Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
give you all the news on the boys in blue

« Previous Post | Dodgers Now Home | Next Post »

The lost ownership of Frank and Jamie McCourt

Ljz0bdnc It’s the end of the world as we know it -- what was that next verse again?

Listen, I’m stunned. Despite knowing the seriousness of the situation, despite witnessing Frank McCourt’s never-ending series of missteps, still stunned. For the world of sports, it’s an I-remember-where-I-was-when-I-heard-it moment.

Major League Baseball under Commissioner Bud Selig has never been this bold. This is not a professional league taking over a team in bankruptcy court; this is Selig actually being fairly proactive. Selig, of course, doesn’t pick out his daily shirt without getting a consensus, so you can feel certain that MLB taking control of the Dodgers from McCourt only happened after very deliberate prep work.

Selig had been very careful not to speak directly to any of the ills befalling the Dodgers under McCourt, but he spoke in foundation-rattling volumes Wednesday.

For McCourt, it was almost the perfect storm of blunders, almost all self-inflicted. The ugly divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt brought to light all their embarrassing, distasteful baggage -- from pulling over $100 million out of the club for personal use, to their extravagant lifestyle, to avoiding paying the IRS, to paying a Russian psychic to send positive vibes to the Dodgers from Boston, to plans to cut payroll.

And then the money ran out, and McCourt couldn’t find anyone to seriously bail him out. Not a bank, not some infomercial guy, not anyone but Fox.

McCourt’s grand scheme to save himself was to sign an approximate 20-year, $3-billion TV deal with Fox. Listen, you or I could run the Dodgers with that kind of money. Truth is, McCourt has none and never did. And Selig’s not innocent there, though if you remember, no one else wanted to purchase the Dodgers in 2003 until Eli Broad’s 11th-hour bid.

McCourt would have needed at least $430 million from that proposed Fox deal to pay off his previous debt and then likely would have to pay off Jamie for half the value of the team, which is somewhere around $1 billion.

When he had to personally borrow $30 million from Fox just to make payroll this month, Selig had enough. And he stepped up. All out of character and everything, thankfully.

McCourt had lost the fan base, lost the media and lost political support. He had lost the city; he just never knew it.

Now he’s lost the team, and I feel fine.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Frank McCourt, right, and his wife, Jamie, display Los Angeles Dodgers jerseys after announcing that Major League Baseball had approved his purchase of the Dodgers, at a news conference Jan. 9, 2004. Credit: Reed Saxon / AP

Comments () | Archives (31)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Any real possibility of MLB moving the Dodgers out of Los Angeles, Steve? This is all starting to look very LA Rams'ish to me.

HA HA HA HA HA Frank and Jamie McScum. You shouldn't get divorced because you deserve each other. Bad things happen to bad people....and its YOUR TIME! Good riddance

Hey, no cheering in the press box...but in this case, this should be the exception.

Dodger Tony: If there is a chance, it's so small as to be invisible. The Dodgers are one of baseball's most prized teams, Los Angeles is the second largest media market, and despite everything, still one of its best drawing clubs. Georgia and Al moved the Rams and Raiders, not the NFL. And baseball is not about to give up the second biggest market.

Wonder who frank called first when he found out?

Go away frank. Just go away.

Dodger Tony, I know your question was directed to Steve, but Jamie Frontierre is NOT ever going to own this team, nor is anybody ever going to leave Dodger Stadium in the next 20 years...

I'm glad that Selig got rid of McCourt...that's really great. But it sure is sad that it has come to this: Major League Baseball having to take control of one of the premier franchises in all of sports. Well, hopefully a guy like McCourt will never be allowed to own a professional team.

so sad. i watched the Dodgers when they were playing in the Coliseum. I went, with my Dad, to the '63 World Series, still have a program and my Stadium Club pin.

