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Tom Schieffer’s to-do list for the Dodgers

May 4, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

Frank McCourt AP

Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce has a guest column up over at ESPN today in which he outlines what the new Dodgers’ Lord Protector Tom Schieffer needs to do in order to restore order at Chavez Ravine.

It’s a pretty exhaustive list. But , for the purposes of the outside observer who is more interested in the McCourt saga as cautionary tale than anything else, the recitation of the details of the McCourts’ mismanagement of the Dodgers Josh provides along the is arguably more important than the next steps. Because, boy howdy, is it easy to forget them when new things keep rolling in day after day.  They can kind of all be summed up in this item:

It is clear that the McCourts did not separate their personal finances from club operations, and figuring out how to keep Dodgers revenue inside the organization might be both Schieffer’s most important and most difficult task. Potentially complicating his efforts are the numerous debt instruments encumbering various revenue streams, such as ticket sales.

This is why Frank McCourt’s public statements — which he has amped up this week — are almost all misleading. He and his wife set the Dodgers up to funnel money out of the team and into either into allied businesses or subsidiaries or into his own coffers. Between the holding companies, LLCs and the complex debt arrangements, he is able to make broadly truthful statements about the state of the team which are nonetheless misleading or, at the very most, less-than-illuminating.

Josh notes a particular one: McCourt has been accused of taking $100 million out of the team for personal use. Frank says that’s not true. Josh shows that, yeah, once you figure in the debt guarantees the team has given the McCourts, it really is. In other words: Frank McCourt has zero credibility on this stuff.

Great work by Josh both in breaking this all down and in suggesting how it can be built back up.

  1. babyjesus69 - May 4, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Go Giants!!!

  2. Old Gator - May 4, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Rendering down the McCourts for Soylent Green is a time consuming process. If Scheiffer wants to have the biscuits ready in time for the party for the new owners, he ought to get on with it already.

    • cur68 - May 4, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      Gator; Would you really consider consuming a McCourt on a cracker in Soylent Green form? Aren’t you worried about catching some of the stupid?

      • Old Gator - May 4, 2011 at 8:54 PM

        I thought the stupid was removed during the rendering process, along with the asshole.

      • cur68 - May 4, 2011 at 9:13 PM

        I have it on good authority that stupid asshole is not heat labile. In fact, once you render out the fat and steam off all the hot air, it really brings on the stupid asshole and strengthens the delusion factor. I offer into evidence the fact that Frank & Co were relatively successful in Boston, where it was cooler. Once they hit the steam of LA; bring on the stupid. You do not want to put any of that into your mouth.

  3. SmackSaw - May 4, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    To help meet their May payroll, the Dodgers played today with only 4 guys.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - May 4, 2011 at 6:38 PM

      maybe the back office employees of the Dodgers can pool together some money to play the lottery
      and when they win they can use the money for payroll.

    • Old Gator - May 5, 2011 at 12:27 AM

      And all four were named Bugs Bunny.

  4. rapmusicmademedoit - May 4, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    I believe Bud Selig and the commissioners office has the ability to review the finances of every team in
    MLB, so why didn’t they know the McCourts were up to shenanigans involving team money.

    I hope they take away the Pirates too, the owners like filling there pockets with ” bonuses”, from
    Yankees money.

    • stankfinger - May 4, 2011 at 7:05 PM

      Shut up.

  5. adeedothatswho - May 4, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    They need to go Charles O. Finley style and have a seven person front office, with a 17 year old as your VP. Here comes the Hammer, indeed.

    • Roger Moore - May 4, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      As long as any of the people in that front office are McCourts, it’s not going to help. The problem is not excessive spending on management; it’s excessive looting by ownership.

  6. russgrant - May 4, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    The sooner the McCourts are forced out and sent back to Boston or where ever the leeches live in the Spring the better. Frank, the piggy bank is not yours anymore. Go away.

    • jwbiii - May 4, 2011 at 9:27 PM

      Newport Beach. They sold their home in Cambridge, to John Henry, of all people.

  7. Robert - May 4, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    It’s time to bring the Dodgers home to Brooklyn………….

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