Back in October 2011 Jamie and Frank McCourt settled their dispute over ownership of the Dodgers. At the time it seemed like Jamie got a fairly decent deal. She got $131 million out of it despite the fact that her claims to true joint ownership of the team were somewhat tenuous and despite the fact that, at the time, all of Frank’s debts and the Dodgers’ debts — something on the order of $800 million worth — looked like a sale of the team wouldn’t bring anything close to a windfall. Heck, McCourt looked like he’d maybe — maybe — break even.
But then something hilarious happened: Frank sold the team for $2.15 billion, which was way, way more than Jamie or most other folks figured he’d get for it. When that happened Jamie went running back to court to try to reopen the settlement, claiming fraud and all sorts of other things, but really just wanting a bigger piece of all of that Dodgers money.
The judge ruled yesterday. Sorry, Jamie. From Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times:
Jamie McCourt asked that the divorce settlement be thrown out, alleging Frank McCourt misled her about the value of the team and its assets. In his ruling, Gordon said there was “no credible evidence” to support those allegations and noted that Jamie McCourt had been involved in team and RSN valuations in her capacity as a high-ranking Dodgers executive.
When you think about it, Jamie did herself in. For a couple of years during the divorce fight, Jamie portrayed herself as a true co-owner and a wrongfully-fired Dodgers executive. She even argued for a long time that she actually wanted ownership of the Dodgers when it was all settled, not just a cashout. Then, to turn around and say that she was a mere babe in the woods when it came to complicated things like baseball teams and TV rights and that bad old Frank misled her about it all is pretty much the definition of chutzpah.
Frank McCourt is not my idea of a hero, but gee whiz, he’s got nothing on Jamie in the “can you believe this?” department.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.