Sunday, June 19, 2011
Tom Verducci On The Dodgers, Bud, And Frank
What a sad sight to see Dodger Stadium so empty for a midweek game against Cincinnati. The Dodgers' attendance is down 18 percent so far, the biggest drop in baseball. Given the way the McCourts have harmed the brand and given the sorry state of this team, it will get worse.
(How could a Dodgers team rank 13th in ERA with that park as its home? Last time it happened? Never.)
The clock may be ticking on McCourt's hold of the team. Thanks to deferred payments that are due, including $8.33 million to Manny Ramirez, McCourt's obligation for his June 30 payroll is "more than $30 million," according to a baseball source. That would be more than triple his usual payrolls.
Meanwhile, Selig continues to investigate McCourt's stewardship of the team, including issues with stadium operations, security and hirings and firings. MLB can wrap that investigation before June 30 and act on those findings or it can choose to leave the investigation open to see if McCourt misses his June 30 financial obligations, which would force MLB to step in.
Overall attendance in baseball is down 2.2 percent, but that's largely because of problems with the NL franchises in the biggest markets: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Baseball had lost 672,654 paid fans through Wednesday, but 78 percent of the decline was attributable solely to the Mets, Dodgers and Cubs.