Combination of file photos of Frank and Jamie McCourt during their divorce trial in Los Angeles

Thanks to the mega Dodgers sale, Frank and Jamie McCourt are back in court


Aww, I missed you guys! I really, really did!

The ex-wife of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt wants to set aside the couple’s divorce settlement, claiming he vastly understated the value of a team that sold earlier this year for $2 billion, the highest figure ever paid for a pro sports franchise.

Jamie McCourt’s attorney, Bertram Fields, told The Associated Press that she “thought very long and very hard about whether to file this motion” but that after other means failed, she returned to court.

Jamie McCourt, you’ll recall, settled their divorce case for $131 million.  This was back when Frank McCourt didn’t look like he’d end up with a pot to piss in because absolutely no one figured he’d get $2 billion for the Dodgers.  At the time she and her quite able legal staff made what they thought was a good deal.

Her theory is fraud — that Frank misrepresented the value of the Dodgers.  I presume the counter will be that hanging on for the ride in the sale of a professional sports franchise is a risky endeavor and, by settling before the sale, Jamie decided not to assume any risk yet now wants the rewards of that sale.

I really don’t know the intricacies of rich people divorce cases, so I have no idea if she has a leg to stand on, legally speaking.  But my kneejerk reaction is to say that it takes an awful lot of chutzpah to sleep with the help, blow up the marriage, sue your ex, settle for well over $100 million as everyone in the world is also going after him and then, over a year later, come back and say “please, sir, I’d like some more.”

That said, the fact that I can muster any sympathy for a guy like McCourt here kind of turns my stomach, so maybe I should just root for expensive, protracted litigation that bankrupts them both and leaves no winners.

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
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According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.

The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.

Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.

It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

billy beane getty

I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.