At the moment, the big issue in front of the court handling the Dodgers bankruptcy is how the Dodgers’ operations will be financed for the next several months while the legal process is played out. Frank McCourt has obtained a private loan and wants to use it to run the team. Major League Baseball counters, offering its own financing to run the team. He who controls the spice controls the universe, so whoever wins this financing battle is going to have a way bigger hand in the future of the Dodgers than whoever doesn’t. It’s a big deal.
To that end, Major League Baseball filed a brief yesterday explaining why Frank McCourt’s proposed financing is not in the best interest of the Dodgers. Their biggest beef: Frank McCourt stands to personally benefit from the loan he obtained:
“Clearly, Mr. McCourt has not allowed these bankruptcy cases to change the practice of using the [Dodgers] as his personal piggy bank”
The brief is redacted for some reason, so the exact amount McCourt is allegedly skimming off the top of his loan is not explicitly stated. The brief makes further allusions to just how much McCourt has looted the Dodgers over the years. These numbers are redacted too, but the L.A. Times spoke with a source who says that the number is closer to $200 million than the $100 million which has been widely reported over the past couple of years.
As we’ve noted before, on its basic terms, the loan McCourt wants to use is pretty poor. High interest and a big up-front fee that Major League Baseball’s proposed financing doesn’t call for. Frank’s only apparent objection to baseball’s financing is that, well, it’s not good for Frank. Pity, that.
There will be a hearing on all of this next Wednesday and, if form holds, a pretty quick ruling.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.