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Monday, June 27, 2011

Dodgers Declare Bankruptcy, Nobody Surprised

To absolutely no one's surprise, the Dodgers declared bankruptcy, with Frank claiming a $150 million line of debtor-in-possession financing to get him over the current hump. This is unfortunate, as it makes it unclear just when we will be rid of this parasite.

Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness has a great deal more on the topic, including a link to a fine Craig Calcaterra piece about what all this means. Calcaterra reported that Fox seems uninterested in bucking MLB if the latter thinks continued McCourt ownership is a bad idea. However, as a commenter there points out, in a bankruptcy proceeding, it is not what is best for the corporate entity that is the primary concern, but what is best for the creditors. That is, so long as Jonathan Broxton and Manny Ramirez may get paid, the bankruptcy court may not especially care what the commissioner thinks is in the best interests of the team. One hopes MLB's attorneys are all over kicking this fraudster to the curb. After all, it's the least Bud can do, having foisted this charlatan on us.

Dodger Divorce has the bankruptcy filing and press release. Also of note: one of the unsecured creditors is one Vincent E. Scully, as well as the Chicago White Sox. I wonder if that'll make teams chary of trading with the Dodgers in the future when large contracts change hands.

Update: Frank's debtor-in-possession loan might as well come from a loan shark, with an interest rate of 10% — higher than even drain-spiraling business Borders got when it hit the bankruptcy circuit.

Update 2: Bud Selig's statement: "The action taken today by Mr. McCourt does nothing but inflict further harm to this historic franchise."

Catching up on my belated tweets, Bill Shaikin writes that Jamie is expected to contest the bankruptcy debtor-in-possession filing because it will further devalue the franchise. (Now you're worried about that?)

Update 3: Ex-mayor Riordan says the team needs new ownership.

Update 4: Maury Brown currently on KSPN. The difference between the Tom Hicks situation in Texas and the Dodgers is mainly that the McCourts are trying to hold on to the team, where Hicks wanted out after recognizing he didn't have the wherewithal to keep operating the team — i.e., hubris.

Update 5: Bill Shaikin tweets that MLB is prepared to offer better financing under more favorable terms tomorrow in bankruptcy court.

Update 6: Molly Knight:

Can we talk about how mortifying it is for a man as private as Vin Scully to have his salary plastered across the Internet? #wortheverypenny
Steve Lopez: it's all about McCourt's greed and ego.

Tomorrow's bankruptcy proceeding will, at least temporarily, push the power into McCourt's corner as the bankruptcy judge will have the say in his courtroom.

Update 7: Tim Brown reports MLB monitors Tom Shieffer and John Allen were kicked out of the Dodgers offices minutes after the bankruptcy filing.

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