McCourt Divorce Trial Continues With Ownership Of Dodgers In Contention

Potential buyers for the Dodgers emerge

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Frank McCourt’s official line is that the Dodgers are not for sale. But whether they’re ultimately sold is kind of out of his hands. If the latest court ruling is upheld, Jamie McCourt is going to be owed a ton of money for her share of the team, Frank doesn’t have it handy, and the only way for him to get it would be to sell the Dodgers.

Against that backdrop, BusinessWeek reports that a couple of people are indicating that they’d be interested: private equity dude Alec Gores and real estate mogul Alan Casden.*

I don’t read much business press so I’ve never heard of either of them. But that’s what Google is for. Here’s a recent writeup on Gores:

Sometimes spotted courtside at Lakers games with pal Sylvester Stallone, Gores is looking to enter the movie industry. Bidding in partnership with billionaire brother Tom for Walt Disney’s Miramax film division against financial heavyweights including Ron Burkle and Ron Tutor.

Kind of sounds like a baseball owner. Likes sports. Likes media. Does business with his family. Hangs out with weird celebrities. I also heard that Ron Burkle was interested in buying the Pirates once upon a time, so maybe Gores want the Dodgers as a way to figuratively flip the bird at a business rival! Oh, and Gores was raised in Flint, Michigan. I was in part, so I’m going to make him my favorite for no other reason than that.

As for Casden:

Taciturn and tenacious Casden won approval in February for West Hollywood mixed-use development that could be worth more than $300 million when completed. Another mixed-use development next to planned West L.A. light-rail station could be worth upwards of $750 million, if built.

Mixed-use development guy? Hey, that also sounds like a baseball owner!  Ever been to Dodger Stadium? Seen how big that parking lot is?  It could easily fit a Home Depot and a couple of condos! And if he’s into the light rail scene, maybe Dodger Stadium will finally get some friggin’ mass transit.  It’s brutal getting in and out of there.

Eh, rich people. I don’t really pretend that I understand them, so I’m just snarking here. I just hope that when they take over baseball teams they do the right thing and plow an insane amount of money into players, try to keep a lid on beer prices, make sure the team’s announcers aren’t awful and at least pretend to be happy when the team wins.

*Mark Cuban is given quick lip service too, but it’s based on old, old news. And frankly, I’m kind of bored talking about Cuban.

MLB, MLBA officially announce the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 04:  A job seeker shakes hands with a recruiter during a HireLive career fair on June 4, 2015 in San Francisco, California. According to a report by payroll processor ADP,  201,000 jobs were added by businesses in May.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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In the past, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have not issued official statements announcing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement until after it had been ratified by the players and clubs. The thinking was simple: there is no agreement until it is officially ratified. Which makes some sense.

A few moments ago, however, the league and the union issued a joint press release with a full summary of the new CBA terms, quotes from Tony Clark and Rob Manfred and the whole nine yards. You can see all of the detailed terms here.

The most likely explanation for doing it now: there are different people running MLB than were running it five years ago and they’re just doing things differently. My fun conspiracy theory, however, is that due to the division and acrimony in the player ranks about which we’re just hearing, the league and union wanted to make this appear to be a far more done deal than it technically is and thus be able to paint objectors who may pop up during the ratification process as Monday morning quarterbacks. Hey, crazier things have happened!

In the meantime, go check out some of the fun terms. There are a load of them there. In the meantime before you do that, here are the official statements from baseball’s honchos.

Rob Manfred:

“I am pleased that we completed an agreement prior to the deadline that will keep the focus on the field during this exciting time for the game.  There are great opportunities ahead to continue our growth and build upon the popularity that resonated throughout the Postseason and one of the most memorable World Series ever.  This agreement aims to further improve the game’s healthy foundation and to promote competitive balance for all fans.

“I thank Tony Clark, his colleagues and many Major League Players for their work throughout the collective bargaining process.  We appreciate their shared goals for the betterment of the sport.  I am grateful for the efforts of our Labor Policy Committee, led by Ron Fowler, as well as Dan Halem and our entire Labor Relations Department.”

Tony Clark:

“Every negotiation has its own challenges. The complexities of this agreement differ greatly from those in the past if for no other reason than how the industry has grown.  With that said, a fair and equitable deal is always the result you are working toward, and, once again, I believe we achieved that goal. I would like to thank our Players for their involvement, input and leadership throughout. Their desire to protect our history and defend and advance the rights and interests of their peers is something I am truly grateful for.

“I would also like to recognize Commissioner Rob Manfred, Dan Halem, MLB and the Labor Policy Committee for their hard work over the last year plus, and for staying committed to the process.  In coming to an agreement, this deal allows both sides to focus on the future growth and development of the sport. There is a lot of work to be done and we look forward to doing it.”

Peace in our time.

Breaking down the Today’s Game Hall of Fame Ballot: John Schuerholz

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 27: Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz is shown before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on September 27, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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On Monday, December 5, the Today’s Game committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame — the replacement for the Veterans Committee which covers the years 1988-2016 — will vote on candidates for the 2017 induction class. This week we are looking at the ten candidates, one-by-one, to assess their Hall worthiness. Next up: John Schuerholz 

The case for his induction:

He’s one of the greatest GMs of all time, having broken into baseball in what was then the best organization in baseball, the Balitmore Orioles, and then worked his way up to the GM chair in another fantastic organization, the 1970s and 80s Kansas City Royals. After a World Series win there he moved on to Atlanta and, with the help of his predecessor GM and future manager, Bobby Cox, helped bring the Braves back from oblivion and turned them into perpetual division title winners. His influence, in terms of his disciples and the weight he still throws around Major League Baseball, is incalculable. If there are any arguments about his place in the executive hierarchy in the past 50 years, they’re about where in the top two or three he places, not whether he’s worthy of the Hall of Fame, at least by historical standards.

The case against his induction:

You could make a strong case that executives have no business being in there, but that ship sailed a long dang time ago. You could also nitpick Schuerholz’s record — David Cone for Ed Hearn? Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada? — but show me a GM who doesn’t have some clunkers on his resume. You can lay resposibility for the manager challenge system in replay at his feet, but I don’t think that outweighs his accomplishments.

Schuerholz was part of turning a fledging organization into one of the best in baseball and, in his next job, turned a totally cratered, losing and barren organization into a perpetual winner. It’s hard to beat that.

Would I vote for him?

Sure. There are 33 executives in the Hall of Fame. Schuerholz had more success than most of ’em. I wish there were more, say, third basemen in the Hall than there are — there are only 16 of them — but if you’re going to judge Schuerholz by his peers, he comes out pretty well.

Will the Committee vote for him?

Yep. The Veterans Committees of the recent past have been loathe to induct a lot of players who are worthy, but they’ve always been good to put in noted executives. It’s almost as if these guys make the Veterans Committee by, you know, being tight with noted executives. I feel like he’ll glide in.