Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sleazy, sleazy, sleazy Dodger owners

ESPN the Magazine has a massive article detailing the disgraceful "let them eat cake" behavior of Frank and Jamie McCourt at a time when most people are struggling to make ends meet. It's almost enough -- but not quite -- to make me feel sorry for Dodger fans. Here are some nuggets from Molly Knight's story --

In the six years he's owned the Dodgers, Frank has borrowed an estimated $390 million against the team -- staking future ticket sales -- which he used to live the high life, complete with a private jet ($2 million a year) and a hairstylist who came to the house five days a week ($150,000 a year). The McCourts also spent six figures on Vladimir Shpunt -- the healer who treated Jamie's eye -- asking him to use his "V Energy" to help the team and to "Think Blue" from his home in Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Frank engaged in a perfectly legal shell game and has not paid a dime in state or federal taxes since 2004. More eyebrows were raised when The New York Times revealed on July 9 that a Dodgers executive had drawn more than $400,000 in salary to run a $1.6 million charitable fund for the Dodgers Dream Foundation. The trial will force open even more of the club's books, bringing even closer scrutiny to the couple's professional and private finances.
While the McCourts were living large, the Dodgers, in 2008 and 2009, spent less than any other MLB team on the draft and international-player signings, an area the team once dominated.

Jon Weisman, who blogs pretty well for ESPN at Dodger Thoughts, interviewed Knight about the story. Knight thinks Frank will settle. Here's one particularly revealing answer to a good question from Weisman --

Q. Considering how much the McCourts borrowed, why didn't it occur to them to maybe rein in personal expenses just a little?
A. They live in a different world than we do, is the best answer to that. Frank has spent his adult life borrowing Peter to pay Paul. The only thing that changed is he got his hands on some better collateral. I think they were riding the gravy train knowing that when the TV rights came up in 2013 they'd become rich beyond their wildest dreams. I also think they desperately wanted to be part of L.A.'s high society. Trouble is out here you have to be a movie star to be A-List. No one cared until this divorce hit.


Anonymous Dan said...

I have no sympathy for Dodger fans. the Ghosts of the past fans of the real (Brooklyn) Dodgers must be laughing their asses off. The McCourts are just a smarmier version of the O'Malley family.

10:25 PM  

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