Monday, December 7, 2009

McBroke...get it? Like McCourt, but with a twist.

T.J. Simers, ever quick with the nickname, tells us that Frank owes us an explanation. Speculating on the Dodgers' offseason plans, Simers writes,
Joe Torre and Ned Colletti can say they're not expecting the divorce to affect their efforts their efforts to improve the Dodgers, but they don't know.
A Dodgers spokesman, who usually knows nothing, said McCourt's private bank account is different from the one used to run the Dodgers.
Maybe that's where he's stashing the money you'd expect to find in his personal checking account, the little kids at Mattel [Children's Hospital] being swindled then if they go ahead and become one of McBroke's Little Buddies.
Or maybe Frank dips into the Dodgers' funds to pay off the old lady every month, and what's one less starting pitcher? We just don't know.
Simers goes on to tell us that Frank really ought to be more public about how the divorce is affecting team finances. The answer, for now, is easy: any adjustments made to Dodgers spending based on the divorce would be preventative in nature. The only cash sent Jamie's way thus far, to my knowledge, is a half-million bucks (presumably from the Dodgers) to cover Jamie's salary for the remainder of 2009.

Anything else is pure speculation.

Personally, I think it's irresponsible at this point to take preemptive pot shots at Frank which suggest that he's going to use the Dodgers to finance the divorce. Or at least any more than any divorcee uses his or her career to make money to pay the bills.

To the best of my understanding, Frank's on something of a fixed income. One of the conditions of the private placement financing, it appears, is that Frank is only allowed to take a certain amount of money out of the team. I've heard conflicting reports on exactly what that figure is, but it's probably not enough to even meet the high end of Jamie's demands, let alone cover Frank's expenses.

Of course, it's pretty evident at this stage of the game that the McCourts used their positions with the club to their significant financial advantage beyond their nominal salaries or distributions. Which makes Jamie's demands very interesting. She's seeking nearly half-a-million bucks each month in addition to a yet-undetermined amount to compensate her for all her lost benefits, emoluments, and perquisites.

How she pursues her claims here will be most enlightening as to the true financial states of both Frank McCourt and the Dodgers in general. If it's conclusively shown that the McCourts essentially hid income by having the Dodgers fund their extravagant lifestyle, we'd have quite the can of worms on our hands. The IRS wouldn't be too keen on that, and neither might the club's financiers.

While the Dodgers are kicking the tires on the Noah Lowrys and Nick Greens of the world this week, my eyes are already firmly fixed on next Tuesday.

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