We are proud to say, here at oberjuerge.com, that we have been sounding the alarm on the owner(s) of the Dodgers for most of a year now. From the moment the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt picked up speed, it was clear to everyone, even those naifs who view life through Dodger Blue glasses, that this would result in one of only two outcomes.
1. It would be very bad for the club.
2. It would be disastrous for the club.
And as we have discovered just how much money those two cretins have taken out of the ballclub, essentually using a Southland civic treasure as their personal ATM, even as the club has disintegrated here in the stretch run … well, it clearly is disastrous for the club.
Now, the national media are noticing.
ESPN.com’s Howard Bryant has a scathing piece on the McCourts … which you may read here. He takes this back to the beginning, wondering how it was possible for MLB to approve the highly leveraged McCourt bid to purchase the club from Fox. His short answer: Because commissioner Bud Selig wants another club’s ownership to be indebted to him and firmly in his camp.
Bryant notes that the Dodgers are now $433 million in debt, and that banks have been turning down Frank’s attempts to borrow more money. Which may have a lot to do with why the Dodgers have been a couple of quality pitchers short this entire, divorce-blighted season.
In short, he spends a lot of time on the money side of things, which is good for hard background.
A few days later, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated also got after the McCourts, and his well-researched story begins with Peter O’Malley, and draws the enormous distinctions between the stewardship of the club under the O’Malleys and the disaster that has enveloped the franchise in the seven seasons the McCourts have been around.
SI goes for more shocking/appalling numbers that surround the McCourt Disaster.
–How the two of them budgeted $150,000 per year for hair care.
–The $400,000 paid to a crony to run a charity that essentially raised no money.
–The $600,000 per year paid through the Dodgers to two of their sons who had no official capacity with the club.
–And the truly sickening one … the estimated $20 million in legal fees the McCourts are spending on their divorce. And where do they get that money? From Dodgers fans, “laundered” through the ballclub.
I have been yammering about the McCourts … but my soap box does not stand quite as high as those commanded by ESPN and SI.
It’s nice that others are noticing what is going on.
Oh, and to make clear … SI suggests that we all should be pulling for Jaime to be awarded co-ownership, because that scenario seems likely to lead to a sale. Though the judge could order one.
We can hope.