(above : Frank McCourt, explaining to an impatient creditor that his money is in a shoebox located just beyond the right field wall at Chavez Ravine)
The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin reports the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this morning, with Frank McCourt continuing to insist his hand was forced by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig refusing to approve a pending TV deal with Fox. Left unmention by McCourt in Shaikin’s coverage below, is that precious little of the Fox money was actually earmarked for maintaining the baseball club.
McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing, according to a statement issued on his behalf. If the bankruptcy court approves that financing on Tuesday, McCourt would meet Thursday’s payroll deadline and could remain in control of the club throughout the bankruptcy proceedings, with the intention of negotiating a television rights deal that would satisfy the court by paying off all creditors in full.
Under the Major League Baseball constitution, the act of filing for bankruptcy enables the commissioner to strip McCourt of ownership. However, bankruptcy court proceedings generally override MLB rules.
Manny Ramirez is the Dodgers’ largest creditor, according to the bankruptcy filing. The Dodgers owe Ramirez $21 million, followed by Andruw Jones ($11 million), Hiroki Kuroda ($4.5 million), Rafael Furcal ($3.7 million) and the Chicago White Sox ($3.5 million, for Juan Pierre).
The list of creditors includes much of the current Dodgers roster, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully ($152,778), the city of Los Angeles ($240,563 in tax debt) and two players yet to play for the Dodgers (prospects Zach Lee at $3.4 million and Alexander Santana at $499,500).