Combination of file photos of Frank and Jamie McCourt during their divorce trial in Los Angeles

Frank and Jamie McCourt: masters of logic

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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.

Oh, snap.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.