When I went home for my mother's birthday last week, I offered to take her to a Dodger game. Mom likes going to games, and we usually hit two or three a year. But this time, she said no thanks. Turns out, Mom is not alone. Season ticket sales are way down, and the Angels could outdraw the Dodgers for the first time ever.
Mom's reason had nothing to do with the way the team was playing or recent security issues (A Giants fan was beaten nearly to death on Opening Day). She said it simply. "I don't want the McCourts to have any of our money."
If you haven't been following the saga, Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt are involved in a messy, bitter, and expensive divorce. But even before they split up, they were using Dodgers dollars to fund their lavish lifestyle--several homes, private jets, and vacations. Jamie was even spending five figures to get her hair done!
This week the news broke that Frank McCourt had to borrow money just so the team could make payroll. That hasn't set well with the Commissioner's office, so now Bud Selig has put his foot down, and announced that Major League Baseball is taking over control of the team.
I am not a big Selig fan, but certainly this is a move that had to be made. You know the Dodgers are in trouble when Bud Selig is seen as a hero. Today it was announced that former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer will step in, find an office, and run the day-to-day operations. I don't exactly know what this means, but you have to figure it will make it more difficult for McCourt to grab ten thousand dollars out of the till so he can see a barber.
McCourt, of course, is not exactly fond of Selig's decision to step in, and could perhaps fight it on legal grounds, but he's also suing his own lawyers, so it might be hard to find someone to represent him. Jamie, just to make things more fun, still claims 50 percent ownership of the Dodgers and is cheering Selig's move.
It seems that Selig and Major League Baseball's ultimate desire here is to get rid of the McCourts altogether. That will likely be the end result, but it could take awhile. Meanwhile, on the field, the Dodgers at the moment have a winning record (12-10), their two biggest hitting stars, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, are doing well, and they have pretty good starting pitching. Maybe Dodger fans should go to a game to make sure these guys get paid, but maybe instead of selling tickets, the new overseer should just pass a hat, to make sure the money goes where it belongs.