and early 90s, they had contenders, but Edmonton was just too good.  With the implementation of a salary cap, it added some leverage against other teams, they got rid of Harry Sinden who understood how to make money for the ownership in the old NHL, and brought in new front office personnel who understood how to build a contender in the new NHL.  Finally, Lord Stanley's Cup is home!

So, to say that an owner like Mark Cuban wouldn't be able to succeed in rebuilding the franchise is just idiotic!  Take down the flying Elvis, or don't say stupid stuff!!!!

Since: Feb 26, 2008
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:33 am

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Agree 100% The Circus is leaving town get on the bus you clown. There should be criminal charges brought aginst this couple.
Just like Steve Miller song " Take The Money And Run". Good news is im hearing O"Malley might be buying them back....

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 2:10 am

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

balrog you are mostly off the mark.  Looted is exactly what Frank and Jamie did.  I forget the name and the club but the hockey owner that used his team as his own personal piggy bank went to prison.  I was only partially wrong that is a decision for the bankruptcy judge.  McCourt getting a penny out of the deal is nearly as silly as Moyes listing himself as a creditor when he ran the Phoenix Coyotes into bankruptcy.  Whoever does end up with the Dodgers takes on the $500 mil or so of debtload that comes with the team.  That is debt that has only gone up since the idiot and his greedy wife took ownership.

Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:23 pm

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

MOVE the team to Erie, PENN.

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 9:54 pm

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Dodgers suck reguardless of who owns them. Ghetto friggn fans.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 9:30 pm

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Finally. This buffoon ruined a storied franchise.

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:03 pm

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

About time

Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 5:14 pm

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Hey hatman, where've you been the last 50 years?!!  Of course the fans arrive late and leave early, it's LA!  That's just the way it is, no matter what sport or event (except the Oscars or Golden Globes - you can't miss the stupid red-carpet fiasco!!).

I've been a fan ever since I can remember (45 years at least) and the issue is not the fan support. There's plenty of that, especially in Brooklyn or those who grew up in Brooklyn.  Me, I'm from NM and they are probably the number one fan favorite in this state, especially since the Dodgers AAA club is back in Albuquerque.  The issue IS McCourt and GOOD RIDDANCE to him and wife (ex-wife now)!!!

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:46 pm

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

With the absence of the nba this will probably be the highlight of the month for me, I can't wait for this to be done!

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