Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Take Him Out Of The Ballgame

Donald Sterling isn't the only asshole who owns a sports team in Los Angeles. Frank McCourt (officially) lost control of the Dodgers today:
Major League Baseball has moved to seize control of the Dodgers, a famed franchise that fans and much of the baseball world had come to see as crippled by an owner who does not appear to have enough money to operate the team. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday that he plans to appoint a trustee in the next few days to oversee "all business and day-to-day operations" of the ballclub. The move was prompted by a number of issues surrounding the Dodgers, including owner Frank McCourt's recent receipt of $30-million personal loan to meet payroll and the parking-lot attack at Dodger Stadium on March 31 that left a San Francisco Giants fan in a coma, according to a league source.
McCourt and his ex-wife Jamie blew into town as relative unknowns; now they are largely viewed as grifters:
Public opinion of the Dodgers' ownership — lukewarm in the best of times — turned chilly when court documents from the McCourts' divorce proceedings revealed that the Dodgers had been charging themselves millions in rent each year, with some of that money going toward the couple's personal expenses. The couple had made numerous real estate purchases, including side-by-side homes in Holmby Hills and Malibu, and paid Russian physicist Vladimir Shpunt to channel positive thoughts toward the team. As of 2009, court records showed, the team had accumulated more than $430 million in long-term debt. More recently, McCourt tried to arrange a $200-million loan from Fox, using the team's cable-television broadcast rights as collateral. Selig rejected the proposal.
Memo to Major League Baseball: next time, don't let a highly-leveraged parking lot owner buy one of your prized assets, and please--please--don't do anything to piss off Vin Scully.


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