Frank and Jamie McCourt had a hearing in their divorce case yesterday. Because both of them are ridiculous, the hearing was ridiculous.
Jamie McCourt’s lawyers referred to Frank’s battles with Major League Baseball as a “jihad,” which pulls the neat trick of being simultaneously offensive to those who believe in the concept of jihads and those who have been the victims of putative jihads over time. But hey, it’s Jamie McCourt, so I’m not expecting anything reality-based here.
Frank McCourt — for whom, at least in the context of the whole marital support issue with Jamie, I have some degree of sympathy — was also ludicrous. In a filing, the subject of his fight with MLB came up. Specifically, the claim that Frank has taken over $100 million out of the Dodgers for his personal use. Now, there are a lot of ways to deal with that. You could note that it has little to do with the divorce case. Or you can mildly take issue with it and note that it’s something being litigated. Frank’s tack, however, was rather dumb:
“Even taking the commissioner’s false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value, it is difficult to understand how the commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year — meaning that he has taken out between $120 million and $140 million from baseball revenues during the same period that he complains about $100 million being taken out by the owner of a team.”
Really, Frank? That’s where you want to go? To compare your looting of your team via shell corporations and limited liability companies to Bud Selig’s salary, which is voted on and approved by the other major league teams? Do you really want to admit that you view the Los Angeles Dodgers as your personal piggy bank, equivalent to the paycheck of an individual from his employer? More broadly, do you really want to reveal to a judge that you have such a poor handle on the concept of analogies that you’d trot this one out? Talk about a credibility killer.
But that counterargument to McCourt’s little equivalency pales compared to the simple way that MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred dealt with it:
In response, MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred agreed that McCourt had not taken $100 million from the team. “He took a lot more than that,” Manfred said in a statement.