The McCourt trial is going to be delayed

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Only one time in my entire legal career did the date initially assigned to one of my cases as the trial date end up being the actual trial date, so I’m not exactly surprised by this:

The question of who owns the Dodgers might not be resolved by the All-Star break, perhaps not by the end of the season. The scheduled May 24 trial date was set aside by Los Angeles
Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon on Tuesday morning. Gordon
said he would meet with lawyers representing Frank and Jamie McCourt on
March 30 to determine a new trial date.

Even if you don’t care about the details of the McCourt divorce, you should understand this much: until the question of ownership of the Dodgers is resolved, Frank McCourt has every incentive to portray himself as financially strapped and Jamie McCourt has every incentive to throw PR bombs designed to make Frank look bad.

Neither of those things are good for the Dodgers or their fans.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?