What to make of the decision by the commissioner of Major League Baseball to take away control of the Los Angeles Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt?
After all, the Dodgers franchise isn’t exactly chopped liver — as they might have said in Brooklyn, the team’s original home.
Far from it. The Dodgers are one of baseball’s storied franchises, a brand name, with a lovable, frustrating, triumphant, star-studded, historic background — the latter due to it being the team that integrated the sport and later led its westward expansion.
Indeed, the move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles created a revenue stream unlike anything the sport had ever seen (that is, until the Steinbrenner Yankees ratcheted up the dollar signs to the stratosphere).
So what does it say about Major League Baseball as an institution that the Dodgers appear to be in such financial and operational disarray that the commissioner had to step in?
Only, it seems, that Commissioner Bud Selig and Co. made a big mistake approving the sale of the team to McCourt in 2004.
There were yellow warning flags in some corners right from the get-go. And when McCourt entered into nasty — and still unresolved — divorce proceedings with his wife, Jamie, the team’s financial plight eventually became so perilous that it recently had to borrow $30 million from Fox Sports (which televises its games) to meet payroll.
A mess by any measurement.
The Kingston N.Y. Daily Freeman (April 25)