Monday, June 27, 2011

Kick 'Em When They're Down - It's Easier

A noted financial expert weighs in on today's bankruptcy filing by the Los Angeles Dodgers:
LOS ANGELES -- Note to Bud Selig: Next time somebody tries to buy one of your crown jewel franchises, make them show you the money.

I wish Selig had talked to me when Frank McCourt was trying to buy the Dodgers seven years ago.

Folks in Boston knew McCourt would be a disaster for Major League Baseball. He was a smooth-talking, nicely-dressed, well-mannered guy with parking lots and delusions of grandeur. He fancied himself as a serious bidder for the Red Sox in 2001 when the Yawkey Trust put the team up for sale, but nobody in Boston took McCourt seriously because he didn't have enough of his own money.

The "sale" of the Red Sox turned out to be a bag-job of the highest order. Cable czar Charles Dolan submitted the highest bid, while Boston businessman Joe O'Donnell was viewed as the local favorite to get the team.

Tire-kicker McCourt was never in the running. In December 2001, Selig announced that John Henry's bid was the winner. Selig was beholden to Henry (former owner of the Marlins) and put him together with Tom Werner (former owner of the Padres) and Larry Lucchino (former Orioles and Padres boss).
Peter Gammons casted some doubt on McCourt's bid for the Red Sox back in 2001; I've been unable to find anything similar from Shank. One thing I've always thought about Shank - he always seems to draw the long knives after the bad event occurs, rarely beforehand, hence the title of this post.
I was stunned when McCourt and his wife, Jamie, got the Dodgers in 2004 -- by a unanimous vote -- virtually without any of their own cash.
I read Shank and the Boston Globe for these unique insights...
But the lesson of the McCourt disaster is that cash rules.
Deep thoughts indeed. Buy low, sell high! I was betting on his next column being of the let's bash a college basketball coach with a huge new contract variety, but the week is still young.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My memory convinced me that the Shank/McDonough axis of crotchetiness wanted McCourt but google reminds me that it was O'Donnell/Carp:

Hard to think Dolan could have been much better for the Sox than McCourt has been for the Dodgers, but is there any question that any other possible owners could have matched the Henry team's performance???