Steve Lopez: Dodgers bankruptcy not about business, but McCourt’s greed and ego
And so, in a city that can't wait for him to give it up, what does Dodgers owner Frank McCourt do?
He keeps fighting to hang on. He's like that old "Saturday Night Live" character who drops by someone's house, overstays his welcome, and refuses to leave.
And now, because he's filed for bankruptcy protection, we may be stuck with McCourt even longer.
This isn't about business at this point. It's all about greed and ego with McCourt. He keeps blaming Major League Baseball for his problems, and specifically for rejecting what he says is a $3-billion TV deal with Fox that would allow him to pay his bills.
But as a tentative divorce agreement revealed, McCourt would immediately have to plow a big chunk of that money into a divorce settlement, and baseball doesn't trust him to stop using team money to live like a king while his second-rate team plunges into the basement. At the end of most days, McCourt has more houses than his team has hits, and I wish I could tell you that was an exaggeration.
As for that $3 billion, I have serious doubts about whether the number can be trusted, especially with attendance and TV ratings down.
It's fitting, isn't it, that the man at the top of the list of creditors in McCourt's bankruptcy filing is that bum Manny Ramirez?
Ramirez was never the same after a 50-game suspension and ended up tanking with the Dodgers, and he's bombed out of baseball after flunking two drug tests in three years. But he's owed $21 million by the McCourts. The fact that Ramirez would even think of accepting a nickel of that money makes him even greedier, and a bigger bum, than McCourt.
Relax, though. McCourt says the bankruptcy business will result in "no disruption to the Dodgers' day-to-day business, the baseball team or to the Dodger fans."
Hang in there, folks. All they need is a nine-game winning streak and they'll be at .500.
-- Steve Lopez
Photo: Empty seats at Dodger Stadium at a recent game. Credit: Steve Lopez / Los Angeles Times