FanPost

Divorce and Baseball

I can understand why there is a concern about the McCourts' dissolution (which is the legal term) litigation and its effect on the Dodgers.

But to some extent, I believe the concern is not justified because in the world of business, litigation happens everyday and businesses for the most part continue to run separate and apart from it.

How is that possible, you ask, well the simple reason is, that's why you hire lawyers.  And since this litigation, for the most part, is not going to involve the Dodgers (at least this isn't something that is going to take up the baseball operations side), it really only takes up the owner and perhaps a few business execs and general counsel time and energy.

The distasteful stuff and the part that gets the headlines is of course, all the details that both sides have put in their court filings.  It is not as if anyone should be surprised by this, in some cases it is to be expected, but those are details that we would rather not know and it makes it easier to criticize some of the baseball moves that appear to be financially motivated.  But anyone who follows big business, it is not unusual for top execs to make large salaries and bonuses even while others salaries stagnate or are laid off.

As someone who spent years in another professional life, being involved in multi-million dollar business litigation (which at its core, that is what the McCourts' dissolution action really is), the parties involved still transacted their business while also spending time dealing with these disputes.  But really, since the action was started in October, has anything happened in that case, really affected what is going with the team?

Some might point at the lack of arbitration offers to Wolf and Hudson but you could argue (and perhaps lose but still argue) that it was both a financial and baseball decision not to risk paying a salary to someone (Wolf) that you did not want to pay.  As far as Hudson goes, sure he could have been insulted by how he was treated at the end but there was no way (as the market proved) that he was getting a multi-year deal nor getting a contract that paid him as much as last year, so with all that in mind, would he have still refused arbitration.

But outside of that, what else do you think has been affected.

Certainly having to read about the ongoing litigation when you would rather talk about the team itself is no fun and it has become quite tiresome to hear others from far away say that this team needs to have someone like Bud Selig come in and somehow act has final arbiter to move this off the sports pages.

But that is not how litigation works, it has its own schedule and at some point, the judge will determine the validity of the key agreement and then that case will move on its path to resolution.

I conclude with this thought, for many people who follow the team and for the sports media that cover it, I don't think they have been around many courtrooms nor complex business litigation that much.  Which is a good thing.  But that is why they react so strongly at every court filing by either party.  As someone who has seen far too many of these cases, you learn not to believe too much because what each side is doing, is putting on their best case forward.  Some of things may never actually be considered for because of evidentary problems or just will not be relevant (say like an anonymous letter accusing one party of past infidelity, lots of evidentiary problems with that document).

So, if you are going to worry about something, worry about the team's health, a 5th starter, how many Ortizs are going to be wearing Dodger Blue this year.  The court case will be moving along at its own pace and will get to a resolution at some point.  Will that resolution impact the Dodgers, I don't know that, but then neither does anyone else.


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