The hits just keep on coming for the McCourts and the Dodgers. TMZ is now reporting that both the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board are looking into the team's finances. Allegedly at issue is the matter of about $145 million taken from the team without any taxes paid.
Bud Selig released a statement on Wednesday stating that Major League Baseball would take over running the day-to-day financial operations of the Dodgers.
Via Bill Shaikin at the LA Times:
"Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt's ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."Considering how poorly things have been going for owner Frank McCourt financially, this was almost inevitable. Last week, McCourt took a $30 million loan from Fox to cover operating expenses into the month of May. This was after Selig previously said no to a $200 million loan from Fox to the team.
This also will have some effect on the ongoing divorce proceedings between Frank and his estranged wife, Jamie. Mrs. McCourt released a statement following the announcement saying "as the 50% owner of the Dodgers, I welcome and support the commissioner's actions." That may just be a brave face to put on publicly because, as Josh Fisher over at Dodger Divorce suspects, Jamie's case may not be as strong as it once was.
How the team on the field handles things the rest of the way is anybody's guess. All of the players and coaches have continually done their best to downplay the nasty divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt, but it's going to be pretty hard to ignore when the team is wards of the league. This could handcuff general manager Ned Colletti if he thinks he can get help for a struggling bullpen and sluggish offense, since any personnel moves must go through the league office first.