Saturday, April 23, 2011
Dodgers Still Undefeated In The Post-McCourt Era, More On The McCourt Saga: Dodgers 12, Cubs 2
As Jon notes, the Dodgers have outscored their opponents 23-6 in the Bud Selig ownership era, which seems as though they are celebrating something. Of course, I don't put any stock in such flights of fancy, but it seems kicking this interloper to the curb can only mean good things, and if the team goes on a tear in his absence, so much the better. On that note, a number of related linkies from hither and yon regarding the McCourt non-ownership situation:
- McCourt went to Time Warner in addition to Fox hat in hand looking for money, and was well received.
"I can't think of another situation in baseball where this has happened," Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College and an expert in sports contracts, said Thursday. "Fox has been doing unprecedented things in baseball all along but it seems pretty apparent what this is about. Fox sees an opportunity to forestall the Dodgers' one day creating their own sports channel and locking Fox out of the telecasting market.If, as seems likely, McCourt loses the Dodgers, the Bingham McCutcheon lawsuit as collateral seems pretty flimsy.
"Fox sees an owner in distress, under duress to raise capital that allows McCourt to keep his head above water. That was their ploy."
- McCourt is testing the limits of what he can actually do as a non-owner. Tim Brown tweeted that he gave the employees Friday afternoon off, a common enough occurrence on Good Friday, but if MLB is in charge of operations, who is running the show?
- Steve Garvey and Ron Burkle announced they are launching a group to buy the Dodgers.
Burkle, 58, has a home in Beverly Hills. Forbes estimates his net worth at $3.2 billion. At least two other local billionaires also have been reported to be preparing bids for the Dodgers: developer Alan Casden, who pursued the team when it was last up for sale, and financier Alec Gores, whose brother Tom bought the NBA's Detroit Pistons earlier this month.Of course, as Bob Timmermann reminded me on Facebook, Garvey has his own profligate, debt-soaked financial past that would scarcely make him a better owner than Frank:
Another NBA owner, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, previously has expressed interest in the Dodgers. In an email Friday, Cuban declined to say whether he would be interested in the Dodgers — "They aren't for sale," he wrote — but said he had received numerous messages from Dodgers fans in the three days since Selig acted.
"Between tweets and emails, I couldn't count them all," Cuban wrote.
Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Chicago White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert, all of whom live in the Los Angeles area, are expected to consider bidding should the Dodgers go up for sale. Attanasio told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he was "committed to Milwaukee"; Werner told the Boston Globe he had "no interest" in pursuing the Dodgers.
For years, Garvey and his wife, Candace, have neglected bills large and small, leaving dozens of people who either worked for them or sold them merchandise wondering if they were ever going to get paid.The only good news about this is that Garvey wouldn't be providing the operating money to run the team. The bad news is that all the temptations that lured McCourt into leveraging the team into a person ATM would still remain.
The Garveys drove luxury cars, shopped in upscale boutiques and traveled extensively even as they were pursued by creditors. Garvey's gardener took him to small claims court to recover $1,773. A mirror installer did the same over $809. A caterer received a court order to seize valuable artwork from the Garveys until they paid her $14,000 bill.
Garvey owes attorneys more than $300,000, according to court records.
Many a former athlete has fallen on hard times, but Garvey -- known during his Dodger days as "Mr. Clean" -- is different. As his own financial troubles deepened, he continued to cast himself as a principled and accomplished businessman, charging up to $10,000 to give motivational speeches.