Blog Entry

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:34 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 11:19 am
 
It's not quite the "Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead" moment yet.

But Frank McCourt has never been closer to becoming the ex-Dodgers owner than he is right now.

But McCourt and Major League Baseball jointly announced overnight Tuesday -- at 1:03 a.m. EDT, to be exact -- that they have "agreed to a court supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designated to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner Frank McCourt."

Translation: McCourt, cornered from all sides and quickly running out of money, has lost his appetite to fight following two years of lawyers, litigation, obstinance and sheer delusion.

In what amounts to a final surrender, McCourt essentially has agreed to auction off the team and disappear. In return, MLB gets what it wants: The Dodgers wrested from McCourt's cold clutch without a messy court fight in which secret financial details could be publicly revealed. The league will help facilitate the sale through the Blackstone Group LP.

The sale is expected to include the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots. McCourt purchased the club and the properties for $421 million in 2004.

Best-case scenario for MLB, Los Angeles and Dodgers fans: A new owner is in place by opening day.

The Dodgers have been in free-fall since Frank and Jamie McCourt's marriage began crumbling in 2009, and the all-out war that developed between the two turned into one the ugliest and messiest battles in baseball history. Their excessively materialistic lifestyle first provided fodder for Los Angeles gossip columns, and then grist for MLB to seize the team from McCourt after it accused him of "looting" millions of dollars from the Dodgers to finance his over-leveraged personal life.

The aptly named McCourt battled in both divorce court and bankruptcy court trying to keep the Dodgers while remaining financially solvent. It's been clear to everyone but him for more than a year that he was fighting a losing battle.

His last-ditch bid to reverse his fall came when he attempted to arrange a future television contract that would front him millions even while the Dodgers were still operating under a present television contract with Fox. Selig would not allow it, and that was the basis for McCourt's latest battle with MLB.

Frankly, that McCourt stubbornly hung on for this long is an upset, given that there were rampant rumors last summer that he would not be able to meet payroll, which would have given MLB carte blanche to remove him as owner.

Or, as I wrote on June 22: "Welcome to the final days of the Dodgers' banana republic. You can hear the choppers whirring just over the hills. Soon, they'll have the place fully surrounded. It won't be long until Frank McCourt will be forced down from his coconut tree, frisked and exiled."

That time has come. According to financial figures McCourt himself submitted to the Bankruptcy Court, even if he settled his divorce and sold the club's television rights, he would still be far short of what he needs to restore the luster to the Dodgers and to renovate Dodger Stadium. As it is, McCourt has agreed to pay his ex-wife, Jamie, a divorce settlement of $130 million.

On the field, the Dodgers in 2011 drew fewer than three million fans in a non-strike-shortened season for the first time in 19 years and for only the second time since 1989.

Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, has expressed interest in the club. Closer to home, Dennis Gilbert, the one-time agent who headed a group that nearly landed the Texas Rangers in 2010, would be a perfect choice. Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has been rumored as potentially being interested, and one industry source theorizes that Oakland owner Lew Wolff, frustrated with the Athletics' inability to gain a new stadium, is another possibility.
Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 9:40 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Congratulations Dodger fans!  You're getting Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gifts early this year.  Collectively, you prayed to your god(s) and your prayers were answered.  Here's to a worthy ownership group taking over in LaLa Land and a Dodger revival.

PS -- Is it too much to ask for Mark Cuban to have a horse in this race and a shot at becoming a MLB owner?
PPS -- Keep wishing, Oriole fans!  If the Dodger faithful can rid themselves of McCourt, we can pray Peter Angelos isn't too far behind!



Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 9:24 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

So, I'm running this auction, see, and I get a bid from someone way in the back. You know what that bid was?  Three-fitty.  I said to the man "Three-fitty?"  Now it was about that time that I noticed that this man in the back was about 40 ft tall and smelled like fish breath.  Now at first I thought it was Jose Canseco but it hit me that once again I had been fooled by the Loch Ness Monster.  I said "Monster!  Get the hell outta here with yo' three-fitty!  Who you think you is - Jose Canseco?"



Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 7:35 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Hey Dodger Fans, how many titles have you won over lets say the last 20 years? I hate Arizona as much as anyone but at least they have won a title within the past 10 years. But leave it to the gangbanging Dodger fans to live off of past glory. Another newsflash for you, even the Blue Jays have won more titles in past 20 years then you have



Since: Apr 18, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:02 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

I love Arizona fan making fun of Dodger fan's support of their team.  You are right, we had a down year where people didn't support the McCourts and only had 39.4% higher attendance than AZ.  We are so used to being in last too, considering we haven't finished last since you even had a baseball team.  Literally, look it up.  Don't worry though, you and the 7 fans who show up to your games have gotten to see plenty of last place finishes. 

I had nothing against Arizona.  You are like the kid brother in the movie everyone is pulling for.  Can't wait for you to grow up and be a real team.   



Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:54 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Bottom Line is that the Dodgers don't have a team with contention! Yes Gibson came from the Tigers how easy Dodger fans get on the band wagon!!



Since: Mar 8, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:06 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Hey moron, I think Gibson came from the Tigers. Your the true douchebag!



Since: Jun 16, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:45 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Nobody is gonna pay big money for this franchise until the Brian Stow matter is settled and thats on McCourt. Until thats over, this is all a big pile of crap. Any buyer will insist on no outstanding litigation, so how can they even be auctioned off?  Hey Bud? Inquiring minds wanna know



Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:29 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

Stevephoenix,

     Rundown franchise, you say? I'm sorry buddy, but your Arizona Diamondbacks will always ride on the coattails of the Dodgers. Don't forget where your team manager came from: Oh yeah, that's the guy who was the NL MVP from that '88 championship rundown team. Oh wait, that's the Dodgers. It's funny a D'back fan, well, wait, let's clarify that: Douchebag fan is writing on this post when his own team can't bring in 2 million fans plus on a losing season. That's right, you're probably used to that, are you?



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:24 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

I think baseball need to allow Cuban to own a team. That guy wants to win and wants the fans to enjoy their game experience. What more could you want?......Oh, and he's stupid rich.
 



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:15 am
 

McCourt, MLB agree to auction Dodgers

What ever McDorks share of this sale is I hope MLB is subtracting the $200 mil he and Jamie looted out of the franchise.  And Frank take half of that out of what you owe Jamie, you aren't the only one responsible for this monkey f*ck.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com