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Shyster's Daily Circuit
Baseball. Blogging. Whenever.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
There have been a lot of people who have followed in Rob Neyer's footsteps over the years, but there still isn't anyone better at writing stuff that pisses off mainstream baseball writers:
Ryan Howard is pretty good. I mean, he's no Shin-Soo Choo. But pretty good, for sure.
You probably think I'm just some snot-nosed blogger trying to make a name for myself.
You're right. After all, it's patently ridiculous to suggest that a Cleveland Indian who's unknown to all but the most rabid fantasy owners should even be mentioned in the same breath with a Philadelphia Phillie who has led the National League in RBIs in three of the last four seasons.
If you don't know where Rob goes with this next, well, you're just not familiar with his work.
It's not as bad as Sophie's Choice, but picking between Jason and lar in their blog network's awards voting is kinda sorta like picking between your kids. Your baseball-obsessed, sloughing off from work, probably-got-no-family-life-to-speak-of-because-they're-reading-old-Baseball Digests-or-trying-to-hide-their-man-love-for-Derek-Jeter kids.
Each are nominated for "Best Baseball Blog." Jason is also nominated for "Blog of the Year." Vote early and vote often.
Well, it was technically the Dodgers themselves who filed the latest brief, this one telling the divorce court -- quite reasonably, mind you -- that it has no business telling a private company whom it must and must not hire or fire, no matter who owns it. Best quote:
"Given the dysfunction which was caused by the Petitioner's prior employment, her inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee and the clear acrimonious relationship between her and Mr. Court (sic), if she were reinstated by order of this Court it would no doubt lead to this Court being called upon to oversee the day to day management of the Dodgers."
I love how Frank McCourt's lawyer misspells his name to make it look like it is a totally different party filing this thing. I also love how "The Dodgers" cite Jamie's "inappropriate relationship." If this really was the team advocating its own interests separate and apart from Frank's, don't you think they'd want to be more circumspect about citing the reasons for the employee's dismissal? What company cites this sort of thing in a public filing in a case in which they're not a party?
Of course the answer is that this isn't really the Dodgers acting in their own interests as a corporation or partnership or whatever type of entity it is. This is Frank trying to get his infidelity allegations out there as soon as he possibly can (his big brief contra Jamie's will likely take a few days to put together). That "the Dodgers" filing is signed by Frank McCourt's divorce lawyer pretty much says it all. Are there any minority owners involved in that team at all who can put an end to this silliness and get the team its own representation, or are Frank and Jamie the only people around? It's behavior like this -- and Jamie McCourt's using the team as her personal bank account as she admitted in her own filing -- that gets corporate veils pierced.
And before you say anything: yes, I realize I'm linking TMZ again. I blame Major League Baseball and FOX. If there weren't so many damn days off in October I'd have some actual baseball to write about.
Let's put the comments section to good use this afternoon: use this thread to post your World Series prediction. No need for heavy analysis. I want (a) your winner; and (b) a short statement with your reasons why. I won't hold you to Twitter length, but I'm definitely looking for Twitter spirit: short, pithy, decisive and, for bonus points, funny. I'll start: Yankees in six. Why? Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand/left-hand? The story of good and evil? H-A-T-E! It is with this left hand that the Yankees will strike the blow that will lay the city of brotherly love low.
Now you go (no, you don't have to be as obtuse as me). While you're thinking:
I ain't pass the bar but i know a little bit; enough that Jay-Z can't just book a show in Ohio and split. We'll see how smart you are when the lawsuit comes. I got 99 problems but your lame show with Alicia Keys ain't one.
Like Len said in the comments, when it comes to the McCourt divorce saga, you all get the Reader’s Digest version, NBC gets the Highlights for Children version. In this instance, this is less a maturity thing than an attention span thing. Oh, and the predictions comment thread was Len's idea too, so mad props to Len today.
Gary Matthews, Jr. doesn't want to be in Anaheim anymore. I love it when everyone can agree on things.
The inevitable mayoral wager story. If Columbus had a team playing for a championship, our mayor would be forced to wager our city's passive but polite mediocrity, because we don't have much else. OK, maybe some White Castles and kinda bad pizza.
Some more on the New York-Philly trash talk.
If the Rockies had won the NL and the NL had won the All-Star Game, we would be in a world of sh*t right now.
Recently-fired Dodger CEO Jamie McCourt filed for divorce from Dodger owner Frank McCourt yesterday. Or I should say alleged Dodger co-owner Jamie McCourt filed for divorce from alleged Dodger co-owner Frank McCourt, because ownership of the Dodgers is clearly the big deal here. If you're into this sort of thing you can read the papers here. If not, here are some of the highlights:
The McCourts are worth $1.2 billion, with $800 million of that worth being the value of the Dodgers. I'd expect that team valuation figure to vary wildly in the future depending on whether Jamie buys Frank out (she'll then claim it's $500 million); Frank buys Jamie out (she'll claim it's worth $1 billion) or they sell the team and split the money (They'd jointly ask $1.6 billion). Crazy? Heck, that same dynamic is going on with my divorcing neighbors across the street who think they're going to sell that house for what they're asking. Please, you have laminate counter tops, guys, and you didn't even spring for the bonus room. Why would anyone pay that much?
