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Frank McCourt might finally realize that he’s screwed

Oct 3, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

Frank McCourt AP

On Friday, Frank McCourt and the Dodgers got what most people consider to be a considerable setback in the bankruptcy litigation when the judge ruled that they would not be able to take discovery of the business dealings of other teams with Major League Baseball.

And you know it was horrible for them because it inspired someone with the Dodgers’ PR firm to send out an email in which it was said that “the Los Angeles Dodgers look forward to this hearing …” etc.  The only time anyone ever says that they look forward to a hearing or a trial or whatever is when they’re in deep doo-doo.  It’s just how that goes.

Also underscoring the notion that McCourt knows he’s kinda screwed now: today his lawyers asked the court to reconsider the decision on the other teams’ financial information.  And motions for reconsideration just never, ever work. They’re the litigation equivalent of my son saying “but DAAAAAD!”

So yeah, I think Frank McCourt may be in trouble. Or, more to the point, I think he finally realizes that he’s in trouble.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    You’re saying the Frog is just noticing he’s being boiled? Happens all the time…

    • kiwicricket - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Tremendous effort squeezing this anecdote/metaphor into a baseball blog. Top marks Sir.

      • cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        Agree. +1

      • poreef - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        If only it were true.

      • poreef - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        Of course, the blog I link to (*) notes the sole exception: when the frog’s brain has been removed. Insert McCourt joke here.

        (*) The author, James Fallows, is noted for being somewhat overzealous in pointing out the boiling frog fallacy.

      • kiwicricket - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        There were studies undertaken in the 19th century which might beg to differ! *Storms off in a huff

      • Old Gator - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        Fourth leg removed. Frog goes deaf.

  2. paperlions - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    It is bankruptcy court….all the court cares about is minimizing the losses of creditors, right?

    The only relevant discovery related to the finances of MLB teams is this: number of MLB teams not named the Dodgers that can not pay their own bills = 0

    • mcsnide - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      I want to see McCourt gone as much as the next (non-Dodger fan) guy, but in the last eighteen months alone, the Rangers were bankrupt, and Selig had to throw a financial lifeline to the Mets. I don’t know anything about bankruptcy court, so I assume those things are relevant. But it’s not like McCourt’s the only owner who had way too much debt. He just also happened to get a divorce and piss Bud off.

      • mcsnide - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        “areN’T relevant”. D’oh!

      • cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Bud did try and throw McCourt a financial lifeline. Frankie refused it and tried to stick with his sweetheart deal that he’d organized. You know, the one that would piss away the teams fair market TV earnings for like, a decade, while guaranteeing Frank & Co. a hefty up front lump sum? That one.

        It’s one thing to drown in debt and need help, quite another to eschew help for more personal gain while screwing over your fiduciary obligation to the Dodgers. But that’s how Frank rolls….

      • mcsnide - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Right, Bud arranged bankruptcy financing for Frank. And the Fox deal was a joke that any sane owner wouldn’t have considered. But notice that Bud bailed out the Wilpons before it came to bankruptcy. And I’m pretty sure he floated the Rangers payroll loans before bankruptcy too, right? (I might be misremembering that sequence of events). None of this detracts from the fact that Frank McCourt is a horrible owner. What it does point out is that Bud sucks at selecting owners, and that he’s lucky he hasn’t had more teams implode like this.

      • cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        Frank & Bud deserve each other. I hope they get matching ulcers.

      • bsbiz - Oct 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        With respect to the Rangers, the financial assistance was given in the interim between the Hicks ownership group and the Nolan Ryan-led ownership group while the organization was still in bankruptcy. The money was used to maintain the status quo and was probably along the lines of the terms that MLB offered to McCourt (which he flatly rejected). That is different from the Dodgers in its final outcome.

      • paperlions - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        But it wouldn’t matter if every single MLB team was in bankruptcy court because those bankruptcy cases would have nothing to do with protecting the interests of the Dodger’s creditors (unless there were shared creditors among teams). Bankruptcy court is to protect the creditors not the debtors…and checking out other team’s financials would not help protect the creditors…so it is beyond the scope of the action.

  3. mcsnide - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Maybe the next ruling will go their way once they make it clear to the judge that they strenuously object to his previous ruling.

    • bigxrob - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      First thing I thought of, well done.

      • clydeserra - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        This is all a prelude to a writ, no?

        I don’t know anything about Bankruptcy Court, but would’t the losing part need to jump through all the procedural hoops, like motion for reconsideration, before filing an appeal?

  4. gvots - Oct 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Hi “Sad Frank McCourt” pic! Nice to see you again!

  5. lanflfan - Oct 3, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    I wish McCourt would realize he’s screwed, and get out now so we can start the healing (and new ownership) process, but I do not believe he is: A. That smart and B. Able to admit defeat/mistakes. He will ride his ship down, under the waves, and to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (rather like Ricardo Montalban gave as Khan in Star Trek 2, when informing his crew how far he would go to get poor ol’ Capt Kirk).

    After the “but DAAAAAD!” tactic fails to work, I fully expect Frank’s legal team to next employ that classic tactic everyone student has tried at least once: “Sorry, the dog ate my homework/brief”.

    • Old Gator - Oct 3, 2011 at 5:53 PM

      Lanfiffan: just so you know, the declaration made by Khan about pursuing Kirk is taken verbatim from Moby-Dick: ” I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up,” which book, coincidentally, Kirk repeatedly keeps trying to find some quiet time to read during the course of the film.

      Now this isn’t quite as nicely sublimated into the plot as, say, The Tempest is into Forbidden Planet, but it is Gene Roddenberry being Gene Roddenberry.

      • cur68 - Oct 3, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        Man I know Shatner got a bit chubby in his later years, but a White Whale? That’s cold.

      • Old Gator - Oct 3, 2011 at 7:29 PM

        Aww, stop blubbering about it, will you?

      • umrguy42 - Oct 4, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        OG, I hate to nitpick… but Moby Dick was read by Khan while in exile (it sits on the bookshelf of the cargo containers on the planet)… Kirk was reading A Tale of Two Cities (hence his quote of “It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before…” at the end) which Spock gave him for his birthday at the beginning.

        (takes off Spock ears, hides in corner)

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