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McCourt, MLB talking settlement, sale of team

Oct 27, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

File photo of Frank McCourt leaving Stanley Mosk Courthouse after testifying during his divorce trial in Los Angeles

Yesterday we learned that the Dodgers trial set for Monday has been postponed for a month. Today Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times reports why that is:

The Dodgers’ bankruptcy trial has been postponed for one month so Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball can explore a possible settlement under which McCourt would agree to sell the team, multiple people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

This would be pretty huge. But as Shaikin notes, it may not go anywhere. The problem is that McCourt is so deeply in debt that he may not break even unless the team sells for $1 billion. And Major League Baseball is not at all interested in subsidizing McCourt and/or guaranteeing some minimum price for the team.  If McCourt thinks he can’t get that kind of return — and it seems pretty high in this environment — he may think it better to just hunker down, fight and try to keep the team until it can appreciate more.

But talks, even troubled ones, are better than nothing. And for the first time we have a suggestion that, yes, Frank McCourt would be willing to walk away if it made sense to do so. And that’s the most hope we’ve had about anything in this sordid affair for a long time.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Ramon! Breeg thee cabrito! Breeng the sacrifeecial knife! Call the santera and tell heem to make sure the speerits are leestening and weel be propeetiated! Whatever we gotta do, we gon’ do eet to get reed of thees bufone, no?

    • yankeesfanlen - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      Are you talking like this because you see a Cuban on the horizon?

      • garnermusic - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Bud Selig would NEVER let “Mark from Dallas” get his hands on the Dodgers.

      • Old Gator - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:02 AM

        You can’t see the horizon in Macondo – too many Cubans in the way.

  2. arthurcomarty - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    After this year’s World Series raties, Selig might reconsider his stance of not having a big money owner in a market like Los Angeles.

    • arthurcomarty - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      ratings I mean

  3. mkd - Oct 27, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    …he may think it better to just hunker down, fight and try to keep the team until it can appreciate more

    Is a team really going appreciate though something like this? McCourt can’t possibly believe that another year of bitter fighting, lawsuits and depressed ratings/attendance is going to make the Dodgers MORE valuable, can he?

  4. halladaysbiceps - Oct 27, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    What about the 1.2 billion dollar offer by the Chinese backed group of investors? If it is legitimate, it solves everything.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/01/frank-mccourt-offered-1-2-billion-for-the-dodgers/

    • ta192 - Oct 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM

      Ah so, Chairman Mao Stadium…

    • oikosjeremy - Oct 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      IIRC, in a court filing, McCourt himself dismissed that offer as not serious. You’d think if it was serious, he’d have jumped at it.

  5. lazlosother - Oct 27, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I’m not so sure that MLB wouldn’t work with McCourt to provide a minimum sale price. Franky has split the assets, and trying to force a sale that would include all of them through bankruptcy could be very difficult – they are not all involved in the bankruptcy action (as far as I know). If Frank agrees to sell the assets as a whole, removing himself from the day to day of anything related to the Dodgers (parking lots, etc) I could see MLB tossing into the pot. It could very easily be cheaper for them in the long run.

    And yeah, Selig should be on the batphone to Cuban post haste.

  6. Robert - Oct 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    The Chinamen are coming.

    Red Dragon Stadium.

    Should of stayed in Brooklyn.

    • Old Gator - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:06 AM

      Red Dragon Stadium. I like the sound of that. Francis Dolarhyde would make a terrific owner. He sure couldn’t be as bad as McCourt.

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