Frank McCourt vs. MLB: Stamina and patience of Job required
That’s my greatest fear now. I’ll wake up out of a cold sweat on some winter night in 2016 unable to get Frank McCourt’s latest appeal, filing, legal maneuver out of mind.
It’s war of endurance, to beat the other into submission by paperwork and legal briefs. Every time you think just maybe there is a flicker at the end of this labyrinth of a tunnel, there comes another motion and darkness descends again.
Common sense must rule at some point, but that feels like a tough sell right now.
Just when it appears both sides have played their major cards and a showdown and resolution could be on the horizon, here come more appeals and motions and finger-pointing.
So the Dodgers want Major League Baseball to open the books of the other 29 clubs to compare use of funds? This has been an underlying threat for a while now. McCourt wants consistency, though it sounds a little too much like a kid telling his parents what he did wasn’t so wrong, because Billy did it too. It’s either wrong or it’s not.
MLB had finally laid it on the line when it asked the bankruptcy court last week to order the sale of the Dodgers and an Oct. 12 court date was scheduled.
Could it be?
You’re so funny. On Tuesday the Dodgers asked the court to push back listening to the request until at least Dec. 12, which is an optimistic date. On it goes, and when it ends, nobody knows. Just remain hopeful that when a decision finally is reached, McCourt won’t arrive with a walker and Commission Bud Selig in a wheelchair.
This comes from the same people, who on the day the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy and happened to beat the Twins 15-0 actually said: "I think this convincingly disproves the argument bankruptcy is bad for baseball."
The head hurts. Of course, the Dodgers still want the court to hear their request to sell their TV rights package on Oct. 12. When there’s only one lifeboat left afloat, you cling to that baby.
If it’s a war of attrition, I like MLB’s chances better that McCourt’s. Pretty sure it has the deeper pockets. As opposed to no pockets.
One of the crazier aspects to all of this is -- at least currently -- MLB is paying for McCourt’s legal battle against MLB through the $150 million it loaned the Dodgers. Of course, if MLB wins and McCourt is forced to sell, the loan would come off the top. And if the court upholds MLB’s rules, McCourt could be forced to pay baseball back its legal fees for suing the commissioner, which the rules say is a no-no.
Now you and I can get worn down by all of this, but it’s MLB that has to persevere. Everyone wants resolution. Some, even before the apocalypse.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Frank McCourt. Credit: Jason Redmond / Associated Press