What a mess. What a complete mess. It’s orchestrated by Frank McCourt, so the shock factor is nil, but still.
You wonder how any human being can be so completely clueless, but then we’ve been watching this sorry excuse for an owner for way too long now.
His latest fantasy has him selling the team but keeping the parking lots completely surrounding Dodger Stadium. Hey, now there’s a sweet deal. Thursday marked the first day the siege of the Alamo began in 1836. Getting surrounded by the enemy is never a very good idea.
So every single one of the nine remaining bidders on the team need to get out of the Dodgers pool right now.
Follow the lead of Joe Torre and Rick Caruso. No parking lots, no bid. No auction. McCourt is not only still left in bankruptcy but with another lesson to learn.
He thinks the fans boycotted the team last year? Try mudding up the sales process so badly he’s still holding the team after April 1. Outrage will be so rampant that he’ll be lucky to average 20,000.
You may not have been the biggest fan of Bob Daly when he ran the Dodgers for Fox, but he was dead on when he told The Times’ T.J. Simers last month:
"Here's the test to see if we get a smart or stupid owner. If you make a deal and allow McCourt to keep the land and parking lots, you are out of your mind.”
So listen up, you nine remaining bidders. I don’t care if you’re Magic Johnson or Stan Kroneke or gazillionaire Steve Cohen. You buy the team and are willing to let McCourt keep the parking lots, you are not wanted. You don’t deserve the Dodgers.
No one can require McCourt to include the parking lots. That’s the lousy deal Major League Baseball, in its eagerness to rid itself of McCourt, made. In another McCourt specialty, the lots are held in a separate entity and aren't in bankruptcy court.
It may be wishful thinking to entertain the idea that an MLB team in a major market, with the history of the Dodgers, with a huge TV deal coming, won’t find one idiot willing to make a deal with the devil. McCourt is already claiming he has one such bid.
If so, that person needs to withdraw the offer immediately.
Bankruptcy never should have been allowed in the first place. It was a desperate dodge to avoid MLB taking over the team, selling it and pushing McCourt out. MLB was never going to allow team creditors to go unpaid. They weren’t in real danger.
Now McCourt wants to sell the team and keep the lots to develop them? Really? What local developer would go into business with the most despised man in Los Angeles? It’s almost delusional. It is a complete mess. It is all McCourt. And L.A.’s ongoing nightmare.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Frank McCourt. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.