Uh-oh: Frank McCourt is in trouble with the missus!

9 Comments

Remember how Frank McCourt tried to sell off the Dodgers’ broadcasting rights to FOX in an effort to raise cash to save his ownership of the team? Yeah, it seems that, given that the Dodgers are community property, Jamie McCourt has an interest in all of that and a right to obtain any information she can about the would-be deal.  And she’s exercising that right:

Frank McCourt has failed to protect the financial interests of his ex-wife, Jamie, in part by negotiating a “secret deal” with Fox that “would have endangered” the value of the Dodgers’ broadcast contracts, attorneys for Jamie McCourt alleged in a court filing Tuesday.

Her attorneys asked that Frank be ordered to provide to Jamie extensive financial information regarding the Dodgers’ business operations, including documents related to negotiations with television outlets and efforts to obtain additional financing for the cash-strapped franchise.

The court set a hearing for April 11.

The problem: what if the Dodgers could get way, way more money for their broadcasting rights by, say, starting their own cable network?  Or selling to Comcast or some broadcast network at a higher rate? Wouldn’t that benefit the team and its beneficial owners — like Jamie McCourt — way more than some fire sale of TV rights to FOX?  Of course it would. And Frank thus has an obligation to take such moves to Jamie and her lawyers to get their say-so. Doing it like he tried to do it could give a lady the impression that Frank was looking for quick cash without anyone knowing about it. Perish the thought!

In other news — as Dodger Divorce explains in great detail — all of this is going to cause Frank to have a magnifying glass shoved where the sun don’t shine.  Financially speaking.

Magic Johnson says the Dodgers will win the World Series

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Baseball, as we so often note around here, is unpredictable. Especially when it comes to the playoffs. You can be the best team in the land for six months but a few bad days can end your season once October hits.

In 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season but lost the ALCS to the Yankees, four games to one. In 1906 the Cubs won 116 games in a 152-game season and lost the World Series. In 1954 the Indians won 111 games in a 154-game season and lost the World Series. In 1931 the Philadelphia A’s won 107 games and lost the World Series.

More recently, with the advent of expanded playoffs, the chances for the team with the best record to win the World Series have been pretty dang terrible. Since the beginning of the wild card era, only five times has the team with the game’s best record gone on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. That’s it.

At the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers have baseball’s best record. They’re 71-31 and sit 12 games up in their division. Their playoff chances are almost 100%. The above examples notwithstanding, if you had to make a prediction as to who might win the World Series, it would not be unreasonable to pick the Dodgers. Sure, you’d want to make sure they got Clayton Kershaw back by early September or thereabouts to make it a safer prediction, but it’d be a totally defensible pick. Maybe even the one most people make.

But it’d be the utmost in magical thinking to presume that one could make such a prediction with any degree of certainty, right? The Los Angeles Times, however, passes along some Magical thinking:

Magic Johnson called his shot Thursday night, and he wasn’t shy about it. The Dodgers’ co-owner did not hesitate when he predicted how the team would finish this year.

“The Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year,” Johnson said. “This is our year.”

The headline calls it a “guarantee.” I don’t know if I’d call it that — I think it’s more of a confident prediction — but it is a bold statement whatever you call it.

If I had to pick one team at the moment — and we could assume a healthy Clayton Kershaw — I suppose I would make them my World Series favorites too. And, yes, if I had an ownership interest in the Dodgers, I’d probably say what Johnson said.

But given the example of history, I think “field” would be a much safer bet.

Mariners trade Steve Cishek to the Rays for swingman Erasmo Ramirez.

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Erasmo Ramirez.

Cishek had appeared in 23 games this season for Seattle after recovering from major offseason hip surgery. He’s 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, with a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He’s a setup man right now, but he has experience as a closer, saving 25 games for Seattle last year and as many as 39 back when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014.

Ramirez has appeared in 26 games for the Rays and has started eight games. He’s 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 55/16 K/BB ratio in 69.1 innings. This will be his second stint with the Mariners, having played for them from 2012-14.

Sort of a surprising deal given that both Tampa Bay and Seattle are competing for a wild card spot, but needs are needs.