Are the Dodgers finally, mercifully about to be sold by embattled owner Frank McCourt, who owes his ex-wife $130 million and those who bleed Dodger-blue blood a lifetime's worth of penance?
As Bill Shaikin writes, maybe. As Bill Shaikin also writes, maybe not. It's like the Lords of Baseball meeting Siddhartha Gautama.
After a two-year battle to keep the Dodgers through a bruising divorce and a bankruptcy filing, owner Frank McCourt appears close to agreement with Major League Baseball on a bankruptcy settlement in which he would agree to sell the team.
McCourt would get some control over the sale, people familiar with the negotiations said Monday. The purchase probably would include Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots in a package that could command a record price of $1 billion or more.
The negotiations are fluid, and settlement talks could fall apart at any time, said the people, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the confidential discussions. McCourt has not reached any final decision to sell, another person cautioned.
I suppose I'm somewhat dense, but I can't quite figure what the story is here ... McCourt's about to sell the Dodgers ... unless he isn't ... because he hasn't decided if he wants to?
I kid Bill Shaikin because I love him. He's been the point man on this story from Day 1, and he's done a fantastic job. And the timing does seem right for a resolution. It probably wasn't going to happen during the season; too many moving parts. It probably wasn't going to happen during the postseason; too many important people with divided attentions, and of course Major League Baseball doesn't like big news breaking in October unless it's happening on the field.
It's exceptionally difficult to imagine Frank McCourt owning the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day, 2012. November. December. January. Ultimately we're not going to remember which month. There is one thing missing from Shaikin's long report, though ... Who is the lucky buyer? Or buyers?
We know McCourt is unlikely to own the Dodgers for much longer, but if we're trying to build a puzzle of the franchise's future, that gives us only half the pieces. Maybe we don't have to wait for a signed purchase agreement until we've got a real story. But maybe we do need to know which billionaire thinks Matt Kemp is the cat's pajamas.