Dodger Divorce Settlement Gives Frank McCourt A Narrow Path to Victory

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Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:47 PM
click to enlarge Frank McCourt
  • Frank McCourt

As we detailed earlier, the Dodger divorce settlement announced this morning is a bit of a fraud. Ordinarily, you'd expect a settlement to resolve the issues, put all the nasty litigation in the past, and allow everybody to move on.

This does not do that. In the likely scenario that Major League Baseball does not approve the Fox TV contract, the deal is moot. Beyond that, Frank and Jamie McCourt still don't remotely see eye-to-eye about who owns the team.

So what's the point?

Well, Frank seems to believe there's a genuine chance that MLB will approve the Fox contract. He also thinks he'll win the Aug. 4 trial, which will determine once and for all whether Jamie owns half the team. He may be deluding himself on both counts. But if he's right he'll own the team free and clear in short order and this all will be over. It's a path to victory -- however narrow and uncertain -- and Frank does not lack for self confidence.

Assuming Commissioner Bud Selig rejects the Fox deal, which most everyone does, then Frank will still have something: namely, a marginally better argument that Selig has abridged his rights. Look, he'll say, I did everything you asked. I settled my divorce. I got Jamie to agree to the deal. I got a judge to order its approval. I've cleaned up my mess. Now back off and let me run my business.

If MLB doesn't back down, then we're back in court. The McCourt vs. MLB lawsuit could make the divorce case look like a polite disagreement. Meanwhile, the divorce deal will be off, which means we'll be no closer to a resolution than we were before today.

Bottom line: Frank still has ironclad faith in his right and ability to own the team, which means we're still all on this crazy kamikaze ride together. Whee!

For fans, the best outcome may be for MLB to approve the Fox deal and for Jamie to win the trial. In that scenario, Frank would have no option to appeal. The team would be sold automatically. End of story.

Probably won't happen, but you can dream...

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