According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt met with executives from the commissioner’s office — but not the commissioner himself — from Monday through Wednesday at MLB headquarters in New York.
The topic du jour? McCourt, who requested the meetings, outlined his plans for retaining control of the Dodgers as he continues to go through divorce proceedings with Jamie McCourt. As we learned last month, a judge threw out a post-nuptial agreement between the two that would have granted Frank full ownership of the team.
Frank filed an objection to the ruling, but as it stands right now, he would have to pay Jamie a significant amount of money in order to keep the team. It’s not exactly clear what options were discussed this week, but Shaikin speculates that that he could get hundreds of millions of dollars by either negotiating a new television deal or selling a minority share of the team, then using that money to settle his divorce.
The thing is, Bud Selig could reject any new television deal or partnership agreement. He could also reject short-term financing available to owners from MLB.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it sounds like he is losing support of other MLB owners.
“I can’t imagine one vote going against Bud on anything having to do with the Dodgers,” said the owner, who declined to be identified because Selig has not authorized him to speak on the issue.
In other words, Bud Selig may not force Frank to put the Dodgers up for sale, but he could make it very difficult for him to have any other choice.
On Friday, it was reported that free agent Hanley Ramirez was under federal and state investigation, though no one knew for what, exactly. Michele McPhee of ABC News said, “Obviously I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
The suspect was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine. But it turns out that Ramirez’s name only got mentioned because the suspect was hoping to avoid arrest. Ramirez is not actually under investigation, Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe report.
The attorney of the suspect said that his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used the former Red Sox DH’s name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.” During the traffic stop, a trooper asked permission to open a brown cardboard box found in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s jeep. The suspect said the box contained books, shipped to him by Ramirez’s mother to deliver to Ramirez in Boston. The suspect FaceTimed Ramirez to back up his story, but Ramirez said he wasn’t aware that the suspect was on his way to visit. Ramirez gave permission to the trooper to open the box. He did, and found a gift bag with two kilograms of fentanyl. The suspect was arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Ramirez, 34, hit a disappointing .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 195 plate appearances for the Red Sox before being designated for assignment on May 25 and released on June 1. The Red Sox maintain that Ramirez’s release had nothing to do with anything off-the-field.