For those not following the ongoing saga of Frank McCourt’s ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers: First of all, good call. Secondly, for the last pay cycle, the roundly mocked owner (for now) of the Dodgers was forced to draw advances from the team’s corporate sponsors in order to meet payroll obligations.
I like to picture McCourt inviting representatives from Chevrolet, Anheuser-Busch and Coca Cola over to dinner like in that old Leon’s commercial, getting them to sit on a specially designed sofa and then collecting the spare change that spilled out of their pockets after they’ve left.
Adding a further burden to the team’s expenses is an additional $8.33 million which a source claims, must be paid to Manny Ramirez by June 30th, with two similar payments due in 2012 and 2013. The Dodgers are also on the hook with deferred payments for former players Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones.
Manny signed a two year deal with Los Angeles in March of 2009 for $45 million, with more than half of the figure deferred. In early May of that same year, he was punished with a 50 game suspension for testing positive for banned substances. The next season, he was traded halfway through the year to the White Sox. And of course, this year, after agreeing to a one year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, he again tested positive for a banned substance and then quit baseball altogether.