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Frank McCourt’s attorney calls rejection of FOX deal “potentially destructive” to Dodgers and MLB

Jun 20, 2011, 7:24 PM EDT

Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt’s attorney Steve Susman has released a statement in response to commissioner Bud Selig’s rejection of the proposed television deal between the Dodgers and FOX.

And predictably, they aren’t very happy.

Here’s part of the statement, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:

“We are extremely disappointed with the Commissioner’s rejection of the proposed FOX transaction which would inject $235 million into the Los Angeles Dodgers.  As Commissioner Selig well knows, this transaction would make the Dodgers financially secure for the long term and one of the best capitalized teams in Major League Baseball.

“…Commissioner Selig’s letter of rejection is not only a disappointment, but worse, is potentially destructive to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Major League Baseball.  Accordingly, we plan to explore vigorously our options and remedies with respect to Commissioner Selig’s rejection of the proposed FOX transaction and our commitment to protect the long-term best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Of course, it was reported last week that the loan from FOX is actually worth $385 million, so roughly $150 million will go directly to the McCourts and their lawyers. Sweet deal. Who is Frank looking out for, exactly? Somehow I don’t think the Dodgers and MLB, or the fans, are high on his list of priorities.

This agreement simply never had a chance. Unfortunately today’s events are probably only the beginning of an ugly and protracted legal battle.

  1. koufaxmitzvah - Jun 20, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Frank McCourt is a slimeball.

    • SmackSaw - Jun 20, 2011 at 7:54 PM

      and a carpetbagging shyster.

      • scareduck - Jun 20, 2011 at 7:55 PM

        Jamie is a shyster. But Frank isn’t an attorney.

      • SmackSaw - Jun 20, 2011 at 7:59 PM

        A shyster is a slang word for someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical, or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law, politics and used car sales.

        ie; Frank McCourt

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:01 PM

        Ya fergot real estate.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      Frank McCourt makes me want to punch Frank McCourt.

  2. lanflfan - Jun 20, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    As a Dodger fan, I applaud the rejection of this sham deal. That deal had nothing to do with helping the LA Dodgers winning; only with lining McCourt’s pockets with money.

    It’s way past time MLB remove this disgrace from the game (and this country). I hear Libya is looking for some good “business” minds…

  3. djwhite2710 - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Sometimes I wonder if this argument has swung too far one way.

    I don’t think anybody will try and make the case the Mccourts should be allowed to keep the team and ultimately they leveraged themselves to the hilt and used their most valuable asset to do it…

    That said…it appears we are villifying them for attempting to make money from a TV deal. Ultimately, owners need to make money and there is nothing wrong with the Mccourts making the TV deal to make money…the only reason the deal is being rejected (somebody correct me if I am wrong) is the MLB feels the Mccourts are not getting fair value on the TV deal since they have no leverage in the deal. To me there is nothing wrong with profits from the deal going “in their pockets”.

    • paperlions - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM

      The problem is that the deal is about 60 cents on the dollar and doesn’t start for a couple of years (the Dodger already have a TV deal). So McCourt wants to use money for a FUTURE TV contract to pay for bills today…he is highly leveraged, with no non-dodger form of income. If Jaime wins the hearing on ownership (which seems highly likely), Frank doesn’t have the money to buy her out. In that event, the team will have to be sold…and it will be worth a LOT less if it is tied into a long-term bad TV deal than if the new owner is free to set up his own RSN.

      In short, McCourt can’t afford to keep the team even if the deal had been approved…that would just have delayed the sale and devalued the franchise. The devaluation of the franchise is of interest to MLB, all of McCourt’s creditors, and his future ex-wife.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      The article talks about how McCourt has turned the Los Angeles Dodgers into a number of different entities for his own personal consumption. He is not from the city of LA, and therefore, holds absolutely no allegiance to the concept of growing up and living in Southern California. He is one of the more disgusting men on the planet because he is willing to take a cherished public trust and manhandle it with his spoiled and highly manicured hands.

