Report: Frank McCourt will meet the June 15th payroll

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It’s been morbid fun watching Frank McCourt press to meet the Dodgers payroll, thereby holding off a takeover from Major League Baseball.  Last month we saw him mortgage his future a little bit.  The expectation this month was that he’d be sunk, given that Manny Ramirez is owed a big chunk of money in deferred compensation.  Certainly MLB would have to step in on June 15th, right?

Well, no, not if Bob Nightengale’s report is accurate. He says that other MLB owners are being told that McCourt has the money to meet the mid-month payroll.

It’s unclear where this money is coming from, what with attendance way down at Dodger Stadium and McCourt still leveraged to the gills.  My guess: he got Kelly, Ozone, Turbo and a young Ice-T to put on a big performance that will simultaneously help the Dodgers make payroll, and save the neighborhood rec center.

UPDATE: Bill Shaikin says that Frank McCourt is playing coy about it and won’t say if he has the funds to meet June 15th payroll. Maybe he wants it to be a surprise at the big jam at the end of the movie. Er, I mean, when payroll comes due.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.