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Monday, June 20, 2011

A Couple More On The McCourts; UPDATE: FOX DEAL REJECTED

MLB Trade Rumors claimed, earlier in the day, that Bud Selig had rejected the Fox TV deal, but Bill Shaikin later contradicted that in a tweet.

It's All About The Money has a great piece entitled "Frank McCourt Must Go" outlining why Bud Selig should boot Frank to the curb. One especially interesting graf:

But the Fox deal is not a good one for the Dodgers. As Maury Brown pointed out over at bizofbaseball.com, the model Fox TV deal is the one Selig approved last year with the Texas Rangers, with a cash up-front payment that the Rangers used exclusively to sign ballplayers and fund capital improvements. McCourt’s deal with Fox is a different animal. Brown states it simply: under the proposed deal with Fox, “money that should be going to the Dodgers funnels into the divorce.” That is, unless Selig blocks the Fox deal, as he should do.
Update 1:28 PM: Bill Shaikin now tweets that the Fox TV deal rejection is official.

Update 1:45 PM: Full story at the Times. At this point, it appears as though the endgame is within reach for Dodger fans hoping for Frank's ouster. He claims he can still meet the June 30 payroll, "but a person familiar with his finances said he had "no chance" without the television money." Frank will certainly countersue now. Also, "McCourt's other options could include the sale of a minority share of the Dodgers in the hope that would satisfy MLB, although such a sale would be subject to league approval", approval that cannot possibly be forthcoming.

Update 2:07 PM: Tim Brown tweets from Selig's statement that "It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with FOX would not be in the best interests of the ... Dodgers franchise" because "Critically, the transaction is structured to facilitate the further diversion of Dodgers assets for the personal needs of McCourt."

Update 2:28 PM: Full statement from Bud Selig. Craig Calcaterra summarizes the proposed settlement as a further "looting of the team" by the McCourts.

...[I]t’s now being reported that even if Major League Baseball seized the Dodgers, McCourt would still own the parking lots and all manner of ancillary income. McCourt is clearly using this as a buffer against MLB action, saying in effect,”if you take my team, I’ll be your new owner’s landlord.” Which could certainly serve to depress buyer interest in the club.
Update 3:35 PM: McCourt attorney Sue Sussman claims the rejection is "potentially destructive to the Los Angeles Dodgers", and that it would make the Dodgers "one of the best capitalized teams in Major League Baseball." Clearly, Frank and his attorneys confuse cash on hand with actual equity. If there's a clearer example of why Frank needs to be booted from control of the team and all its assets, I haven't seen it.

Here's the complete statement from Sussman.

Update 5:56 PM: Maury Brown excerpts an interesting graf from MLB's constitution:

The Major League Clubs recognize that it is in the best interests of Baseball that all actions taken by the Commissioner under the authority of this Constitution, including, without limitation, Article II and this Article VI, be accepted and complied with by the Clubs, and that the Clubs not otherwise engage in any form of litigation between or among themselves or with any Major League Baseball entity, but resolve their differences pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution. In furtherance thereof, the Clubs (on their own behalf and including, without limitation, on behalf of their owners, officers, directors and employees) severally agree to be finally and unappealably bound by actions of the Commissioner and all other actions, decisions or interpretations taken or reached pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution and severally waive such right of recourse to the courts as would otherwise have existed in their favor.
Shorter: Frank, you're doomed.

Update 6:47 PM: Josh Fisher at ESPN.

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