McCourt Divorce Trial Continues With Ownership Of Dodgers In Contention

Frank and Jamie McCourt respond to the MLB takeover in expected fashion

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Ever since the Dodgers’ financial turmoil was made public, Frank McCourt has seemed to be in denial. When criticized over the team’s sordid  affairs, his response has been to assert that there is no problem whatsoever.

Jamie McCourt, in contrast has exhibited more in the way of — what shall we call it? — magical thinking.  Indeed, the same impulses that possessed her to think that a man could control the Dodgers’ fortunes via “V-Energy” and the power of positive thinking  from the other side of the country have had her believing that Major League Baseball would actually accept her as the principal owner of the team, which isn’t happening. Ever.

Both of these behaviors appear to be on display in the public statements issued by the McCourts following yesterday’s takeover of the Dodgers by Major League Baseball.  First Frank:

“Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the commissioner’s decision today.”

I don’t know the specifics of the guidelines Frank is referring to. And I don’t doubt that under some twisted, convoluted  interpretation of them, Frank has at least a basic argument that he’s in compliance, because such is the nature of financial guidelines that they are malleable.  But let us be clear: when you’re making player payroll via month-to-month personal loans secured by noting but wishes, one can rest assured that the basic argument that you’re out of compliance is much stronger. And given that Bud Selig, assuming he has the backing of the other owners, has pretty unlimited power in such matters, McCourt’s squawking and implied threat of litigation seem pretty empty.

Jamie McCourt’s statement is in character as well:

“As the 50% owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I welcome and support the Commissioner’s actions to provide the necessary transparency, guidance and direction for the franchise and for Dodgers fans everywhere.”

Jamie may or may not be serious when she claims that she wants to take over as the active owner of the team, but whether she truly wants that or merely wants cashed out of her stake, the MLB takeover can’t really help her, can it?  If takes Frank’s efforts to raise quick cash for a payoff via a TV rights sale to FOX off the table. One has to think it likewise delays the sale of the team and, via Bud Selig’s announced “investigation” of team finances, increases the likelihood that information will be found that could end up costing Jamie McCourt money. Her best interests were served when Frank was scrambling to find a way to buy her out. MLB is not going to care a rat’s patootie about her for the time being.

So, the responses from the McCourts are denial and delusion. Did you expect anything else?

Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2017 option vests, but salary still undetermined

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Hisashi Iwakuma #18 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.

Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).

This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.

Ichiro Suzuki passes Wade Boggs for 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 28: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins grounds out during the 2nd inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.

Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.

Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.

By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).

Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.