20 June 2011

Time For Frank McCourt To Go

As expected, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has rejected the television deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox that has been regarded as the lifeline for embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. The 17 year, $3 billion deal (widely considered to be below market value) was rejected due to the fact that too much money would be funneled away from the club as McCourt would use it to be able to keep up payroll.
This is surely a death knell for McCourt and has left him only one option, to sell the team and not let the door hit him on the way out.

The crash and burn of Frank McCourt has been nothing short of stunning. Following the News Corporation tenure, everyone thought that the Boston businessman would ride into Chavez Ravine and bring the Los Angeles Dodgers back to the glory days of the O'Malleys when they were run by a family and were successful. Now in 2011, McCourt is now just Donald Sterling (although he did win a fair bit). His nasty divorce from his wife, Jamie, opened up to the world how this family ran the club and how much of a mess the team was in. His absurdly lavish lifestyle (how many Malibu homes?) and his rather dire personal financial state was shown to the baseball world, who promptly responded in anger. Their expensive and nasty days in court made the American public shake their heads. They were able to reach a deal in which Frank McCourt would control the team but was contingent on said Fox deal. Now that the deal was soundly rejected by MLB, McCourt has been backed into a corner in which he can either back out and sell or try to fight it and lose whatever credibility he has left.
What's sad about this whole ordeal is the baseball team itself, a once proud franchise that is now in tatters thanks to McCourt. Imagine trying to be General Manager Ned Colletti, who despite being a major market team has no money to spend to improve the now moribund club. Imagine trying to be manager Don Mattingly, who has his own job complicated by his owner's personal life. And worst of all, imagine being one of those fans who bleed Dodger Blue who have seen their beloved team sink to this level thanks to this man who arrived in SoCal with such high hopes.
McCourt may want to be in control of the Dodgers, but practically everyone else wants him out. One could only hope he would heed the wishes of so many and just disappear.

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