However Frank and Jamie McCourt end their marriage, one of their family possessions is certain to be sold and that's the Los Angeles Dodgers. If it was a financial mistake for them to buy it, selling the team is going to be even worse. Think of them as real estate and this is a down market. But also think of the Draconian property division laws in California and realize what jeopardy the Dodgers are in. The fight in court is about who owns what and, if they can agree on that-currently 7-5 against-then how much is enough to satisfy both sides of the warring parties. If the two sides cannot come up with some sort of number they may be "assisted" by the courts who A. would like to get this matter out of court and B. will be pressed to do so by the team itself. And then the hysteria begins.
Everybody has the fantasy of owning a major sporting team no matter the sport. The problem is drawing wanting to buy closer to finishing the deal is a difficult process. As of now, you cannot find a clear cut bidder for the team who will make some sort of offer on paper. This would help everyone save probably the McCourts who are likely to see any offer as "too little". None-the-less, estimating the value of the Dodgers isn't an easily done thing. For tax purposes yes, for sale purposes no. In a sale you effectively have two competing sides, the seller and the buyer. Both agree on one basic thing and that's to transfer something from one to the other. In this case there is only one side, the sellers, and they're bifurcated to the point that no one can agree on a price. And, anyway, having a price isn't relevant as there's no one who, as of now, is a buyer. But for the divorce to be finalized some solution to the "Dodger Problem" must be found and that solution has nothing to do with better fielding or a new manager although when it comes to the "bull" pen, there may be some parallels.
In strange ways baseball teams are regarded by fans as a sort of a one off public utility. That's why on rare occasion when one has moved it's rather as if the gas company tore out their pipes and moved on. Brooklyn still mourns the loss of "their" team and though it's been fifty plus years, many of us who remember those days, still find it odd to see the boys from across the East River as now being the boys from Boyle Heights. This complicates the issue even further as whatever is done by whomever, they are going to have to be careful to not enrage their fan base. Let us propose that a big noise from wherever shows up, says, yeup, I'll take 'em and here's five billion dollars. Oh. And they're moving to My Home Town. This is the ultimate in binds, the McCourts have been aces as if they say that's not enough, they'll be horse laughed out of court but if the deal gets sanctioned by the court, and it probably would, then the Dodgers could potentially be on the move.
What the court might sanction, MLB probably would not. (Can you see this headed to court? I can.) Mr. or Ms. Big Noise have a bill of sale and their attitude, completely understandable, is that it's their property, they paid for it. Just like a car on the show room floor, the dealer doesn't have the right to keep the vehicle just because it's already in their building. Given this snag, we're back to Divorce Court. If the seller cannot take possession of his or her property then ring up No Sale and we're back to the original problem. At this juncture it would be lovely if the McCourts had a Perry Mason moment and realized they really, truly loved each other and got back together. Admittedly their legal bills would be whopping but they are worth more together than apart. Of course that won't happen so what happens to the Dodgers next?
I don't even know save that somehow, sometime and for some amount of money they're going to be sold. But to who and for what and the hanging garden of problems that surround this whole mess cannot be known. It's a good thing we're closer the end of the season than the beginning. Maybe by Spring training this will all be worked out. But I doubt it.