Major League Baseball is taking control of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a once-solid team that is paralyzed by the extremely messy divorce of its owners. As ESPN.com points out, the Dodgers "have been consumed by infighting since Jamie McCourt filed for divorce after 30 years of marriage in October 2009, one week after her husband fired her as the team's chief executive." Husband Frank McCourt accused her of a sexual liaison with her bodyguard-driver, as well as doing a poor job as the team's chief executive. As the divorce proceedings got uglier and uglier, the Dodgers made headlines around the world that they had never made as a team, although it is one of baseball's storied franchises. Fortunately for San Diego, one-time Padres majority owner John Moores's divorce may have been messy, but was kept relatively quiet, and the ownership quasi-transfer (Moores still plays a role in the team) was less disorderly.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told Frank McCourt today (April 20) that he will appoint a trustee to oversee all aspects of the business. Frank McCourt, meanwhile is preparing to sue the league. (That guy must love a court fight, despite his bloody nose, bruises and contusions from his current spousal donnybrook.) According to sources close to the situation, Selig may force a sale of the team. ESPN says that baseball officials can't recall a similar instance. When the owner of the Texas Rangers got into deep financial trouble last year, the commissioner appointed an executive to monitor the team, but left the owner in charge until he sold it. The team went on to win the American League pennant. When George Steinbrenner was suspended from the Yankees in 1990 and Marge Schott was forced to sell her controlling interest in the Cincinnati Reds in 1999, the commissioner's office permitted the owners to choose their successors.