Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers do not have enough cash to meet payroll through this month. At least not the second round of it which comes due at the end of the month.
In April he got a $30 million loan from Fox to make ends meet. With Major League Baseball now approving any transactions — and with the Fox deal seemingly on life support if it’s even still alive — there won’t be any such cash infusions this month.
So, does Matt Kemp have to take a second job? Does Andre Ethier have to try to keep his hitting streak alive while his stomach growls because he can’t afford groceries?
Not quite. If McCourt fails to meet payroll, Major League Baseball will cover expenses. However, it is believed that pursuant to the standard ownership agreement to which McCourt is subject, baseball has the ability to fully seize the Dodgers if they have to cover payroll.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that McCourt’s talking point through all of this has been that his cash difficulties are the doing of Major League Baseball’s refusal to approve the Fox TV deal. Yet he has never acknowledged that the Fox deal was the for the future, not the present. Or that, even if there was going to be a big upfront payment from Fox when the deal was struck, that his current state — debt heavy and cash poor — was all of his own doing, not of Bud Selig’s.
I hope every single Dodger employee gets paid. But I hope it’s by Major League Baseball stepping in to do it, not by Frank McCourt. Just to be safe: avoid going to Dodgers games for the month of May, people. I’d hate to see him make it just over the wire by virtue of a bump in beer sales or something. Besides, you can listen to Vin Scully call the home games, so you won’t be missing out on not being there.