I enjoy learning about history, if I am not watching a live sports event, I am likely to be watching a documentary or some other show about the past. History in fact does repeat itself, the names may change, the circumstances slightly different but what was wrong in 1600 is still wrong today.
I am not sure if I became a Dodger fan first or a baseball fan, it was pretty close and probably the reason I became a Dodger fan was based solely on the fact was that they were the local team. But I always loved baseball, in particular the history of it.
I would read everything I could get hold of, I loved straight baseball history books, biographies, and current magazines and newspaper stories. When I bought my first Baseball Encyclopedia, it was probably the most I ever spent on a book and I loved to look at those numbers and absorb them. Baseball cards continued this fascination as well as teaching me the proper names of my favorite players.
I write this prelude to explain my fascination with the drama that is Frank McCourt vs Bud Selig. I will start off by saying that I am ready to see Frank move on, if only to see what MLB does next and who they approve to be the owner. But prior to that, I would also love to see Frank press this battle on in every venue that he can get to because I want to see the answers to some questions:
1. What is the criteria for implementing the best interest in baseball clause and why was it used in this case?
2. Does MLB have the right to insist a certain percentage of revenues be put back into the business, if so why can't there be a team owned by non-profit entity with a named representative which could ensure that all monies are spent on the team?
3. Should MLB bar individuals from owning teams so if the team itself cannot be part of a property dispute?
In the end, I doubt any of my questions will be answered.
Why I said this was a history lesson was because, I think professional sports leagues know that even though they often have some sort of protection from being sued either by contract or by an anti-trust exemption, they also know that it is not wise to leave a neutral party in charge in making a decision that can determine your business.
MLB learned this when they lost the reserve clause, the NBA when Spencer Haywood basically changed how their draft worked and the NFL is going through those pains right now.
Bud may have an airtight case but it may not be enough to stop Frank from gathering evidence like other team's financial records or producing embarrassing testimony from baseball officials.
Remember Frank is getting paid ultimately regardless if he goes to Court or not, MLB and Bud have everything to lose and nothing to gain by letting it get there.
So while my focus will always be on the play on the field, off the field action will be interesting to me too.