Major League Baseball hasn’t been all that crazy about Jamie McCourt these past couple of years, but I bet they love her now. Why? Because she’s going to demand that the court overseeing the McCourt divorce order the immediate sale of the Dodgers. If the court agrees it could save Major League Baseball from having to seize the team from Frank and the extended, ugly litigation that would bring.
As Bill Shaikin reports, the argument is that Frank has endangered the value of the Dodgers and that, as part owner, she is entitled to have the value of the team maximized. That means a sale now, when she and Frank can control it, and — my guess as to a couple of potential arguments — before baseball can impose crazy austerity measures and before Frank can lock the Dodgers into a below-market TV deal with FOX, among other things.
A hearing date is supposed to be set today. Just knowing how courts work, though, it seems impossible that such a sale could be ordered in the next week or two. That could put Major League Baseball in a bit of a pickle: if Frank can’t make payroll at the end of the month, does baseball still seize the team, as many expect it will? Does it wait to see if a sale is ordered and, if so, simply help the Dodgers float along financially until it can be sold, sort of like what happened with the Rangers? How, exactly, does baseball proceed as Jamie’s gambit proceeds?
Interesting questions, but ones I bet MLB doesn’t mind having to deal with if, in the meantime, the wheels get turning on a court-ordered sale as opposed to an open-ended MLB-takeover of the club.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.
Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.
Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.
After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”
Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”
As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.