Frank McCourt is dragging the Dodgers down his personal road to ruin
Just when you think things can't get any worse for the Dodgers, it somehow does. Early Monday morning, McCourt filed for bankruptcy protection and received a $150-million loan that would help him cover Thursday's payroll and hold on to the team for the foreseeable future.
If a judge approves the loan, then the ride to hell in a handbasket is far from over for the franchise or its fans. It means you can expect several new lawsuits to be filed as well as the continued settlement of Frank's divorce from Jamie.
But never at any time has Frank McCourt thought of selling the team and walking away. Instead he has pressed forward, doing whatever he can to keep the team under his auspices - or at least keeping it away from his estranged wife. For the fans, that has been the most frustrating part. Despite all of the McCourts past flowery language about doing what's best for the franchise and its fans, their behavior has proven the opposite.
Frank and Jamie McCourt used the team as their own discretionary account, living the high life while running the team under MLB-style austerity measures. It's actually fitting that the one major deal they signed, (Manny Ramirez's 2-year, $45 million contract) is what could help to bring them down. But what is even more apropos is that two people who have shown themselves to be selfish, greedy, vindictive people somehow found each other. And that selfishness, greed and vindictiveness ultimately led to the dissolution of their marriage. In that way it's not unlike many Hollywood divorces that came before or will inevitably come after.
The difference is that most Hollywood divorces don't jeopardize the status of a local treasure.
If Frank McCourt truly wanted to do what was best for the team, he would sell it. Not a portion of it. All of it. Then walk away and leave his successor to right the ship. With Fox eager to complete its long term television deal with the team, he has already succeeded in raising the value of the franchise and could easily bring in enough to cover any and all financial obligations he has.
Instead, he employs different legal maneuvers one after the other with the hoped for goal being that Frank McCourt is made whole. Meanwhile, thousands of empty seats have become the norm at Dodger Stadium as fans show their disgust with the sideshow by their absence. The team on the field is floundering and two of its centerpieces - Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier - are nearing the end of their contracts. Ethier has already suggested that his days in Dodger blue could be numbered. With all of the ongoing turmoil it wouldn't be a surprise if he or anyone else started looking for greener pastures.
Perhaps in Frank's wildest dreams, he is able to sign the deal with Fox, become flush with cash, put a winner on the field and get himself back in the city's good graces. But that day, if it ever comes, is light years away. Meanwhile, Frank McCourt continues to drive the team down the road to ruin.