Off Base
Does McCourt have something up his sleeve?

May 26, 2011, 11:45 a.m. Quick, what’s the opposite of the apocalypse? I don’t know, but if Frank McCourt actually does lose the Dodgers, we’re going to see a Los Angeles version of the antonym appear right before our eyes.

And what a sight it’ll be. We’re going to experience people openly weeping tears of joy in the streets, cartwheels and high fives across state lines, and an almost unimaginable feeling of relief. And no, not that’s not a reference to a better ninth inning to come.

But not so fast, party planners. The Los Angeles Times’ (and Earth’s) go-to guy on all things McCourt, Bill Shaikin, has a piece online now with a rather scary headline, Frank McCourt tells MLB he expects to meet Dodgers’ payroll next week.

Call me Mr. Skeptic. First of all, if you believe Shaikin’s three sources, and I’m not suggesting otherwise necessarily, should you take McCourt at his word as well? And I am suggesting otherwise.

More importantly, note that Frank reportedly said he “expects” to meet payroll. Well, does he expect to fulfill his May 31 obligations to employees or is he actually going to? Does he know how much money he’ll have available in five days or not? Just how complicated a concept are we talking about here?

Despite the Times’ report, I’m holding out hope that McCourt does indeed miss payroll, with the thought that, if the various sources could be wrong about the Dodgers’ owner not having the funds a week ago and two weeks ago, etc., then they could just as easily be wrong now. And if they are, and Frank defaults, Bud Selig will see to MLB’s takeover with dispatch. I promise you.

And a warning about sources. Sources have agendas, OK, they just do. There’s something in it for them. They talk for a reason. So a grain of salt might be a wise thing. Unless, of course, you’re blood’s been boiling to unhealthy levels these past seven years and you’re under doctor’s orders. If so, use salt substitute.

I have sources too, OK, and one of them, a former Dodgers’ employee, tells me, if Frank has the dough for payroll, it’s news to the people on the inside.

But whatever, we’ve waited this long, we can stand another two weeks of Frank McCourt if need be. June 15 works just fine.


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