BOB:  Dodgers Divorce and GM Meetings

McCourt Drama Continues

Jamie McCourt, the estranged wife of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, failed to get her job as the team’s chief executive back. Superior Court Commission Scott Gordon ruled that there was no state law that supported her bid to get reinstated as Dodgers CEO. The big issue though is whether she’s considered a de facto co-owner of the team just by being the wife of the owner in a community property state. There was a post-nuptial agreement stating that Frank McCourt was the sole owner of the team but this is expected to be contested in court.

The big issue, at least for us in the baseball realm, is what’s going to happen with the team. We have some prior precedent because the San Diego Padres went through this late last year but this appears to be a little nastier, at least publicly. In addition, the whole idea of Jamie McCourt having a front office job also throws a whole new wrench into things.

To throw further fuel on the fire, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said he’d be interested in buying the team. Cuban was involved in the Chicago Cubs sale and he’s also been named as a potential buyer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. For now though, the Dodgers aren’t for sale and it even looks like Jamie McCourt might be trying to put together a team to buy out her husband.

Yankees a Hit In World Series

Ratings for last year’s World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays provided the league an all-time low. This year, with the Yankees in the mix, ratings spiked 39 percent. For the six-game series, there was an average of 19.4 million viewers with 22.3 million tuning in for the final Game Six. Even better, the opening hour of Game Six drew 22.3 million viewers. FOX knew going into the series that they’d see an increase, but you figure this would be pleasing to television executives.

Which gets us to the Yankees. I’ve always contended that Yankees are good for baseball. They help drive road attendance and there’s something about being the team a lot of people hate that makes things a little bit more interesting. When it was Phillies-Rays, nobody tuned in to see a team lose like people do when the Yankees are on and it ultimately creates interest and that’s only a good thing.

Gwinnett Braves Sees Huge Parking Shorfall

Heading into the inaugural season for the Gwinnett Braves, parking revenues were expected to be right around $200,000. This amount was to be split between the Braves and the county on a net basis but now the county is digging a little deeper into the records because they received a little more than $20,000 for the year from the team.

One possible reason could be an allocation of startup expenses but it seems like the county is striking out left and right. Earlier in the year, they gave up the naming rights for the team after they were unable to get a sponsor by a September deadline. This means the Braves will now get the first chunk of naming rights revenue per the deal, assuming they can find a corporate sponsor to take on the naming rights.

General Manager Meetings Light

The general manager’s meetings kicked off on Monday in Chicago. Last year’s meetings were held in about as nice of a place as you could find in Dana Point, Calif. This year’s meetings are at the Hilton Hotel at O’Hare Airport in a sign that the front office personnel are going without. The ultimate goal of a lot of teams is to get their payrolls under control while still putting together a contender. By going without the lavish setting for the meetings, many think this just sets the stage for what should be a subdued free-agent signing season.

So far, not a whole lot has come out of the meetings. The general managers decided to not even vote on expanding instant replay but there was some talk about restructuring the Arizona Fall League.

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Comments

  1. Detroit Michael said...

    I’m guessing that the Dana Point, CA location was selected for last year’s meetings before the stock market starting dropping quickly in Oct. 2008.

    Joe Geshel, you do know that player salaries shouldn’t influence how the clubs set ticket prices according to classical economics, right?  Ticket prices are determined by the supply and demand for professional baseball games, not the cost of labor.  I doubt we want to debate that here but don’t blame the players.  College football shows even if the players work for free, that doesn’t mean tickets will be free.

  2. peter said...

    Dodgers

    it is easy to see jamie is very negative person, this is not new, she now knows what her desired fame has cost her, “her family”- not the dodgers, once you cheat and then lie any faith you had is lost, it is very hard for a leopard to loose its spots,

    whats really bothering her is how she appears to
    others, the famous people of LA the Hollywood crowd and unfortunately her kids

    jamie is hanging around with people who are saying its ok you are doing nothing wrong, rite!

    to late, owning anything like the dodgers “FORGETABOUTIT”

    pete

  3. jwb said...

    To be fair, almost all D-I college football players are on full scholarships and are therefore being “paid” more than almost all minor league baseball players.

  4. Joe Geshel said...

    It’s a sign of the economic times that the GMs are scaling down their meetings.  Now, maybe the players can scale down their salaries and the teams can scale down their ticket prices.  I have 4 grandsons now and I want to take them out to the ball games.  But being on a fixed income I can hardly afford it.  And, according to some sources, I am above the poverty line.  Here’s hope for a change I can afford to believe in.

  5. Brian Borawski said...

    This is why I’ve taken a liking to Minor League Baseball.  I know it’s not quite as engaging because you don’t know a lot of the players, but they really cater to the family.  I’ve never gotten my five year old son to sit through a baseball game until I took him to a Single-A game.

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