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Frank McCourt Files Dodgers for Bankruptcy -- But That's the Least of Their Problems

Update: After a historic Dodgers victory last night, the court just approved McCourt's request to file the team for bankruptcy. But at this point, Dodger fans (fiercely loyal off the big win) won't be so easy to convince.

Originally posted at June 27 at 1:30 p.m.

Just when you think Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has hit rock bottom, he always seems to find a way to dig deeper and darker.

First, the divorce with Jamie, and her threats to take the Dodgers right down with her balding ex. Then, the beating of a Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium -- largely blamed on McCourt's lack of security on the premises. Then, his threat to hold the stadium's parking lots hostage if Major League Baseball tried to seize the Dodgers from his gooby grasp. (We're definitely forgetting one somewhere in here.)

And this morning, again, a new low. McCourt, unable to provide his ballplayers their paychecks (Manny Ramirez alone has a $21 million IOU), has taken the Dodgers to bankruptcy court. McCourt, as usual, reflects the blame onto someone else:

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, for not approving an up-front Dodgers broadcasting deal with FOX. McCourt's statement today reads like a second-grader's bullying diary:

"[Selig has] turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today. I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn't achieve with the Commissioner directly."

That McCourt could accuse anyone besides his own broke, irresponsible ass of being a "position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk" proves, once again, that he's gone completely delusional. And insanely hypocritical, at that.

Below is a list of McCourt's biggest victims (aside from the team, and its fans, as a whole), via the Los Angeles Times. Not that they're starving on Skid Row or something. But these aren't the type of "creditors" who'll stick around long without their stripper budget.

  • Manny Ramirez ($21 million)
  • Andruw Jones ($11 million)
  • Hiroki Kuroda ($4.5 million)
  • Rafael Furcal ($3.7 million)
  • Chicago White Sox ($3.5 million, for Juan Pierre)
  • Ted Lilly ($3.4 million)
  • Zach Lee ($3.4 million)
  • Kaz Ishii ($3.3 million)
  • Juan Uribe ($3.2 million)
  • Matt Guerrier ($3.1 million)
  • Juan Pierre ($3.05 million)
  • Marquis Grissom ($2.7 million)
  • Jon Garland ($1.2 million)

So that he can keep the team during bankruptcy proceedings, McCourt says he's secured $150 million in loans. So now, not only is the team broke, it's in the red.

Anita Maria Laurie, a higher-up at Sitrick crisis management, says bankruptcy isn't the end of the world -- but that, to get Los Angeles back on his side, McCourt desperately needs to communicate "what bankruptcy is and what bankruptcy's not."

Though it's a longshot, Laurie says it's still "possible" for McCourt to come out of the hole financially.

But even if he does, his reputation will have been so ravaged by this storm of negative media that the bankruptcy proceedings will have all been for nothing.

Dodger Stadium is open. Season tickets are valid. You can still get a Dodger Dog. McCourt's flack "needs to tell that to the fans," says Laurie. "There are a lot of steps that need to be taken. Trust needs to be earned."

No, Frank -- that doesn't mean hire a bunch of black preachers to defend your shady ways in the name of "fairness, dignity and equity." Seriously, WTF was that?

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@simone_electra

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swilson@laweekly.com

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