Hollywood Divorce: What McCourt Saga Could Mean for Dodgers


Frank and Jamie McCourt have called it quits, releasing a statement to the Associated Press and Yahoo! Sports on the eve of the NLCS.  It was a stunning announcement, though the signs were there: there was little news regarding Jamie McCourt’s involvement in the team (she is the team CEO), the two had not been seen together for months, and it was a relationship filled with turmoil to begin with (he’s of Irish Catholic decent, and she’s of Ashkenazic Jewish, not something her parents were happy about).  However, when Frank purchased the struggling Dodgers from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., things took a very positive turn.

The McCourts have been dedicated to maintaining and refurbishing Dodger Stadium.  They have been committed to the farm system as opposed to filling gaps through free-agency.  The team has reached a plateau not seen since 1988.  However, the ownership will always be mired in controversy.  Andruw Jones.  Jason Schmidt.  A five-year deal for Juan Pierre.  Ned Colletti is one of the most embattled general managers in the league, and it’s pretty darn difficult to say that about the GM who has taken his team to the playoffs three out of the four years of his tenure.  People will always remember the moves gone wrong, and the moves never made.  But despite all that, Colletti has been one of baseball’s best honchos, and Colletti has been one of baseball’s best owners.  As Vince Lombardi said, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.  And the only thing consistent about McCourt’s ownership has been winning.  That’s enough to satisfy me.

Divorce is ugly.  You don’t have to tell me twice.  But it becomes ten times the hell it is when it involves baseball owners.  Everything falls into the equation.  Player contracts, managerial staffs, concession stands, everything.  The San Diego Padres’ former owner Jeff Moorad knows all too well how a breakup hurts a team.  His divorce cost the longest tenured GM in the NL – Kevin Towers – his job, it forced the Padres to part with Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, and the subsequent cost-cutting measures slaughtered revenues.  Attendance hit record lows, no player was safe from trade, and profits dropped like a stone.  And according to FOX Sports, this divorce will be just as ugly.  With a young stable of Dodgers reaching arbitration, and eventually free-agency, there’s no telling what the effect could be on the team’s ability to sign contracts.  It’s going to be a confusing time for the Dodgers, and there’s no sign of the trouble that can be stirred.  For now, let’s just root for the Boys in Blue to reached the World Series, and worry about this mess when it becomes pertinent.