In a federal bankruptcy court sitting in Wilmington, Del. today, Judge Kevin Gross denied Frank McCourt's motion that would have allowed a hedge fund to finance the Dodgers during the club's bankruptcy proceedings. Concluding that a $5.25 million fee owed by Frank personally to the hedge fund if the financing was not approved compromised McCourt's independence and disinterest in the deal, Judge Gross ordered baseball to finance the team instead. My reactions to the ruling are at ESPN Los Angeles. The takeaway:
While Gross did not approve the deal McCourt proposed, he ordered one that will cost the Dodgers less money without appearing to enable a seizure of the club. The Order specifically forbids the financing from including "default triggers for violations of Baseball's rules and regulations."
MLB, of course, won the day on paper. McCourt won the day on paper. McCourt's motion was denied, and baseball will finance the team going forward. Commissioner Selig's office also struck a public relations blow; fans weary of the bicoastal McCourt litigation may look at MLB financing as a sign the McCourt era in Los Angeles is closer to coming to an end.
Whether that proves true depends almost entirely on the disposition of the club's television rights.There's more analysis of what went into today's decision and further discussion of the TV rights in the article, so I hope you'll check it out.
As for me, I'll be going pretty dark from now until late next week in final preparations for and then taking the bar exam. Thanks for your kind wishes. I may pop into Twitter now and then, but unless something enormous happens, this is likely goodbye for a week.