Karma Catching Up to Frank McCourt and Other Notes
The never ending saga of the Frank/Jamie McCourt divorce has entered a new phase. Jamie is seeking to re-open the former couple’s marital property settlement agreement and obtain an additional $770 million on top of the $131 million she received previously. All I can say is that it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving ex-husband.
Frank McCourt is a sack. According to wikipedia, McCourt financed his 2004 purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers mostly with debt which he repaid in part by raising ticket and concession prices every year he owned the team. He paid himself and his now ex-wife enormous salaries out of the Dodgers’ enormous revenue streams, but largely avoided paying taxes by structuring these payments as “loans.”
During his tenure, McCourt effectively ran the team into the ground, so much so that the team filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011, despite being one of the top three or four teams in MLB in terms of revenue streams. MLB was able to force McCourt to sell the team, but McCourt then sold the team for $2 billion, more than 4.5 times what he had paid for the team only eight years before.
Frank McCourt is an insatiably greedy scumbag who married a woman after his own heart. When the marriage failed (surprise, surprise!), she went after his ill-gotten gains with the determination of a hungry lion after an old and sickly wildebeest. In my book, that’s karma.
As a San Francisco Giants fan, I normally wouldn’t shed a lot of tears over terrible things happening to the Dodgers. As a baseball fan, however, it bothered me to see a storied franchise being raped by an “entrepeneur” who wasn’t content to take the typically obscene profits major league owners make in the course of buying and selling top franchises, but had to milk the situation for still more.
I’d rather see the Dodgers fail the old fashioned way: poor baseball decisions like bad trades and overpaying already expensive free agents who don’t end up performing as the team hoped.
Meanwhile, in today’s baseball action, I see that Andy Pettitte won again and is now 3-0. If he is really and truly off Vitamin S for good, it’s great to see a soon-to-be 41 year old continuing to flummox major league hitters.
It will be interesting to see how Hall of Fame voters treat Pettitte however many years from now. On the one hand, his numbers are clearly Hall of Fame worthy: he’s almost certain to finish with more than 250 career wins, a terrific winning percentage and an excellent post-season record for numerous World Champions. On the other hand, he’s an admitted steroids/PEDs abuser.
However, he copped to his PED use a lot faster than most of his fellow cheats, told a pretty good story about why he did it (trying to recover quickly from an injury to help his team, blah, blah, blah), and even fingered another reputed and more significant steroids cheat, all-time great Roger Clemens. That might buy Pettitte some sympathy from Hall of Fame voters — Americans, as a group, love to see the mighty cut down to size, but we’re awfully forgiving when said mighties abjectly admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness — it has a lot to do with our Puritan (read broadly) heritage.
Meanwhile, Roy Halladay and the Phillies beat the Cardinals today 8-2 in a game called on account of rain after six and half innings. I wonder if umpires are more likely to shorten games on account of rain when the game is a blow out?
My guess is yes, umpires do. They are human, and I can’t imagine that they don’t take into account the score and the inning when deciding if it’s rained long enough to call the game. If the game was 3-2 after six and a half, I suspect the umpires would have waited longer to try to get more of the game into the record books.
Has anyone done any research on this question? If not, it would make an interesting research topic for the SABRly minded.
Meanwhile, I have no idea whether the Pirates will contend this year, but at least they’re trying. Right now, the Bucs’ decisions to take on A. J. Burnett’s (albeit at a steep discount) and Wandy Rodriguez’s salaries last year looks brilliant. Today Rodriguez completely shut down the Braves, the hottest team in baseball; and Burnett has a 2.63 ERA and leads the NL in strikeouts.