The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Dodger nine that day. The divorce score stood four to two with but one more inning to play.
Is there anything sadder than having the storied LA Dodgers baseball team sent to foster care because its parents and owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt are grinding through a bitter divorce?
The team that once starred Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Kirk Gibson is up for adoption. Daddy Frank McCourt may not be able to make the end of June payroll for the Dodgers. If Frank doesn’t pay the players, then the Lord High Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has indicated he will seize the Dodgers, put them in foster care with Major League Baseball and sell the team to the highest bidder. Oh, the humanity.
The McCourts enjoyed a life style of the rich and famous by sucking the Dodgers’ ﬁnancial well dry to support their oh so tasteful but expensive habits.
As the Dodgers’ money ran out and their love ran away, they were no longer the fun couple they used to be. Frank and Jamie are fussing over who owns the Dodgers just like normal divorcing folks might fuss over who gets the dog in property settlement. You may not have noticed, but sometimes people going through a divorce can become cranky and dance upon the far shores of unreasonable behavior.
Frank has to pay an $8.3 million dollar deferred compensation payment due at the end of June to former Dodger Manny Ramirez in addition to the regular Dodger payroll. Things are a little tight ﬁ nancially in Dodgertown. Manny may be out picking up bottles on the side of the road if Frank can’t make that payment. Frank had worked out a scheme with Fox TV that had Fox paying $385 million in up-front payments which Frank, Jamie and their lawyers would have split $173 million with the rest going to the team. Commissioner Selig nixed the Fox deal because he wasn’t sure that paying $173 million to the Marvelous McCourts was going to help out the Dodgers team. Picky, picky, picky.
My law partner Ritchie Smith has handled more divorce cases than any sentient human being should ever have to endure. In one memorable case, Ritchie almost had a particularly acrimonious divorce case settled. All the bank accounts and real estate had been divided between the combatants. The only remaining item at issue was an electric can opener.
The ﬁght to decide which spouse would walk away with the can opener threatened to bring the entire agreement crashing down onto the former love birds like Sampson pulling the temple of Dagon down on the Philistines.
In a burst of inspiration, Ritchie went out and bought a new electric can opener and thus presented a can opener to both parties. The case settled. Is there no one out there in baseball land who can buy a really nice can opener for the McCourts so they can go away into that good night?
Well, you can help by contributing to the Save the Dodgers Fund. Or you can turn the page. The Dodger Fund allows you to adopt a Dodger player by combining with other Dodger fans and paying his salary for the rest of the season. Your contribution to the Dodger Fund will allow baseball players to continue to be able to afford performance enhancing ointments, Corvettes and bling.
For example, there are 9.5 million North Carolina residents according to the 2010 census. If each N.C. resident just gave 87 cents to the Dodgers Fund we could pay all of Manny Ramirez’s deferred compensation in June. The entire Dodgers payroll for 2011 is estimated at a mere $113 million. The U.S. population is about 308 million people. If every American gave only 36 cents to the Save the Dodgers Fund, Frank could meet his entire payroll and the Dodgers wouldn’t have to go into foster care.
Won’t you give so that the McCourts can live the life style to which they have become accustomed?
“The sneer is gone from McCourt’s lips, his teeth are clenched in hate/He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the Dodgers plate/And now Fox TV holds the billions, and now it lets it go/And now the air is shattered by the force of McCourt’s blow.
Oh somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright/The band is playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light/And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout/But there is no joy in LA — mighty McCourt has struck out.”