MLB: Frank McCourt looted the Dodgers of $189 million

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The implication from Major League Baseball has always been that Frank McCourt extracted many millions from the Dodgers, but they’ve never truly called it “looting” and they’ve never given an exact dollar figure.  Until now anyway. Bill Shaikin:

For the first time, Major League Baseball put a specific number on the amount it alleges Dodgers owner Frank McCourt took out of the team — $189.16 million — and described the distributions as “looting.”

Given how ugly this has all gotten — both MLB and McCourt are using Bryan Stow in arguments to show the other side’s mismanagement or shamelessness — I’m surprised it took this long.

Of course, given that there are likely several other clubs which the owners use as personal piggy banks, I can see why MLB would be loathe to make this all sound so stark.  Only difference is that McCourt’s use was likely larger in scale and, unlike the other owners’, was unable to be managed within the team’s budget.

Preliminary hearings are now over.  Next week Bud Selig and Frank McCourt take the stand in a multi-day trial.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.