Today is a day we should all root for Frank McCourt

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Of all of the litigation in which Frank McCourt is currently involved, the one in which I’m most staunchly on his side is his malpractice action — or malpractice action to-be — against the lawyers that handled the property distribution agreement between him and his wife.

As became clear during the divorce trial, one lawyer’s switching out copies of the agreement to fix what appeared to be a drafting mistake, rather than have Frank and Jamie re-execute a corrected agreement, was the turning point. It gave Jamie McCourt the opportunity — disingenuously in my view — to argue that she was always entitled to half of the Dodgers.  But because of lawyer’s actions the judge was left with little choice but to set the agreement aside and treat the Dodgers as community property. That’s malpractice, pure and simple.

We’re not quite to the point where that’s being litigated, but Frank McCourt is in court today to make sure that day comes.  The law firm sued him first, actually, claiming unpaid fees and hoping to head off the malpractice claim. Today Frank is trying to have the fee claim dismissed so he can proceed.  And it’s important that he win it: he took a $30 million personal loan from Fox earlier this year, secured by the proceeds from the lawsuit. Risky as hell, but that’s Frank.

Anyway, Bill Shaikin, as usual, has the full story.  Let us all enjoy the brief period in which we can actually root for Frank McCourt.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.