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Pawned
2004-01-12 08:49
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I can't believe what I'm reading.

With major league owners scheduled to vote this month on whether to approve the bid of would-be Dodger buyer Frank McCourt, a source said Sunday that McCourt asked Commissioner Bud Selig whether some owners might vote against him if he spent freely to acquire Guerrero yet presented a financing package heavily dependent on loans. Selig offered no assurances, the source said, and McCourt sent word to General Manager Dan Evans to cease talks with Guerrero.
- Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

Is this for real?

The Dodgers are saving Brown's salary in 2004 and 2005. When the Brown savings stop at the end of 2005, that's when the Dodgers knock $30 million in Shawn Green and Darren Dreifort off the books.

And yet we're supposed to believe or accept that, amid a market correction for player salaries, Vladimir Guerrero's is the one that would drive McCourt out of business?

Did anyone actually think this through? It makes no sense.

If McCourt can't afford to sign Guerrero with the Dodger payroll already on the Atkins diet, he can't afford to buy the Dodgers. Period.

This should unequivocally mark the end of McCourt's ownership bid.

If baseball's owners approve McCourt's purchase of the team, it can only be because they want the Dodgers to be less competitive. They want a weaker team in the nation's second-largest market.

Just out of curiosity, if the Dodgers had not completed the Kevin Brown trade, would that have kept McCourt's bid from being approved? Because with Brown's salary on the books, how on earth would poor Mr. McCourt have afforded his lown payments?

Forget about comparisons to Angels owner Arte Moreno. Frank McCourt is not in the baseball business. He's not going to let a little thing like baseball get in the way of his owning a baseball team and the land it sits on.

Dodger fans are game for any challenge, but having phony challenges thrust upon them for no defensible reason is shameful.

News Corp. is unloading the Dodgers at the local pawn shop, and Bud Selig is all too happy to oblige. We're all being sold down the river.

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