Jamie McCourt accuses Frank of "blatant balance sheet manipulations"

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More fun from DodgerLand, as Jamie McCourt has filed new papers seeking adjustments in her monthly allowance. The highlight — at least from my perspective — is Jamie’s claim that Frank has way more money than he claims, and that he has grand, grand plans:

“Frank McCourt hopes to transform the Dodgers from a baseball team into
the anchor of a sports business empire that could include cable
television channels broadcast in English and Spanish; homes, shops and
a football stadium within the Dodger Stadium parking lots; and the
purchase of a soccer club in China and another in the English Premier
League.”

These smell less like concrete plans and more like every half-assed idea a husband mentions to his wife over a handful of years. If my wife was Jamie and I was Frank the list would include plans for the basement to become a rec-room, a home gym, a home theater and maybe, just maybe, to get cleaned up for once.  The article notes that a lot of those things have been discussed publicly, but in a world where Jamey Carroll is your big offseason pickup and Randy Wolf isn’t offered arbitration, some of those choices have to exclude the others, don’t they?

But man, if that football thing has even a kernal of truth to it, Frank McCourt should have the car keys taken away from him. I mean, if you think it’s hard to get to and park at Dodger Stadium now just plant a football stadium in the parking lot and see what happens.

Other highlights:

  • Jamie McCourt asked that her allowance be raised from her initial $488,000 request to $988,845 per
    month because of (a) property tax bills; and (b) records which show that the couple actually used to burn through $2.3 million. I couldn’t imagine how I’d spend $2.3 million a month even if money were edible;
  • In advance of the divorce filing Frank used “blatant balance sheet manipulations” in order to portray himself as less wealthy than he really is.  It’s a serious charge to be sure, but hey, he is a baseball owner and they have the market cornered on that kind of thing.
  • Frank McCourt currently resides in a “luxury hotel in Beverly Hills” and has spent $52,000 on clothes since November.  Given that the divorce papers revealed that the McCourts own approximately 326 pieces of real estate, I can only assume that he’s staying at the hotel while one of his houses gets renovated into a Quagmire-style bachelor pad. It would explain the clothing bill too, because a swingin’ bachelor needs nice threads.
  • Frank keeps two of his sons on the Dodgers’ payroll — at a combined annual
    salary of $600,000 — “despite the fact that one is a graduate student
    at Stanford and the other works full-time for Goldman Sachs.”  Eh, a grad student and an investment banker are more useful than Juan Pierre, and Frank kept him on the roster for way more money than that.

The trial to decide who owns the Dodgers is set for May 24th. The Dodgers are off that day before going on the road to play the Cubs, so it shouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.

Report: Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson agree to two-year, $29 million extension

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson celebrates his two run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.

The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.

Giants and Brandon Belt have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.

Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.

Padres sign veteran utility player Skip Schumaker

Cincinnati Reds' Skip Schumaker is tagged out at home plate by San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.

While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.