Day: September 3, 2010

Casualties of War Or Just Simple Stupidity ?

Casualties of War Or Just Simple Stupidity ?

Well the ongoing divorce battle between Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie McCourt concerning their dispersal of the matrimonial assets has left some wondering whether or not McCourt wouldn’t have been better off simply settling with his soon to be ex-wife. At the center of it all is the question as to whether or not an agreement signed by Jamie as to the couple’s ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers is valid . McCourt states that the prenuptial agreement signed in part does not allow her part ownership in the balllclub. And with regard to the dispersal of the matrimonial assets as she did not play a part in any of the business dealings with regard to the organization so she cannot be considered in any context an owner . Somehow I think that Frank McCourt might well have a valid point but the way in which he has surreptitiously tried to paint his wife as something of a gold digging and dispassionate female could work against him. But at the end of the day this all could very well come down what the presiding judge feels is fair and equitable between the two.


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Courtesy of USA Today

Report finds Dodgers $433 million in debt as of last year

By Stephen Borelli of USA Today

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers were $433 million in debt as of last year, which is $3 million more than what owner Frank McCourt paid for team in 2004.

McCourt, who is the middle of bitter divorce proceedings with his wife, Jamie, the former team CEO, is so leveraged that he has had trouble finding additional financing, the report found. The Times says Citibank, a Chinese investment group and Bill Guthy of Guthy-Ranker infomercial fame turned down the Dodgers’ financing requests last year.

The paper cites a deposition in which Dodgers Chief Financial officer Peter Wilhelm said Citibank “did not feel that the Dodger organization had the capacity to take on more debt.”

The Times and the HCVT accounting firm analyzed documents available in court files. The firm concluded that, if the Dodgers were sold today and the McCourts were to split the proceeds, the debt and tax burdens would be so great that each of the McCourts might walk away with about 10 cents on the dollar.

The Biz of Baseball website summarizes the findings.

The paper ran this statement from McCourt spokesman Steve Sugerman, whom it says it presented with the findings about the lack of available cash and the struggle to find new financing and asked how the Dodgers could continue to field a top-tier team:

“The Dodgers have consistently demonstrated a commitment to fielding a team worthy of fan support, and the four division championships in the last six years are indicative of that. There’s a commitment to winning, and that continues.”

The Dodgers opened the day at 68-66, seven games out in the National League West and 7 1/2 behind in the NL wild-card race.

Commissioner Bud Selig declined to comment on the report, according to the Times, saying through a spokesman that he would not discuss the finances of an individual club.

The Dodgers’ opening-day payroll was $104.9 million, 11th in the majors, according to USA TODAY figures.


At risk is a great deal more than simply the assets here but also the very existence of the Dodgers as the team now stands. Granted they’ve had a rather miserable season and the fans there at Dodgers’ Stadium has seen the departure of Manny Ramirez to the Chicago White Sox after he was claimed by the team off waivers.

And for the now floundering NL West team this may well be a year that they’d rather forget in more ways than one. Manager Joe Torre and his coaching staff have tried to bring about some semblance of competitiveness to an otherwise lackluster bunch of individuals . What we’ve seen instead has been a team that has spluttered in fits and starts as it has tried to contend with the rather surprising play of the division leading San Diego Padres who look to garner themselves a postseason berth in baseball’s Fall extravaganza . As the team enters the final month of the season and nothing but being a spoiler for the aspirations of the teams looking to either play themselves into contention. Now some 9 games out of first place one could attest to the fact now would be the time for the Dodgers to take a look at the young faces on their roster and look towards rebuilding for next season . Disappointment from all around on the team and the fact that certain players haven’t played anywhere near their true potential must have the fans wondering apart from the off the field issues with the team the on the field issues are just as bad. And with players such as James Loney ,—- Matt Kemp and Andrew Ethier having at best subpar seasons one could suggest that the fans have been short changed in more ways than one.

GM Ned Colletti has got to be profoundly disappointed with a team whose payroll is amongst the highest in all of baseball. One hundred and five million ($105 ,000,000) dollars seemingly gets you crap nowadays it would appear but then again consider the plight of both the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets whose combined payroll for the season will exceed $275 million alone ? It kinds of make you wonder when these executives , team owners and in particular the MLB hierarchy will look to rein in their excesses in terms of the players’ salaries .

For the Padres under the managerial astuteness of Bud Black and his coaching staff this has been a season full of surprises both on and off the field of play. Who’d have guessed that a team with amongst the league’s lowest payroll would be playing for the divisional crown within the NL West . At 76-56 the team seems to be making a complete mockery of those who felt that they’d be amongst the also rans within the NL . Though on appearance the the three game cushion lead that they have over the San Francisco Giants has shrank over the past few weeks. It has to be said that if anything all the Padres need to do at this juncture is to merely recompose themselves and play the type of ball that they’ve been playing for the vast majority of their season .

Managing partners John Moores , —- Jeff Moorad and GM Jed Hoyer have created an environment at PETCO Park that seems to be drawing crowds back to ballpark to see this team strive for success that has long evaded them in recent years. And though the think may well be that if the Padres were to make the postseason it would be seen as the foundation upon which to build for the future. Somehow I feel that the team and the organization are prepared to grasp this opportunity , run with it and see where it will ultimately take them this season. And why not as they’ve played themselves into contention , played as a team and seemingly have been able to overcome the obstacles placed in their way.

The team has been buoyed by the play of Adrian Gonzalez , —- Chase Headley ,—- Jerry Hairston Jr and Matt Latos . But if anything it has been the allround contribution of the players on the roster that has made the team extremely competitive . Should they make the postseaon and it is my belief that they will , I do believe that the San Diego Padres could very well continue surprise a number of teams and fans alike ! I mean who’d have thought that the 29th ranked team amongst the thirty teams within the league in terms of payroll size would be amongst the most competitive and successful teams this season ? Food for thought don’t you think ?

As for the fate of the Dodgers as it now stands it remains to be seen what will transpire not just within the courtroom but also amongst the hierarchy of MLB itself. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig remains guarded about offering a statement as to the impending plight of the team. But considering the acute financial instability of the Dodgers as well as of the outcome of the divorce trial of Frank McCourt. The implications for the game as well as the ownership of the Dodgers could have some far reaching implications that no one could have envisaged .



Picture gallery for your perusal. By clicking on an individual picture you can view it in its original format .

What thoughts if any do you have on the Dodgers and their present predicament ? And how do you feel about what has been achieved by the San Diego Padres this season ? Do you believe that they have what it takes to go all the way and win the World Series ? If so , state your reasons why and how they will be able to do it ? Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal …………… 🙂


Krisztina Sereny

Power lifter and Playboy playmate Krisztina Sereny


And a just a little bit more added spice here’s a rather suggestive picture of Krisztina .


Snap ……………“I’ve Got The Power”