With the Dodgers now 7.5 games back of the wild card with an afternoon loss Wednesday, we're now in day four of the divorce trial to determine who owns the Dodgers.

Here's Gene Maddaus, the Weekly's man on the scene: How's this for karma? At the same moment that Roy Oswalt was mowing down Dodger hitters this afternoon, David Boies was grilling Frank McCourt about his plan to turn the Dodgers around by cutting player payroll.

What's that have to do with the divorce? Well, Maddaus answers the question and it's pretty fascinating.

The payroll issue came up because Frank says that Jamie thought the Dodgers purchase was too risky, and she signed away her right to the team because she didn't want to share in that risk.

Jamie's lawyers are trying to show that the purchase was in fact a sure thing. As evidence, they point to the Dodgers' Summary Business Plan from Oct. 23, 2003. In short, the plan was to screw the fans.

There was actually a two-pronged strategy: raise ticket prices and cut expenses, primarily payroll.

Thanks, Frank.

The L.A. Times today has a big story showing how indebted the team is, which obviously will make it hard to get good players. Maddaus reported this last month.

Further reading:

The Weekly's big Frank McCourt cover story, “Dodger Dog,” from August.

McCourt Divorce Trial: Day One coverage.

McCourt Divorce Trial: Day Two coverage.

McCourt Divorce Trial: Day Three coverage.

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