UPDATE: Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the sale will not close today, as originally expected. No reason for panic, though, as the sale is not in danger and should close early tomorrow.
In other exciting Dodgers’ news, Matt Kemp hit his 12th home run of the season in the first inning tonight against the Rockies.
Saturday, 1:34 p.m. ET: Rejoice Dodgers’ fans, as the painful and tumultuous reign of Frank McCourt is set to come to an end Monday.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times passes along word that yesterday was the deadline for objections to be filed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on the pending deal which will transfer ownership of the franchise from McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Partners, a group led by Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson. No such objections were filed, though, so the final major hurdle was effectively crossed.
Attorneys for Guggenheim, McCourt and MLB are still working through extensive documentation on the sale, but the expectation is that the new ownership group will be in place by the time the Dodgers take the field against the Rockies on Monday night.
The Guggenheim group agreed to purchase the Dodgers from McCourt for $2.15 billion, a new record for a sports franchise. McCourt is required to pay $131 million of that haul to his ex-wife, Jamie, on Monday as part of their divorce settlement.
Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.
With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.
The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.
Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.
It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.