      • jwbiii - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:32 PM

        Only about half of MLB owners are from where they own their teams. Of those, I think most would consider Fred Wilpon, Peter Angelos, Bob Nutting, David Glass, and Drayton McLane (I know, he’s trying to sell) to be in the Bad Owner category. The whole ‘public trust’ thing is a bit naive. It’s something owners say when they want to score PR points or obtain public funding, but they are really there to make money and/or satisfy their egos.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:56 PM

        What makes a bad owner? Poor baseball sense is one thing; raking the community over the coals is another. Raising ticket prices and parking passes? You better give me more than Hee Seop Choi at 1st. Especially if I’m expected to show up at the Stadium as part of a 3 million+ per season clip.

        Want to spend $50k a year on your hair? Want to pay your children more than the starting 1st baseman? Want to get down with the Splunt? Then you better be from my neighborhood, pal, because I’m gonna egg your house.

      • jwbiii - Jun 21, 2011 at 12:16 AM

        I’m having trouble parsing this, but here goes:

        Poor baseball sense is one thing
        Yes, the abililty to run a baseball team or to hire people who can and let them do it is important.

        raking the community over the coals is another.
        Not sure what this means.

        Raising ticket prices and parking passes?
        Shall we consider the Mets?

        You better give me more than Hee Seop Choi at 1st.
        That’s probably a GM decision and he is long gone.

        Especially if I’m expected to show up at the Stadium as part of a 3 million+ per season clip.
        You pay $3M per season?

        Want to spend $50k a year on your hair?
        The divorce proceedings showed us an interesting window into what the household expenses for the filthy rich, or the filthy rich wannabes are. Do we know if this is typical?

        Want to pay your children more than the starting 1st baseman?
        I’ll bet Jeff Wilpon makes more than Ike Davis. I’ll also bet he works more than McCourt’s kids. I have know idea if he is any good at what he does.

        Want to get down with the Splunt?
        That’s pretty inexcusable.

        Then you better be from my neighborhood, pal, because I’m gonna egg your house.
        Honestly, given what you know about the McCourts’ time in LA, you would feel better about the situation if he was from Newport Beach and made he his money in LA real estate? He’s running our team into the ground but it’s sort of ok because he’s one of us? This would mitigate your opinion?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 21, 2011 at 1:03 AM

        No, but I believe it affects how he runs the program. Being part of a city should give one a sense of civic responsibility. A motivating factor behind Georgia neglecting and then moving the Rams to St. Louis is that she felt no loyalty to her adopted city. Same with Al Davis. Donald Sterling is a bad owner. He’s from LA. Of course, he bought and moved his team from San Diego.

        Pisspoor allegiance to the community is the sign of bad owner. And I do believe that an outsider can be loyal to a community driven clientel. But MLB really screwed up with the McCourts. They didn’t spend much effort in speaking with potential local owners, and they showed the LA fans what MLB thought of them. At the very least, I am glad this is changing now.

        As for Hee Seop and the GM, McCourt hired an unproven Moneyball inspired kid because he was a cheap hire who was going to do what his boss wanted him to do. Cut ties with the expensive players (Green and Beltre) and experimenting with our infield. Choi and Valentin weren’t the names out of FMCs mouth, but they were definitely his goal.

      • jwbiii - Jun 21, 2011 at 2:15 AM

        Ok, so who are the good LA team owners from LA? I’ll give you you Gene Autry, a Texan who tried really hard to win with the Angels.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 21, 2011 at 7:56 AM

        Probably the only major sports team owners we have from LA are the Busses, and they do a pretty good job. Bruce McNall did okay as the Kings owner in terms of committment to the team. Who owned them before him? I know AEG is spread out all over the planet and, thusly, gives little care to what the Kings mean to the city.

        Again, that’s the point. The committment of the owner and the public trust (which you don’t believe in). But you’re right. McCourt bending Dodger fans over and pounding us from behind with crazy parking prices has nothing to do with the fact that he’s from Boston. The fact that McCourt is cheap enough to avoid fixing security partly because he couldn’t decipher that things at the Stadium had been going downhill. The fact that he hadn’t a connection to the team or the town is good enough for him to build Camelback Ranch and abandon Vero Beach.

        Now that I think about it, I want him to become mayor.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 21, 2011 at 8:16 AM

        BTW jwb, not sure how “part of a 3 million+ clip” equates me spending $3 million on the Dodgers.

