Frank McCourt offered $1.2 billion to sell the Dodgers

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Well, we weren’t expecting this. From out of the blue comes an offer — all cash — to Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers. It’s for $1.2 billion, and it comes from a man named Bill Burke. Burke, who is the founder of the Los Angeles Marathon, is backed by “certain state-owned investment institutions of the People’s Republic of China” and other investors, Bill Shaikin reports. Which probably means that Burke is just the figurehead/American face of the deal.

According to my friend (and Los Angeles resident and native) Bob Timmermann, Burke is married to former Los Angeles County Superintendent Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. The Burkes remain big players in Democratic politics, Mr. Timmermann says. I would assume this means that he’s not just some crazy rich person looking for attention.

The deal is reportedly for everything, including the team, the ballpark and the surrounding real estate.  McCourt has no comment and it’s unclear whether he’s open to selling.

But jeez, it’s not every day that someone offers you $1.2 billion in cash.  Assuming it’s something Major League Baseball would be receptive to — and why would they not be? — how could McCourt turn this down given all of the financial challenges he currently faces?

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph: “We suck”

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, Baltimore lost its 107th game last night, tying its 1988 mark for the most losses in Orioles history. They will certainly break that record and will almost certainly blast by the all-time franchise loss record of 111, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. That team only played a 154-game schedule so the O’s likely won’t be the worst team in the franchise’s 118-season history by winning percentage, but it’ll be close enough.

Over at The Athletic Dan Connolly reports that one Oriole, catcher Caleb Joseph, is well aware of how bad the Orioles are and he is not mincing words about it:

“I’m not a loser. So, to be associated with that severity of losing is embarrassing. It’s shameful really . . . I don’t blame [fans] at all [for not attending games]. We suck.”

That last bit was in response to Matt Olson of the Athletics coming up to him before a recent game, noticing how many empty seats there were in Camden Yards and asking Joseph if it was always like that. Let that sink in: a player for the Oakland Athletics who, year after year, have some of the worst attendance in baseball, is shocked at how poorly Baltimore is drawing.

As for Joseph, he spends a lot of time talking about how the attitude is all wrong with the Orioles, how there does not seem to be any accountability and how things weren’t like that when he came up back when the Orioles were winning. Which, well, yeah.

Baseball players often attribute winning and losing to whatever attitude is prevailing around the clubhouse. Maybe that’s true on greatly underachieving teams or borderline teams that aren’t catching the breaks, but it seems far more likely that winning makes teams happy and instills camaraderie while losing makes teams sad and makes people look inward. Players tend to get the causation wrong about all of that because, I suspect, they don’t want to admit that they’re not as talented as the competition so it has to come down to some motivational or mental defect. Which, if that makes a player feel better, fine, but these O’s weren’t going to win many games even if they came in with smiles on their faces while singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” out of their rear ends every day. They just aren’t good.

Whatever you think of all of that, one thing is clear: the O’s need to clean house in a major, major way.