The Dodgers didn’t have much to show for their efforts on the field during the first two games of their series against the Marlins, but they sure made a lot of news off of it. Monday night it was Jonathan Broxton blowing his fist save of the season, thanks to some shoddy Dodgers defense. Tuesday it was Ned Colletti going on talk radio and saying the Dodgers would have a closer by committee, only to have Don Mattingly call Broxton into is office to let Broxton that he is still his closer.
Then news came out today that Casey Blake will more than likely miss the next month with an infection in his elbow. He spent last night in the hospital and would not allow club officials to comment on his condition, but needless to say the news is not good. Also the Dodgers lost Xavier Paul who was claimed off of waivers by the Pirates, similar to the last time the Dodgers designated a player for assignment in a similar situation, Delwyn Young, and the Pirates claimed him as well. Let’s hope for the X man’s sake he at least gets playing time in Pittsburgh.
The news today is that the Dodgers finally hired ex-LAPD police captain Rich Wimmer as security chief, and owner Frank McCourt was in New York to meet with Major League Baseball officials about the recent decision to step in andtake over day to day operations of the club. McCourt is supposedly in New York to make a last ditch effort to convince MLB that he has the financing in place with a TV deal from FOX to pull the Dodgers out from under the nearly $500 million worth of debt he has accumulated. MLB’s approval of the deal may also determine whether or not McCourt will pursue legal action.
Interestingly Commissioner Bud Selig will not attend the meeting and has stated he will not meet with McCourt for concerns that any comments he makes may be used against him in a law suit. The lowdown on the meeting is that McCourt has supposedly agreed to a deal with FOX worth $1.8 billion dollars, with an advance of $375 million that at least half of which could be used to settle Mccourt’s divorce with former wife Jamie.
However, there is a repeated pattern here that is a concern which brought MLB in to run the Dodgers in the first place, that is McCourt using funds dedicated to or generated by the Dodgers to cover the massive debt he has accrued in his personal life. According to court documents from the McCourt divorce more than $100 million dollars have been diverted from Dodgers revenue for McCourt’s personal use.
Which is the main reason why MLB has appointed former Rangers president Tom Schieffer as the trustee to oversee the daily operations of the Dodgers. The timing of McCourt’s visit to New York is questionable at best, considering Schieffer plans to hold a press conference Wednesday at a Los Angeles hotel, rather than at Dodger stadium.
If I was the owner of a club currently under investigation by MLB I would want to make myself present at any function that had to do with the potential takeover of my club, I wouldn’t be thousands of miles away making a pitch to MLB executives that does not include the commissioner. However, I also wouldn’t have bought my future ex-wife a $19 million dollar Malibu beach house, right next to my $19 million dollar Malibu beach house, I would have spent that $38 million on a catcher, or third baseman, but hey what do I know.
The course seems to be set for MLB to pursue new ownership for the Dodgers. According to an MLB executive:
"“I’ve never seen him (Selig) more determined,” said the executive, who declined to be identified because of the possibility of a lawsuit…he is convinced nothing McCourt might say could sway Selig from moving toward new ownership of the Dodgers."
Only time will tell but regardless it looks like we as Dodger fans are in for a long drawn out battle as McCourt’s personal life must first get settled before any attention will be paid to the team, who is 13-13 after it’s first 26 games. It looks like the fan will continue to suffer while lawyers and courts determine what will be the fate of this once proud franchise.
The good news for the Dodgers today, is despite injuries to Blake and Juan Uribe, the club ended their 2 game losing streak with a 5-4 win in 10 innings. Andre Ethier extended his MLB best April hitting streak to 24 games, and put the Dodgers ahead for good with a 10th inning home run. Vicente Padilla, not Jonathan Broxton was called upon to get the save, and he did so in 1-2-3 fashion with Ivan De Jesus Jr making a sparkling play on a hard hit ball up the middle to get the third and final out.
The Dodgers now have an off day tomorrow before they return home to take on the Padres on Friday. Even though there isn’t a game tomorrow Dodger fans can be sure that there will plenty of news to come out of Mccourt’s visit to New York and Schieffer’s first press conference as trustee of the Dodgers. Like sands through the hourglass so are the days of our Dodgers lives.
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