The Dodger Divorce and the philosophy of fear -- I know I'm scared
I’m thinking scare tactics must be the way to go in these legal proceedings.
Not sure who shook me to my little baseball bones more Tuesday, but you have to hand it to the attorneys for Frank and Jamie McCourt, they do know how to get your attention.
First one of Jamie’s hired hands, Dennis Wasser, told The Times' Bill Shaikin that she is co-owner of the team and in order to keep the Dodgers in the family, she and Frank might have to become business partners.
Really, what could possibly be worse that being forced to run a company with the ex after a bitter divorce? The iron maiden? Sleep deprivation? Being forced to watch "Cougar Town?" My wife and I can barely agree on what to have for dinner, and we like each other.
What happens when, you know, they disagree on something? They could call the kids in for a tiebreaker, which would at least have a couple of them earning their six-figure salaries, but there are an even four of them.
This isn’t the first time a Jamie lawyer has threatened this frightening scenario. Back in March, attorney Bert Fields told USA Today: "They agreed to be 50-50 [owners]. And she doesn't want to sell. She loves baseball. She has the ability to buy out Frank if he wants. If he doesn't want to sell, they'll have to figure out a way to run the team together."
They pull that off, and Dr. Phil will have to surrender his chair. The U.N. would fly them to the Middle East the next day. Also, pigs will fly.
Wasser said at the moment Jamie is less interested in becoming the co-boss than simply making sure her interest in the value of the team is protected. Shaikin wrote that Jamie is likely to ask for the Dodgers' most recent financial results and projections, including information on discussions with Fox for a new television deal.
And how do you think that will go over?
Meanwhile, an even more frightening comment was made by one of Frank’s attorneys, Sorrell Trope, who said Frank would soon decide whether to appeal the decision he lost on the post-marital agreement or proceed directly to that new trial. Wasser said such a trial might not start before spring training opens — in 2012.
"You're not going to see the McCourts in trial for at least a year, and probably more," he said.
Ahhhhhhhh! Everybody scream altogether. Bud Selig, are you awake?
One theory is that Frank is simply attempting to stretch out all these legal maneuverings as long as he can, get his advances from Fox to stay afloat, and then cash in on either a new TV deal or a Dodgers station, enabling him to finally buy Jamie out.
The current Fox contract with the Dodgers runs for the next three seasons. Not sure if he can survive that long, but I’m doubting the rest of us can.
Of course, the first rule when listening to attorneys is to never believe a word they say. Every word comes with an agenda. And if their agenda is to frighten the bejebees out of us, mission accomplished.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Frank McCourt in 2006. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times