The seemingly endless battle between Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball might, and I stress might, be close to a resolution. McCourt is reportedly close to a bankruptcy settlement with MLB that would allow the Los Angeles Dodgers to be sold, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
McCourt would get some control over the sale, people familiar with the negotiations said Monday. The purchase probably would include Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots in a package that could command a record price of $1 billion or more.
Even though McCourt reached a $130 million divorce settlement with his ex-wife Jamie, he still continues to fight a war on multiple fronts. He is battling with MLB for control of his team, and also with Fox, with whom the Dodgers have a television deal with two years remaining. Even if McCourt ultimately wins the right to negotiate a new TV contract, he is so heavily leveraged that his ultimate gain may be minimal. Shaikin explains:
Based on figures McCourt submitted to the Bankruptcy Court, he would be hard-pressed to sell the Dodgers' television rights, settle his divorce and be left with enough capital to renovate Dodger Stadium and restore the team to prominence.
Reaching a settlement with MLB would give McCourt some control over the sale, and likely some sort of a guaranteed return, depending on how much commissioner Bud Selig and the other owners are willing to pony up to oust McCourt.
It has been 25 long months of acrimony since the McCourts announced their separation, which begin this very public and embarrassing decay of the perception, if not the reality, of one of the flagship franchises of Major League Baseball.
At least with this news there is some hope, however small, of an end to this sad chapter in Dodgers history. The sooner it ends, the better. So we can all move on. Finally.
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