On Friday, Frank McCourt and the Dodgers got what most people consider to be a considerable setback in the bankruptcy litigation when the judge ruled that they would not be able to take discovery of the business dealings of other teams with Major League Baseball.
And you know it was horrible for them because it inspired someone with the Dodgers’ PR firm to send out an email in which it was said that “the Los Angeles Dodgers look forward to this hearing …” etc. The only time anyone ever says that they look forward to a hearing or a trial or whatever is when they’re in deep doo-doo. It’s just how that goes.
Also underscoring the notion that McCourt knows he’s kinda screwed now: today his lawyers asked the court to reconsider the decision on the other teams’ financial information. And motions for reconsideration just never, ever work. They’re the litigation equivalent of my son saying “but DAAAAAD!”
So yeah, I think Frank McCourt may be in trouble. Or, more to the point, I think he finally realizes that he’s in trouble.
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.