Bon Voyage


What a relief that MLB has finally stepped in to save us all from the despicable McCourts. I truly hope never to have to see their faces again after they're forced to sell and get to conduct their own War of the Roses for their own pathetic amusement. I'm believing that the best-case scenario is going to transpire: Selig forces the sale and a loaded team of LOCAL investors restores order, signs the deal with Fox, and funnels money into acquiring marquis players to bolster the strong core of now veteran players who've played together for 5-6 years now (Kemp, Loney, Ethier), fueling a run towards the World Series for the next few years. I believe it! Selig's intervention has made it possible to believe again. Thank you!

this dodger team is not going anywhere leading the mlb in attendance for last couple of years. Selig already realizes he made a mistake letting these two into ownership position. Plus there is no way there would even be a 50-50 ownership type because there needs to be an ownership. Plus i don't care who is in Jamie ownership group she will not get approved. She is not in the "All boys group" just like Cuban wast thank goodness for both. A mistake has already occured it wont occur again

We have got to continue to boycott the stadium, we need to send a message to buddie that we do not want another fly by night shoe string owner and please not onother one of buddie`s basketball pals.. He has got to understamnd that this the Dodgers not the brewcrew. Just keep his buddy who owns the bucks. I think he will try and inflict one from that kind of ilk on us . DO NOT LET HIM INSULT US AGAIN!!!!!

First off I am a diehard SF Giants fan, live in the SF Bay Area and went to my first Giants game in 1958 and my first Giants Dodger game in 1960! For years I would also attend Dodger games when in LA, great place to watch baseball and a fantastic rivalry. One that should make all of us better baseball fans. About 6 years ago I stopped going to Dodger games when in LA, not safe, the fans changed and it was no longer a good experience. The ownership has ruined the team and that is a shame. I hope someone comes along and gets the men in blue back to where they once were, the team I love to root against, and have had the upmost respect for.
You fans deserve better!
Cannot end this without saying, you know it is coming, Beat LA, Go Giants (but first get some decent ownership, again you deserve it!)

Finally!!!! MLB finally woke up!!!

Lets bring back the O'Malley's

Good riddance McCrook! How dare you tarnish this prestigious franchise with your crooked antics! You, Jamie and Fox are THE WORST thing to happen to my beloved team! You have only your own shameless greed to blame for your demise! The team, the fans and the city of L.A. are entirely too good for a shady sum bag like you! Good riddance! Bring back the O'Mally fam bam!!!

As a loyal Dodger fan, I am overwhelmed with joy. About effin time we got rid of that thing. I went to my first game yesterday since two seasons ago, and I saw firsthand, Mcdumber's incompetence with all the EMPTY seats. It was a sad thing to see. Moreover, I did feel safe with all the cops all over the place, and it was not even 'donut night.' Go Dodgers!!!

Well put JR from the Bay area. Nothing about McCourt bothers me more than when he under responded to the sensless beating of Bryan Stowe. I don't believe he ever took appropriate responsibility. He money grubbi ways may leave an innocent baseball fan in a coma the rest of his young life. Karma will get cha in the end everytime McCourt...every darn time.

Living in Fairfax, Va, I hadn't been aware of how bad things were with the Dodgers. The good news I guess is that Bud Selig finally did something about it- hope it's not too late. The Dodgers are one of the storied franchises in all sports- it would be a shame for them not to return to prominence.

He was a fake millionaire, a fake husband...and a fake baseball owner. Frank McCourt has officially been called out on ALL accounts.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Tell Selig we support dumping this scum!
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
Phone: 212-931-7800
Fax: 212-949-5654

Oh, happy day. Thanks, Bud. Really. Hooray!

See ya later McCourt! I hope the door hits you on the behind as you exit - REAL HARD

What goes around comes around. Great job Bud, it's about time you get rid of this slime McCourt!

Red Sox Fan: the Brooklyn roots are beloved, but what the east coast fans don't know because your media never covers west coast sports is that the Los Angeles Dodgers have now been the Los Angeles Dodgers LONGER than they were the Brooklyn Dodgers (although before that they were Robins or Superbas), and we've had decades and decades of Dodger history out here that you all never heard about. Five championships to Brooklyn's one. Fernandomania, Gibson home run, Koufax and Nomo, and yes, the less-than-sparkly episodes of Manny and Gagne. There have also been many recent runs on the playoffs to spark Dodger fans hopes. There have been exciting races out here. It's hard to believe ESPN never notices, but the NL wild card has often been from the NLWest for the last decade. Even WITH the McCourts' failures resulting in a gradually gutted farm system to pay for trades they couldn't, the Dodgers have been in the playoffs 3 times in the last few years.

The LA Dodgers have traditionally had one of the three highest attendance records in sports for decades, year in, year out. I think Selig saw the empty stands as all of us stayed away in droves to protest the McCourts and finally realized that yes, we were serious: we need new ownership, and we cannot give any more money to these crooks.

