It’s been fun following the media coverage of the McCourts’ separation today. Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com broke the breakup while adding that Jamie McCourt is “better positioned” to buy the team outright than her husband Frank.
“Frank McCourt is the owner of the team. He has always been the owner of the team,” Grossman said. “There should be no change at all with respect to anything the public is used to.”
(Let the Dodgers’ inter-office cold war begin!)
Grossman said Jamie McCourt remained the Dodgers’ chief executive officer for now but could not say whether that would continue.
“That is up to the Dodgers organization,” Grossman said.
Wait, didn’t Grossman just say Frank owned the team? So with that, wouldn’t he decide if Jamie stays or goes?
And why didn’t the Times get Jamie’s lawyer’s side?
Answer: In the Dodger press release about the separation, all reporters were directed to contact Frank’s lawyer about the case.
(Only time I approve of two natural-born boobs being reduced)
So we didn’t get Jamie’s spin until hours later. But it was just as delightful.
You be shocked to find out that Jamie’s lawyer begged to differ with Grossman’s statements:
“We disagree with his conclusion,” said Dennis Wasser, the attorney for Jamie McCourt. “We are confident that, if the ownership issue must be adjudicated, the Dodgers will be determined to be community property, owned 50% by each of the McCourts.”
Wasser said Jamie McCourt remains as the Dodgers’ chief executive officer and plans to continue in that capacity and retain an ownership interest in the team.
“No doubt about it,” Wasser said.
So what happens now? For Frank or Jamie to be removed as officer of the club, one of the ex-spouses would have to buy the other out. It’s highly likely that neither has the money to do so. But Jamie, who has considered running for elected office in the L.A.-area in the past, is better connected to the local, well-monied elite. So she might have an outside shot to try to force Frank to sell - but can’t imagine other MLB Owners signing off on that.
Since Jamie won’t be stepping down as CEO, Frank has three choices: attempt to buy her out, live with the current setup or sell his share of the club.
As the McCourts are insufferable famewhores, expect a stalement and status quo going forward. Could go on for years. Only wildcard is if Jamie is able to drum up a few hundred mil from her poli connex or from some unsuspecting chuff on the USC Trustee Board - which she bought her way on to.
The McCourts’ standoff probably won’t affect the quality of the baseball product in the short term, and as long as Frank blows out GM Ned Colletti when teams start bidding for the services of the true architect of the Dodgers’ success, former team Farm Director and current club Assistant GM Logan White, the talent level should remain static for now.
Joe Torre though is another story. Though he reportedly has the support of Frank and Jamie both, he said recently that he’s leaving after next season, and Peter Gammons said this week on ESPN 1050 in New York that Torre is dealing with a “nightmare” working under the former couple.
So if that’s the case, might Torre bolt a year early?
The skipper denied that today but could easily change his mind in the next six months.
The only real losers in all of this are Dodger fans. The McCourts are an embarrassment to the local community and there’s no sign it’ll ever get better. Though the team is currently solid in the standings thanks to the Red Sox’s gift of Manny Ramirez and White’s farm system producing one superstar after another, the McCourts still have no business owning the team. They will always be underfunded buffoons.
But amazingly, that’s exactly the way Bud Selig and the rest of MLB want it. A strong large market owner is bad for the non-revenue sharing idiots who run baseball.