  4. Squawk and Awe - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Baseball needs Mark Cuban as an owner.

  5. xmatt0926x - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    djwhite, I am also no expert on the happenings between Selig and McCourt. From what I’ve read, what you just said makes sense for most owners in this league. Someone can also correct me if I’m wrong on this but I think the problem lies in how much of the profit that Frank McCourt takes for himself. He apparently has been taking way too much cream from the top for a while now to finance his own personal billionaire lifestyle instead of reinvesting in the team. Again, if I understand Craig’s article from earlier correctly, Selig feels that McCourt will basically mishandle all of this new TV money as well based on his past actions. This is my understanding of all this. Throw his ex-wife in there as well as far as sucking away Dodgers cash to live like the Sultan of Brunai.

    • kulaboy - Jun 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      the media has really spun this whole McCourt looting the team crap.
      First of all the team had not won a playoff game in 20 yrs and Frank did that the first year. They put a good team on the field they have won or tied for first in the division 4 of the 6 years he has been owner. Some untimely injuries have kept them from doing better.
      Raphael Furcal is a big piece of the puzzle and he was paid handsomely but he has been injured when he was really needed.
      McCourt has NOT repeat NOT kept from spending, this is a myth put forth by the media who only wish to stir the pot.
      He paid above the going rate for Juan Pierre for instance.But then he responded to the fan base and re-signed Manny Ramirez it was one of the richest contracts ever per year. Manny was a bust and the media just loved to blast McCourt for signing a has been for almost 30 million a year. McCpurt has opened is wallet over & over but no one was avaiable who was worth it.
      Cliff Lee?
      Yeah the Dodgers offered him about the same money as the Phillies but he didnt take it.
      If u read the sports pages in LA most of the time when a contract is announced they rip frank a new one for over paying for players. Then they blast him for not signing even more expensive free agents…
      Is Frank McCourt a jerk?
      probably
      But as far as his finances go, the Dodgers have doubled in value from what he paid for them.
      Selig was fine when McCourt had to mortgage himself to the hilt to buy the team from Fox, no one could understand why selig apprroved the deal because Frank didnt have the money to pay off Fox. However he has now paid off Fox for the sale and suddenly Selig wants him out. don;t be surprised if Selig turns this team back over to FOx because that appears what he has been trying to do all along
      It is very fishy,

      • jwbiii - Jun 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM

        Selig can’t turn the team over to Fox/News Corp. Liberty Media owns more of News Corp than the Murdochs do and they already own the Braves.

        Kulaboys know about fishy?

      • paperlions - Jun 21, 2011 at 7:14 AM

        Reporting isn’t the same as spinning. The McCourts most certainly has “looted” the Dodgers. He and his wife have used the team to fund their extravagant life-style, choosing to live well beyond their means rather than to pay off loans or putting money back into the team. The Dodgers are a cash cow and somehow these two have managed to leverage beyond belief. McCourt “managed” to payoff Newscorp all the way back in 2006 when he gave them a Boston parking lot.

        The Dodger’s have not bid on any major FA since the divorce filing; they didn’t offer Cliff Lee anything.

        The fact that you are trying to defend an owner that is struggling to make payroll every 2 weeks is risible. The value of the Dodgers has increased because the value of all franchises has increased, not because of anything McCourt has done….in fact, the value has increased despite McCourt’s best efforts. I suppose the media just totally fabricated the Dodger’s long-term financial plan that outlined how they planned on doubling ticket prices over the next decade while maintaining the same payroll. Damned media.

  6. illyistic1 - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    please ! just sell the team frank dam! i hear mark cuban would be interested.

  7. sasquash20 - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Let the Phillies help you LA. We will send you Oswalt for Kershaw. Since you may lose him anyway, because that kid is going to be making hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade.

  8. purdueman - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    Frank Mc Broke is a slimy con-man who’s even worse than Pete Rose (if that’s humanly possible). Why should MLB allow Mc Broke to continue to rob the future value of the Dodgers franchise just so that he can use the money to run out and replace the dozen or so luxury mansions that old Frank is about to lose to his equally sleazy wife at the expense of the loyal Dodgers fans?

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