The nuances of the dispute between Frank and Jamie are kind of technical inasmuch as they involve the operation and effect of a legal document governing the McCourts’ assets, Dodgers included.
But one thing that makes things simple is when the lawyer who drafted the thing testifies under oath that he messed with the document after it was signed by the parties, changing it from one that split the Dodgers between Frank and Jamie to one that gave the team solely to Frank. Which is what happened in court this morning. Read the L.A. Times’ account of the testimony. It’s brutal.
I’m obviously not following this thing filing-by-filing and exhibit-by-exhibit, but I have a hard time seeing how a judge can give legal effect to a document that a lawyer admitted under oath was fundamentally altered after its execution. And if he doesn’t, it means the Dodgers are joint property. Which means that, to finish off the divorce, either Frank or Jamie will have to buy the other one out.
And since they don’t have the cash for that, it would mean the team would have to be sold.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.