I am waiting to see what happens with McCourt's clueless attempt to prolong our misery and fight Selig's actions, but IF -- if -- the jacked-up prices I will be paying to park my car and sit in the nosebleed seats will be going to the Dodgers and not a penny to the McCourts, I am very much looking forward to going to Dodger stadium again to root for the Dodgers!

I have a suggestion for interim trustee that no one's thought of, and it's obvious: KIM NG, COME HOME! SELIG, GIVE HER BACK AS A GESTURE OF GOOD FAITH TO RESTORE OUR HOPE!

P.S. JR: You rock, and that's exactly the kind of rivalry we need on both sides.

Boo Giants. ;)

Somewhere behind this drama, The King of Dodger Blue Vin Scully is smiling broad and wide, proclaiming from the bottom of his heart, IT IS REALLY TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!!!

I'm glad that someone finally intervened in this McCourt circus but people need to realize that the McCourts aren't out yet. All Bud did was take over day to day operations. Delusional Frank is going to have to be dragged out by his fingernails because he's just that stubborn. Somehow he has a law firm on retainer and you better believe he's going to fight the MLB on this every step of the way. He's not going to go that quietly (although, I sure wish he would). The way he's refused to admit things that were right in front of him are proof. Plus, what did he promise to FOX so that he could get his personal loan?

As a lifelong Dodger fan (I bleed Blue) I would love for the Dodger organization to get back to their former glory days (just like the O' Malley days but from what I understand, they want nothing to do with baseball anymore) but I have the feeling that this is going to be ugly and prolonged because both Jamie and Frank are completely mule-headed and greedy.

I hope I'm wrong.

And JR, you're the type of rival fans I enjoy. Well said.

I just realized the lyrics from Money Grabber by Fitz and the Tantrums fits this perfectly. "Don't come back, anytime. This is your payback, Money Grabber." Adios, Frank. Don't let the door hit ya.

And to Soboroff, who alleges Frank has just made some small mistakes and should be given a "second chance," I say, You Moron! Frank has made hundreds of millions of mistakes. 7 years of mistakes. His 2nd chance happened years ago. You should leave town with Frank, you little vermin.

I'm sorry. Nobody needs to spend the kind of money they pulled out of the Dodgers on themselves. Sad part is, they own[ed] the business so it was theirs to loot. It's a matter for the IRS.

I do have to say that like a lot of people, it's fun to watch them crash and burn. Seeing Ms. McC give interviews about her stewardship of the Dodgers just showed the rampant ego which was really stupidity. Dodger fans just hope they rot in hell, without the hairdresser.

When Bud--the clothing-less emperor; becomes the knight in shining armor--we should all demand to peek behind the curtain.

Considering the ineptitude of the current commissioners reign, it can only be assumed that we are seeing an ice burg-type effect when it comes to the Dodgers.

The current regime has proven that they could not get out in front of 'last week' if they had to. So...the only logical conclusion is that the ugliness goes much further than what we hear and can imagine.

While I despise every aspect of the Dodger's --I do not want to hear some cheese-ball band come out with a parody of Elton John's "Goodbye Norma Jean" where the substitution is "Adios...Chavez Ravine"

Here we go again Mr. Bud Selig making a terrible call on who was going to own MY LOS ANGELES DODGERS. Another bad call like not letting PETE "CHARLIE HUSLE" ROSE get a chance to be inducted into MLB Hall of FAME. Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose Created magic out on that ball field. I was part of that magic when he played for the big Red Machine against by beloved Blue Crew. I like a true Dodger fan I Since the first MLB Dodger game I got to see, have been bleeding blue since the first L A Dodger game I saw in 1967. Selig alright, enough is enough bury the hatchet, dislike you have for Pete Rose, see if he can get into the Baseballs Hall of fame for what he did playing on the field. Now why would you allow someone to buy the Dodgers when you knew he didn't have enough money? You sold us out here in Los Angeles. Now look at the mess You personally got us into. All this Boston Native has done is driven up the prices so families that used to be able to take the whole family of 6 not to be able to go see America's past time in person. Heck parking went up so much that people park the outside of the park. Hell raise the beer prices to $30.00 I'm sure safety will increase and lower price on food an cokes. let's see how bad you let the Dodgers get. Maybe it 's a sign for you to retire. think about it.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About the Blogger

Recent Posts



Bleacher Report | Dodgers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Dodgers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: