Frank McCourt scrimped and saved — wait, no he didn’t; he borrowed — to make payroll at the end of May. He is said to be fine for the mid-June payroll due tomorrow too, so good for him. That business with the Manny Ramirez payment coming due at the end of the month, however, makes things dire, one would think.
Yep: according to Bill Shaikin, the Dodgers have “no chance” to meet the June 30 payroll unless that Fox contract is approved. That according to a person “familiar with McCourt’s finances but not authorized to discuss them.”
So, it may take a month longer than expected, but barring an unexpected court ruling in the next two weeks (a) barring Jamie McCourt from objecting to the Fox deal; and (b) ruling that Major League Baseball has no right to approve or disapprove of Dodgers financial decisions, McCourt is going to lose his team at the end of the month.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.