May 19, 2011, 8:46 AM EDT
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.
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