Dodgers and Divorce: McCourt's Misdeeds Sinking Hopes for Success in Dodgertown

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent IApril 19, 2011

The McCourt "personal" loan is personal to all Dodgers fans
The McCourt "personal" loan is personal to all Dodgers fansKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For those of you that believe the Los Angeles Dodgers could possibly compete in the National League West race this year, they will likely be doing so without any financial help from its owner whatsoever.

The Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt took a personal loan of $30 million from Fox in order to meet the current payroll obligations for the Dodgers and presumably to keep the lights on at Dodger Stadium.

The loan was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball, as the loan was considered personal.

One could argue that the loan is pretty personal to Dodgers fans as well.

Ever since the announcement of the pending divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt, every single detail regarding McCourt’s business dealings over the years has been laid out for public view, and the public has reacted with disgust.

Jamie, who was the Dodgers’ CEO until fired by her husband in 2009, is seeking half of the team ownership rights under California community property law and won a major victory in her ongoing battle in December of last year, when a Los Angeles judge threw out a 2004 marital property agreement that reportedly gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the team.

The biggest issue now facing the McCourts is the possible agreement between Frank McCourt and Fox. In the deal, Fox would retain sole broadcasting rights to the Dodgers for 20 years and $3 billion. Frank McCourt would then use that money to pay off his reported debt of $400 million and go a long way towards settling his divorce.

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However, baseball commissioner Bud Selig needs to sign off on any such agreement, and Selig has already rejected a loan for $200 million from Fox to McCourt with the future television rights serving as collateral.

The current $30 million loan given to McCourt only keeps the Dodgers viable until next month, so what happens then? Does McCourt keep taking “personal” loans from the former owners of the Dodgers just to keep the team afloat?

Fox, who owned the Dodgers from 1998-2004, were not exactly considered the best of stewards, and any involvement or agreement between McCourt and Fox will be looked upon with contempt by loyal Dodgers fans everywhere. With no resolution seen in the pending divorce anytime soon, any discussion of finances in terms of player personnel is almost a moot point.

Honestly, the best hope for Dodgers fans at this point is for a situation that would lead the Dodgers into bankruptcy. Hey, it worked for the Texas Rangers last year.

For continuing coverage of Major League Baseball, follow Doug on Twitter @Sports_A_Holic.


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