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Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Maybe Frank's Right About His Financial Situation: Dodgers Pass On All Arbitration Cases
The Times reports the Dodgers offered arbitration to zero free agents. Jon is depressed:
It's definitely not the kind of announcement you like to see your team make. It's neither bold nor prudent. It's just kind of depressing, and it renews questions about the leadership at the very top of this organization, regardless of the success of the past two years.I have to wonder just how truthful Frank McCourt was in his divorce filing when he claimed he only had $125,000 in liquid assets and couldn't get more (from the partnership that owns the Dodgers) until possibly as late as March, 2010. Even as far back as the sale, it's possible that he is leveraged beyond reason, as Dodger Divorce speculates:
It's awfully easy to jump to some pretty aggressive conclusions here. The plan approved by Major League Baseball figured for $65-$75 million in payroll. The Dodgers could not pursue Vlad Guerrero, who would make $12.5 million for the Angels in 2004, because it would alter the financial projections so dramatically as to jeopardize the McCourt bid. After McCourt had sufficiently convinced the owners' group to approve his bid, and free of the strictures of the approval process, McCourt still authorized an opening day payroll $17-27 million higher than he believed Major League Baseball would approve.You could also read it as Bud Selig twisting the throat of the game's second- or third-most lucrative franchise. Either way, it's not good for the Dodgers.
Bruce McNall had us all fooled until the very end. McCourt hasn't fooled any one since Day 1. I never thought I'd see the day where I had any pity on him for the front he's put on, but now we see the emperor without any clothes, i'll give him some sympathy - like all of us, he wanted to own a team. And like all of us, he really couldn't afford to do so, but he pulled it off .... for a while.