In the umpteenth chapter of a story nobody wants to read, it appears Frank McCourt may have found a way to make payroll this Thursday. The Dodgers owner has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will allow him to keep control of the team, at least through the bankruptcy proceedings. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has the relevant details.
Still, questions remain. McCourt got his $150 million in interim financing from "a unit of JP Morgan Chase," per Shaikin, who notes that JP Morgan Chase also works with MLB on club sales. Another question is what will MLB do next? Per Shaikin:
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.
The list of unsecured creditors is long, and includes mostly players, even pre-McCourt acquisitions Marquis Grissom ($2,719,146) and Kazushisa Ishii ($3,300,000). Chad Billingsley's last name is spelled "Billingsly" in the court document; I hope he gets his money, anyway.
In a statement, McCourt said, "I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer." Yes, Frank, because it was all Bud Selig's fault. For someone fighting desperately to retain ownership of the team, Frank McCourt does not seem to take any ownership of his own actions.