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Frank McCourt Agrees to Sell the Dodgers

In a town where people go to reinvent themselves, Frank McCourt played the role of sports owner. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

In a city where everyone is seemingly from somewhere else Frank McCourt was always viewed as an outsider in Los Angeles.  His dream was to own a Major League Baseball team, and when his bid to buy his beloved Red Sox fell through in 2002 he headed west.

Anyone who has lived in Los Angeles or at least seen an episode of ‘Entourage’ knows that in L.A. you can be anyone you want to be.  For seven and a half years Frank McCourt played the role of sports owner.

For a while he played it well.  Under McCourt’s ownership the Dodgers won four NL West titles, and won their first playoff series since the 1988 World Series.

He created some major buzz with the hiring of Joe Torre and the 2008 trade deadline deal for Manny Ramirez.

There was just one problem.  In the land of make believe he was a make believe owner.  By almost all societal standards McCourt was a wealthy man.  He just did not have the financial capital to be a professional sports owner.

McCourt essentially bought the Dodgers on credit in 2004, and used the team as his personal checking account.  The beginning of the end was his highly publicized 2009 divorce with his wife Jamie.  Jamie also happened to be the Dodgers ‘CEO’ and believed she had as much right to own the team as Frank did.

The McCourt divorce is considered to be among the costliest divorces in California history.  The Divorce took a toll on Frank McCourt’s finances.

By April 2011 Major League Baseball was so concerned with the McCourt situation that they decided to intervene.  Major League Baseball rejected Frank McCourt’s 17 year loan proposal from the Fox television network.  Bud Selig did not want one of baseball’s cornerstone franchises to be indebted to one of MLB’s broadcast partners.

Selig had enough.  On April 20th, 2011 Bud Selig officially announced that Major League Baseball was taking control of the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers.  Things devolved so much that by June the Dodgers had to take a loan from Major League Baseball just to meet payroll.

Despite the McCourt mess the Dodgers had a good enough second half of the season to give fans hope.  Clayton Kershaw emerged as the clear cut Cy Young winner, while Matt Kemp made a strong bid at the first triple crown since 1967.

Last Night McCourt had to suck up his pride and finally agreed to sell the Dodgers to worthy owners.

For most Dodger fans this is the best move Frank McCourt made in his seven and a half years in L.A.

 

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