We’re heading towards a judge’s ruling regarding who owns the Dodgers. That’s because yesterday Jamie McCourt rejected the settlement proposed by the mediator. Frank accepted it, but as we know, it takes two to tango.
The best part was Frank’s statement afterward, issued through his lawyers, in which he said that accepting it was “the responsible thing to do for his family, the Dodgers organization and the entire community,” and that “we can only conclude that Jamie . . . is allowing this matter to drag on further.”
This despite the fact that the parties are subject to a strict gag order regarding the settlement process and the case at large. The L.A. Times story quoted someone saying that this was calculated by Frank to make Jamie look greedy. Know what? After everything we’ve learned about the McCourts over the past year, I don’t think either side needs the other’s help in that regard. And I bet the judge rips Frank a new one over it.
That aside, we can assume one thing: Jamie’s rejection of the settlement — which I believe likely favored Jamie to begin with — suggests that she feels very strongly about her case. She must be convinced that the judge is going to invalidate the post-marital agreement and make the Dodgers community property.
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.