Dodgers divorce update
This story by Bill Shaikin is both informative and odd in its evasiveness. Shaikin talks about how Fox has advanced money to Frank McCourt to help cover some expenses for the Dodgers, but what’s not specified is how much money was sent over and whether this means the Dodgers are in trouble. Talk then turns to Andy Dolich, a sports industry consultant who throws even more speculation out there by saying that operating expenses are usually low this time of the season and the timing of the advance is certainly odd.
Also buried in the story is an indication that help might be on the way. Fox, which is also owned by Frank McCourt, might be involved in the creation of a regional sports network for the the Dodgers and the money that comes from the network could be enough to settle with his estranged wife, Jamie McCourt. T.J. Simers takes the regional sports network idea a step further in his criticism and how most of the start up money will probably come from Fox. With McCourt, it’s hard to tell where Fox begins and the Dodgers end and it’ll be interesting to see for how long he’s allowed to shuffle money back and forth between the two entities.
Barry Bonds back in the news
This seems like it’s been dragging on forever because it has. In two months, Barry Bonds is going to go on trial for perjury and, leading up to the trial, his lawyers have been doing their best to exclude as much of the evidence that the government has on him. If successful, it’s looking more and more likely that Bonds is going to come out of this free of the charges and that’s assuming the government even moves forward with the case at that point.
It’s hard to believe this all went down way back in 2008. I’ll have to go back to some of my old reports to even see what I was saying because it’s been so long ago. At this point, we should know by early February whether more evidence will be excluded from the case.
Owners meeting takes place in a backdrop of labor peace
Say what you want about the troubles in baseball. Whether it’s competitive balance or the huge deals being thrown around, baseball is doing something right because, as we enter the last year of a five-year collective bargaining agreement, it appears that all sides—while they’ll never be in complete unison—don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Even this last owners meeting was rather non-eventful. The special committee to deal with on-field changes like instant replay and it was determined that at least for 2011, there wouldn’t be an expansion of either instant replay or the playoffs.
Minor League mix
Minor League Baseball hired two new people last week. Jessica Watts came on board as the league’s Business Services Coordinator. She worked for the Durham Bulls last year and her job will be to coordinate the over 90 online team merchandise storefronts and the 40 online auction sites in existence in MiLB. Mark Labban takes over as the league’s Business Development Assistant. After working for the Lake Elsinore Storm last year, he’ll be in charge of planning things like the league’s Promotion Seminar and the Baseball Winter Meetings.