Jamie McCourt demands custody of Tommy Lasorda. Just kidding. She wants Casey Blake. He's ruggedly handsome, you know.
Unlike your old man, who had the good sense to throw your ass out on the street when you turned 18 so you could learn to make something of of yourself, the McCourts support their four adult children with generous financial support. In unrelated news, I think I'm gonna go marry a McCourt. I don't care which one. Well, not Jamie. Her lawyers are MEAN.
Lots of case cites and legal arguments. This is of limited interest to you non-lawyers. The lawyers, however, will be interested to know that they underline cases in California rather than italicize them. Personally, I do neither: I write cases in wing ding font. Have I mentioned that I lose a lot?
Jamie and Frank had an agreement that they wouldn't announce anything or do anything regarding their marriage until after the Dodgers were eliminated from the postseason. Frank violated that agreement, Jamie says, by firing her on October 21st, before the Dodgers were eliminated by the Phillies that night. I'm inclined to go easy on Frank for this, however. Sure, the game wasn't over yet, but Torre was starting Vicente Padilla, so it was reasonable to assume that things would end soon enough.
Frank's actions, Jamie alleges, were all designed to freeze her out of the Dodgers, which apparently forms the basis of almost all of their marital cash flow. At the same time, he closed or froze bank accounts which pay her bills and stuff. Classy move, Frank!
Some marital history. They met as teenagers. One of them majored in French. One of them went to law school. They moved to a city they didn't much care for. They had no money. The lawyer realized that the practice of law wasn't the right career choice. All of this describes my wife and I as well. Age us 20 years and give a billion bucks and this could totally be us.
The McCourts made their money in parking lots. I'm assuming their millions came from TOTALLY BOGUS KEY CARD DEPOSIT FEES THAT THEY NEVER RETURN EVEN WHEN YOU GIVE THE KEY CARD BACK. Not that I have any experience in that with Cap City parking in Columbus, Ohio, do I Walid? Jerk.
"Since I was a young girl, I dreamed of owning a Major League baseball team." David Glass says the same thing all the time. Verbatim.
When the McCourts bought the Dodgers, Frank made a public statement that said "Family ownership has returned to the Dodgers!" I'm just a dumb trial lawyer who is ignorant of the ways of divorce courts, but I have this feeling that video of that is going to be played to a jury at some point, perhaps several dozen times over the course of a two week trial.
Jamie led a push to have the environs of Dodger Stadium given its own zip code and the name "Dodgertown, California." That's so lame I'd expect to see that as an accusation in Frank's filings, not a supporting point in Jamie's.
Many paragraphs in which Jamie describes Frank as freezing her out of management of the team and trying to "rewrite history" as to whether the team was jointly owned or owned just by Frank. This is the real meat of this filing and the stuff that will make up the bulk of the nastiness going forward. It's a fool's game to make up your mind after reading one side's pleading, but I'm a fool, so I'll do it anyway: a lot of her allegations sound (a) plausible; and (b) not very good for Frank. Petty crap, if true, none of which will serve his alleged intended end of establishing himself as sole owner of the team.
Jamie wants her job back as Dodger CEO. But even if she can't get that, she wants all the "perquisites, emoluments and benefits" that come with the job and with co-ownership of the Dodgers. That's perks and fringe benefits to peasants like you and me. The list of perks is long and includes all of the sorts of things you might expect the owners of a billion dollar company to have: Private jet travel, five star hotels wherever she goes, use of the "Dodger credit card" and the like. The only one that has me scratching my head is "private security when traveling in dangerous locations." By that I can only assume she means road trips to Queens when the team plays the Mets.
Jamie made $2 million a year when she worked for the Dodgers. You can look at this one of two ways: as an awful damn lot of money to pay a person for coming up with stupid stuff like "Dodgertown, California" or as a total steal considering she made 1/6 the money Jason Schmidt did and actually, you know, did stuff.
The McCourts own a lot of real estate. Which I understand seeing how rich they are and everything. What I don't get is the redundancy: two Malibu beach house, two Massachusetts houses, a place in Vail and a place in Yellowstone. Where's Bill Simmons' VP of Common Sense here? Why not sell Malibu #2, Massachusetts #2 and one of the western outdoorsy places and supplement with places in New York, Hawaii and Portofino? Man, rich people should just hire me. I could make their lives a whole lot better.
Description of lifestyle: more on the private air travel (private jets at $12K an hour) fine hotels (always over $1000 a night) and nice dinners out ($400+ a pop). Good for them. What kills me though is that the next time there's a labor impasse, Joe Fan is going to side with the owners and complain that the players are the greedy ones who make too much money to play a kid's game.
She wants $320,967 in monthly spousal support if she gets her job back with the Dodgers. If she does not get her job back with the Dodgers, she wants $487,634 a month. That seems like a lot, but when you consider that the guy was paying Andruw Jones more than three times that recently, it kind of puts things in perspective.
It goes on and on and on like that, complete with exhibits and stuff which bloat it to 137 pages. At the risk of going on that long myself, I'll stop now. But before I do, let me say one thing: don't ever, ever, ever get married, no matter what you do.