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Jamie McCourt is going to demand that the Dodgers be sold

May 19, 2011, 8:46 AM EDT

Jamie McCourt

Major League Baseball hasn’t been all that crazy about Jamie McCourt these past couple of years, but I bet they love her now. Why? Because she’s going to demand that the court overseeing the McCourt divorce order the immediate sale of the Dodgers.  If the court agrees it could save Major League Baseball from having to seize the team from Frank and the extended, ugly litigation that would bring.

As Bill Shaikin reports, the argument is that Frank has endangered the value of the Dodgers and that, as part owner, she is entitled to have the value of the team maximized. That means a sale now, when she and Frank can control it, and — my guess as to a couple of potential arguments — before baseball can impose crazy austerity measures and before Frank can lock the Dodgers into a below-market TV deal with FOX, among other things.

A hearing date is supposed to be set today.  Just knowing how courts work, though, it seems impossible that such a sale could be ordered in the next week or two. That could put Major League Baseball in a bit of a pickle: if Frank can’t make payroll at the end of the month, does baseball still seize the team, as many expect it will? Does it wait to see if a sale is ordered and, if so, simply help the Dodgers float along financially until it can be sold, sort of like what happened with the Rangers?  How, exactly, does baseball proceed as Jamie’s gambit proceeds?

Interesting questions, but ones I bet MLB doesn’t mind having to deal with if, in the meantime, the wheels get turning on a court-ordered sale as opposed to an open-ended MLB-takeover of the club.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 19, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    This is just so ridiculous to me, but maybe I’m just naive. There would be a line of suitors around Dodger Stadium to buy this team if they were on the market, and I would think McCourt would make more money off that deal than selling pieces and/or fighting in the courts when the team is ripped from him by MLB. Is this dude really that stupid?

    • bigxrob - May 19, 2011 at 9:02 AM

      Ego my friend, ego

    • hep3 - May 19, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      I remember reading that when Jeff Smulyan bought the Mariners in the early nineties he was asked why he would buy a team that everyone knew lost money every year. Smulyan’s answer was something to the effect that buying the Mariners would show everyone how much money he had.

      Of course, Smulyan probably made money off the appreciation of the value of the team. He also tried to buy the Nationals in 2005.

    • cur68 - May 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      “Is this dude really that stupid?”

      In answer to your question about Frank; yes.

  2. paperlions - May 19, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Of course she wants the sale of the team. She (just like here husband) has not interest in running the team and no interest in owning it other than what the profits can provide her….so there is no reason to keep the thing when it isn’t making money for them anymore and Frank can’t buy her out…because he has no money and can’t borrow any more. The only remaining option is to demand the asset be sold and to split the proceeds (assuming there is anything left after the loans are paid off).

  3. sasquash20 - May 19, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Maybe he wants to keep the Dodgers. Wow hes got money to buy the Dodgers but not get a good looking wife. I would break loose just so I don’t have to wake up next to that every day. He has enough money to find a young gold digger to bang.

    • paperlions - May 19, 2011 at 9:21 AM

      No, he didn’t have money to buy the dodgers, it was all on credit….thus, the problem.

    • professor59 - May 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      I’m sure she was quite the hottie 40 years ago when they met. And I’m sure the next one will be, too.

  4. sasquash20 - May 19, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Please take that picture of that troll down

  5. Jonny 5 - May 19, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Good girl. That is exactly what would be best for everyone.

  6. Jonny 5 - May 19, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    BTW, the Dodgers are pretty much Franks final cash cow. He’s sooo screwed. I’m sure MLB will support Jamie. As a matter of fact, I’d bet a paycheck that they actually are encouraging her to do this. That way a court ordered sale, looks much better than an MLB take over,and probably saves MLB some loot as well as resources.

    • kiwicricket - May 19, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      Are you suggesting that Bud doesn’t like to take action J5?!

      • Jonny 5 - May 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        I would never!! Actually his choice of action may be to press Jamie to take action to have the team sold under court order asap. It would make sense for both Jamie and MLB I think. *disclaimer- guessing here…

    • cur68 - May 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

      This might be the only cash Jamie sees in the divorce. The rest of McCourt’s assets are so leveraged the family fortune is measured in negative numbers. You bet she wants the team sold.

  7. Walk - May 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I hope she gets her way but when did she get approval to be an owner? I was fairly certain a potential owner had to be vetted by the commisioner and other owners. Do they consider the Mccourts an ownership group? If they consider the team half hers because of the divorce proceedings thus not needing any approval it is just a small step away from having to accept the high bid on a team no matter if baseball’s owners approve of a new owner or not.

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      She doesn’t need approval to be an owner. The court shot down the jerryrigged prenuptial agreement whereby she supposedly “agreed” that Frank would get the Dodgers, so I guess that automatically cuts her in for half ownership (if California is a community property state, anyway). Either way, as a party to a divorce proceeding she is entitled to protect the assets under contention until the court hands down its final ruling on the matter.

      In the meantime, I hope Frank’s therapist is warning him not to succumb to all this stress and start drinking Woolite. That shit will kill you.

  8. dogsweat1 - May 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Brooklyn Baby!

  9. obsessivegiantscompulsive - May 19, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Not that I really care for the Dodgers to do better, all this turmoil is gravy to me, but one issue that people miss is that Frank McCourt separated Dodger Stadium from the team, and the combination is of great value, whereas I think separated, as it may be now, would reduce the ability of the team to compete as well in the future as the money generated from owning that property could be huge if, say, he carves out part of that land for redevelopment and such.

  10. Walk - May 19, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    That was the point i was getting at gator, if she does not need approval for ownership no one else should either. Unlike a lot of the owners lately they just need some cash. If she has not been vetted it boggles my mind how they are getting away with this just because it benefits the owners to help force a sale. I understand the marriage settlement gives here the right but if a team can be turned over through divorce i do not see why the courts can’t force a team to be sold to the high bidder instead of the way it is done now. The split ownership is not the issue i have here. What i dont like is the way teams seem to be sold to friends of the commissioner of baseball and owners who are bypassing free comerce, probably a better word than free commerce but cant really think of one now, and holding a monopoly on the sale of teams.

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      I agree. Mark Cuban, anyone?

      Incidentally, would it come as a huge shock to discover that somehow, Bud Light got a message to Jamie to run this gambit? Probably has to be some hidden perk in it for her, no?

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