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Naivete be damned: Wanting to believe McCourt mess is near an end

October 27, 2011 | 11:28 am

Frank3Just like Rod Stewart -– or Tim Hardin, for those who really go back -– still I look to find a reason to believe.

You know, like reality. Like sanity. That just maybe, in the deepest recess of Frank McCourt’s tenacious little heart, he actually realizes the game is over and it behooves him to make the best deal he can and get out of Dodge.

That best deal may not be what it might have been two years ago, but this is the bed McCourt made.

The Times' Bill Shaikin reported that the Dodgers bankruptcy trial was postponed for one month Wednesday so that McCourt and Major League Baseball could explore a settlement that would require the sale of the team.

Like there is ultimately any other outcome?

Still, McCourt is a judicial pit bull entrenched so deeply in his battle with MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig that recognizing his actual situation seems akin to Custer thinking the Battle of the Little Big Horn was a really good idea.

The problem with allowing yourself to become hopeful that this painful process just might actually be nearing its end is that hope has arisen so many times before only to be crushed like a Lance Cormier fastball. You want to believe, logic tells you to believe, but there just have been too many false starts in the past.

Really, this should be it. The jig is up, but then that's what most of us thought back in April when MLB placed a trustee in charge of the team. How many twists and turns has this process taken since then?

Forbes magazine valued the Dodgers (yeah, parking lots too) at $800 million back in March, while in court filings last week McCourt's lawyers estimated that the team was worth over $1 billion.

After paying off debts, his divorce settlement and tax liabilities, McCourt may need the higher estimate to prove true just to break even, Shaikin wrote. There is, of course, over a $200-million difference in estimates, which is not exactly small change.

McCourt, understandably, would like some control over the team's sale. He is going to be looking for top dollar, though ultimately whoever purchases the team is going to have to be approved by Selig.

Yeah, there are a lot of unknowns. No doubt, more twists and turns ahead. Probably some disappointment.

Only if you’re looking for reason to believe this could be approaching a conclusion, this appears it. Again.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Credit: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

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