Frank McCourt could file for bankruptcy

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Because the Dodgers situation isn’t complicated enough, it’s probably time to throw bankruptcy into the mix:

Major League Baseball is preparing for the possibility that Frank McCourt might take the Dodgers into bankruptcy court before the league could strip him of the team … The league is “looking hard” at that option, said a personal familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment publicly because of the potential for litigation.

In the article, Bill Shaikin talks to some bankruptcy experts who talk about what that could mean for MLB’s assumption of control over the team, Frank McCourt’s ownership interest and all of that. There’s not much in the way of consensus unless you count “man, this would really make things difficult” as a consensus.

With the all of the same “I know next to nothing about bankruptcy law” caveats I gave last year when the Rangers’ business was going down, it strikes me — and those quoted in Shaikin’s article — that a key inquiry in bankruptcy would be the Fox TV teal that McCourt claims is the key to the Dodgers well-being and which Major League Baseball is loathe to approve.

As far as that goes, I suppose it’s possible that a judge could say, yeah, that deal should happen. But (a) I’m not sure how an unconsummated deal can be an asset that a bankruptcy court could consider; and (b) even if it is, baseball could probably call a parade of experts to testify that the Dodgers could do way better on the TV side than what Fox is offering. And of course, Jamie McCourt has a stake here too, and nothing about her involvement would make this less, rather than more complicated.

All I keep telling myself here is that, however horrible this gets, at least it will forever serve as a lesson to Major League Baseball to not let litigious, greedy and cash poor nudnicks like the McCourts into the ownership club in the future.

Baseball is learning that lesson, right?

Brewers on the brink of their first pennant in 36 years

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A series that had swung back and forth twice already swung back in Milwaukee’s favor last night with a convincing win. That it was convincing — it was not at all close after the second inning — is a key factor heading into today, as Craig Counsell has his bullpen set up nicely to shorten the game if his Brewers can get an early lead.

Josh Hader — who, if you are unaware, has not allowed a run and has struck out 12 batters in seven innings of postseason work — did not pitch yesterday or in Game 5. As such, he’s had three full days off. Given that this is a win or go home day and, if they win, he’s guaranteed two more days off before the World Series, he’s good for two innings and could very well go for three. That’s not what you want if you’re the Dodgers.

But it gets worse. Jeremy Jeffress pitched last night but it was only one pretty easy inning, so he could go two if he has to. Corey Knebel pitched an inning and two-thirds but he could probably give Counsell an inning of work if need be. Joakim Soria didn’t pitch at all yesterday. Between those guys and the less important relievers, all of whom save Brandon Woodruff are all pretty fresh, the Dodgers aren’t going to have any easy marks.

But the thing is: Counsell may not need to go that deep given that Jhoulys Chacin, their best starter of the postseason, gets the start. So, yes, in light of that, you have to like the Brewers’ chances tonight, and that’s before you realize that the home crowd is going to be louder than hell.

Not that the Dodgers are going to roll over — it’ll be all hands on deck for them with every pitcher except for Hyun-Jim Ryu available, you figure — but if they’re going to repeat as NL champs, they’re going to have to earn it either by bloodying Chacin’s nose early and neutralizing the threat of facing Hader and company with a lead, or by marching through the teeth of the Brewers bullpen and coming out alive on the other side.
NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Walker Buehler vs. Jhoulys Chacin
Breakdown:

The most important part of this breakdown — the stuff about the Brewers’ pen — has already been said and, I presume anyway, the starters here will have the shortest of leashes. Chacin’s will be longer, as he has not allowed a run over 10 and a third innings in his first two postseason starts, making him the Brewers’ defacto ace. Every inning he goes tonight makes things much, much harder for the Dodgers once he’s gone as it means Milwaukee will be able to rely more and more on Hader and Jeffress, so the Dodgers had best get to him early.

Buehler has come up weak so far this postseason, having allowed nine runs in 12 innings, including surrendering four runs on six hits over seven innings in Milwaukee’s Game 3 victory. Still, it’s not hard to remember how dominating he was in the second half of the season. If that Buehler shows up and can keep things close, we’ll have a ballgame. If L.A. finds itself in an early hole once again, theirs will be the tallest of orders.