Let’s call a spade a spade for just once and admit that Bud Selig is after the Dodgers. Sure, he’s going after the team under the guise that an ownership transfer is in the best interest of baseball. That one is right up there with oceanfront property in Arizona and a bridge I’d like to sell you. You don’t have to be a graduate of Harvard Law to read between the lines of the league attorneys’ arguments, either. They are accusing Frank McCourt of “siphoning” off in excess of 100M to finance his lavish lifestyle with Jamie McCourt. They also argue that Frank McCourt’s financing plan for bailing out the Dodgers is inferior to the financing plan introduced by MLB. They will probably also mention at some point that he often takes too many mulligans on the front 9 when he golfs, but they just haven’t got that far yet (Is nothing sacred?). To all that my immediate, impassioned reaction is…..big freakin’ deal.
Who wouldn’t be interested in extracting at least some cash from a business they owned to finance a few small things? Who doesn’t need a slightly larger mansion, a more lavish private jet, or a bigger yacht? Seriously, I take issue with the notion that he was “siphoning” anything simply because other owners profit from their teams as well. The only difference is that McCourt’s cash cow stopped producing milk at a rate required to both pay for team operations and pay off really bad contracts. Even so, he still has put forth a reasonable plan to move forward while maintaining ownership. He may be lousy at the “ownership” part, but that doesn’t necessarily give Big Bad Bud the right to step in and make a move on the Dodgers.
Besides, I don’t buy the “in the best interest of baseball” argument. If Bud actually thought about the best interests of baseball, All-Star games would never end in a tie, MLB’s drug testing program would have stopped Manny from “being Manny” a long time ago, and he would be 10 years into retirement. No, Bud “C Montgomery Burns” Selig can’t leave well enough alone, and he certainly can’t keep his hands or eyes off of a trainwreck. That’s especially true when the trainwreck involves one of baseball’s most storied and potentially lucrative franchises. Please don’t tell me that Bud Big Bucks Selig doesn’t already have 2 or 3 potential owners in mind.
Forget all of that. I’ve got a different idea, because I have the innate ability to oversimplify things that I don’t fully understand. Also, I have the luxury of just putting my opinion out there, and opinions are a lot like…….brains (everybody has 1, oh you naughty little monkeys). Try thinking outside the box. Now picture the box with someone thinking outside the box, and then back up 100 feet to where I am. That’s how far out this idea is.
Sell the Dodgers to the people of Los Angeles. Make them the Green Bay Packers of MLB. Yes, I realize that MLB’s constitution probably doesn’t allow for anything fun like this. So what? Constitutions can be amended, right? Look, I don’t pretend to know anything about the complexities involved in the ownership and day-to-day operations for the Packers, but I do understand that it works. Make it work for the Dodgers, or at least consider it an option rather than allowing for the possibility that a team like that could be relocated…ever.
TIDBIT: No, this wasn’t about the Cardinals, but it is about MLB, and ownership issues impact every single team at one point or another. I just happen to believe that Selig is tap dancing on the fine line between meddling and outright tampering with the marketplace. I don’t like it, and I don’t approve of it anywhere in baseball.
MORE BITS OF TID: MLB’s constitution does have a provision that allows for franchise takeover, but it requires that a motion for franchise termination be filed. I just don’t see that happening here.
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