October 15th, 2009
Some not-so-surprising news was released last night – the McCourts are getting a divorce. Unfortunately, the McCourt divorce was not a separation from the team; it is a separation from each other.
This is otherwise a personal matter to be kept in-house, but as fans & purveyors of fine baseball organizations, we have a vested interest. Aside from the obvious lack of Jeannie appearances at games/functions/media this year, it was clear that McCourt was distracted and less ‘involved’ in the day-to-day; quite possibly a strong reason as to why Colletti was able to do his job this year, and perhaps indirectly leading to the strong clubhouse chemistry.
What this means this year is Moot – the team ‘is what it is’ and the Dodgers are tantalizingly close to some 1988-esque magic, complete with the Underdog role against an overpowering NLCS opponent. The question here is the future. It’s no secret that the McCourts did not have the money necessary to be ‘Big Time’ owners, cutting payroll in the League’s 2nd largest market, almost from Day One. The early word on the divorce is that it is very acrimonious, which means the proverbial airing of dirty laundry that may or may not involve Dodger details, but will most certainly involve invective and accusations about everything from internal finances to salacious, personal details.
Most alarming is the precedent set down the I-5 in San Diego with the Moores’s divorce; the prerequisite financial legal battles led to a dangerous slashing of payroll; could that loom in the Dodgers future? Will Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Kershaw, Broxton not be signed to the early-yet-lucrative contracts that will tie their futures to the organization for years to come, or will the freeze on finances cause a lame-duck final year followed by a talent exodus?
The answers are unclear, and will not be settled until long after the champagne bubbles pop in the bowels of Chavez Ravine. I don’t like the idea of this distraction during such a big Series, but fortunately it involves ownership and