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Frank McCourt on his time with the Dodgers: “We created value there . . . “

Jun 23, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT

Frank McCourt AP

Frank McCourt, who bought the Dodgers with mountains of debt, mismanaged the team into bankruptcy and engaged in financial conduct which led to a federal grand jury investigation, has amnesia. Or suffers from delusions. Something along those lines anyway. I mean, how else can you explain the characterization of his tenure as Dodgers owner he made today:

“You know what happened with the Dodgers,” said McCourt, who in 2012 sold the Major League Baseball team for a record $2.15 billion to a group that includes executives from Guggenheim Partners. “We took a franchise losing almost $60 million per year and ended up selling it for the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise. We created value there and we plan to do the same thing here.”

Those comments came today when it was announced that he has purchased a 50% stake in the Global Champions Tour, an international show jumping series that draws top riders and horses.

“We created value,” he says. Bollocks. He lucked his way into “value” due to fortunate timing that he neither predicted nor did anything himself to help bring about. He wanted to keep the Dodgers, but was forced to sell due to his divorce and his crushing debt load and because he had totally worn out his welcome in Major League Baseball, which is really, really hard for an owner to do. It just so happened that all of that came to a head when the Dodgers’ TV rights deal opened up and the local rights bubble reached what is likely its apex. Yes, a famous Dodgers executive once said that luck is the residue of design, but in McCourt’s case he was only able to take advantage of his great financial luck due to his enormous incompetence.

So good luck, Global Champions Tour. Here’s hoping that, among the many other things Frank McCourt has been wrong about, he is wrong about his desire “to do the same thing here.” Because while the Dodgers withstood it just fine, I wouldn’t count on it happening twice.

(Thanks to Sarah D. for the heads up)


  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    What the Global Champions Tour really needs is a large network of high-end parking garages. Let’s float a few bond proposals to local politicians and see what we can come up with.

    • rossjcook - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      Don’t forget that we need to subdivide and bury it all into a few dozen shell corporations to hide…err…um…maximize profits and to…um…you know…do that thing we do with money…

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        Which thing? Lose it? Waste it? Fight over it?

      • rossjcook - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:40 AM

        Those are options? Cool. This will be easy then.

      • davidpom50 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        You forgot steal it.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      Instead of just parking lots, with his ineptitude you may as well build a glue factory right next to the grounds.

      • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        That’s called “inspirational leadership”

    • jrbdmb - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      And they need Time Warner Cable to offer … say $10 Billion or so to televise the events over the next 20 years. And then get all the other cable companies in the country to pay $10.00/mo. for the new Time Warner Global Champions Channel.

  2. henryd3rd - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Plezze!!!!!! Just go away!

  3. chill1184 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Dear Frank McCourt


    Signed, Fred Wilpon and Jeff Loria

  4. norvturnersneck - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Value = bankruptcy

  5. upperdecker19 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    But at least the local market was able to view games on local TV with this yo yo in charge (hey, call me a “glass half full kinda guy”).

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      The value Frank McCourt is citing is based entirely on television revenue. If you really think that good old Frankie, the man who got rid of stadium security and continued to pay his children $100k from the team’s budget, as well as purchase 7 mansions for he and his wife, wasn’t going to, ahem, make as much money as he could from selling a Dodgers centric cable station to some scumbag cable company willing to hold team’s fans hostage, then go pray at his altar. Frankie would like that.

  6. Caught Looking - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:17 PM

  7. drewsylvania - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    One of the requirements for “big-time owner/CEO” is “sociopath”.

  8. koufaxmitzvah - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Frank McCourt is a delusional shmuck.

    • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Frank gave this one a thumbs down

  9. mikhelb - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Well… to a certain point he was chocked onto bankruptcy by the governing body who has the power to not give him his share of the revenues his team generated, and slowly strangled him by refusing to OK the TV deal. If MLB did the same for ANY team once their TV deal expires and is on the verge of signing a new one, most would spiral down onto the same thing.

    We have to remember the Dodgers crashed when FOX owned it, McCourt made a few good moves that were not beneficial overall to help the Dodgers in the field, BUT generated attention and captured part of the audience they lost in the years before him, then the PR battle ensued and lost the same fans, fairweather fans who mostly go when they identify a product, remember it is California, where even tap water can be sold at a premium once it is bottled.

    Also, lets remember that a lot of big enterprises are founded with debt, and are managed with large debts and one of the reasons why a PR fiasco can kill a company or leave it agonizing.

    • ilovegspot - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Dead Wrong mik. The TV deal McCourt had negotiated was on third what the current ownership received. That was after they upgraded the roster and stadium with their own money. Mc Court would have pilfered his TV deal like he did with every other revenue stream with the 7 mansions and children on Dodger payroll all while bankrupting the team.

      • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Exactly right. Frank’s long-term plan for the team he submitted to MLB while trying to retain ownership showed REDUCED spending on the roster over the next several years. He had NO INTENTION of making this a competitive team.

    • davidpom50 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      The team was bankrupt because he stripped off most of the parts of the team that make money. The ticket sales and the parking lots were spun off into separate businesses. He was trying to do the same with his TV deal, and that’s a big part of why it was rejected.

  10. theebbandflow - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    …did he just say “bollocks”?..

  11. sdflash2006 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    To quote the title of a 60’s Yardbirds song “Ha Ha said the Clown”. Why can’t he just crawl back into the sewer?

  12. danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Remember, when the Guggenheim ownership group took over the reins, they proclaimed that Frank McCourt would in no way profit off of the team moving forward. It was later revealed that Frank was still going to get revenue from the parking lots.

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