Frank McCourt’s multi-front war to maintain control over the Los Angeles Dodgers just got a bit simpler: according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a settlement regarding ownership of the Dodgers. The deal has Frank paying Jamie $130 million in exchange for her giving up a claim to ownership of the team.
Where Frank gets $130 million is an open question, but one has to think that Jamie was worried about the future. A future in which, due to how encumbered the Dodgers are, her half-ownership stake in the team could be worth very little, thus rendering $130 million a more palatable option. That is, if her half-ownership stake in the team was upheld to begin with. One hundred and thirty million birds in the hand are worth more than more in the bush, as they say.
As for Frank, this makes life a bit easier. While, yes, he still has to face Bud Selig and Major League Baseball in the final boss battle in bankruptcy court, if McCourt wins that and is able to maintain control of the team, he doesn’t have to then face Jaime in the superboss battle afterward.
For everyone else this puts to an end the sordidness and drama that has driven the entire McCourt/Dodgers/litigation fiasco for the past two years. Yes, the bankruptcy and Major League Baseball’s efforts to wrest control of the Dodgers from McCourt pose a more serious threat than anything else now, but it was the divorce and the attendant publicity that set all of this off, injected tabloid-style nastiness into the equation, turned Frank McCourt’s name into mud and so thoroughly turned off so many Dodgers fans.
And now it’s all over. At least, that is, if this settlement gets put to bed neatly. Which, given that the McCourts are involved, is no sure bet.
For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per MLB.com’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.
The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.
Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.
Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.
With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.
Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.
Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.
Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.