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Thursday, September 02, 2010

The McCourts Near The End Of Their Rope?

Everyone is all atwitter over yesterday's tweet from ESPN's Molly Knight that the McCourts' business plan called for a "significant" reduction in player salaries, later expanded on in a Times article. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but it constrains the team's freedom of movement to keep together an aging-but-productive core, should one arise. (Whether that's the case with the current team is a subject for another day.)

One thing is clear, however, and that is that the Dodgers are deeply in debt, so much so that no fewer than three entities — Citibank, and two private syndicates — refused Frank cash to continue operations. The McCourts have operated the Dodgers like a sort of ATM, to be perfectly blunt about it, extracting as much present value for as little of their own operating capital as possible. As we have seen, the Dodgers have spent very little internationally since at least 2007, and only recently spent even mid-pack in domestic draft bonuses (9th overall in 2010). In short, the problems I worried about with the McCourts when they first came to town have actually come true.

If anything at all is clear from this disaster of a shamockery, it's

  1. Frank and Jamie McCourt were never going to be good owners.
  2. Any doubts about their ability to operate the team over the long term have been utterly erased.
  3. Both need to be removed as soon as possible for the good of the team.
Joshua Fisher won't be in town today for a late-scheduled fourth day of the trial, but Molly Knight — whose tweets I have been following — is doing a bang-up job on this.

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