Los Angeles Times blogger Steve Dilbeck does his best imitation of a mafia extortionist in a post today which warns companies about the repercussions of helping out Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
The first target of Dilbeck’s “I’m not threatening you, but you better look out” ire is J.P. Morgan Chase whose Highbridge Capital Management firm lent McCourt $150 million at 10% interest, plus a $4.5-million fee, in order to make payroll this month.
Must look like easy money to Chase, but I’d think twice before leading the banking conglomerate down that path. Chase could feel a bigger loss than $4.5 million if members start pulling funds and placing them in the local credit union.
Perhaps I’m underestimating the situation, but as much as the people of Los Angeles may hate Frank McCourt, I find it hard to envision widespread withdrawals of investments at a rate that would hurt J.P. Morgan.
Dilbeck then goes on to write about McCourt’s request for a “competitive sale process” for the television rights to the team’s games. Both Time Warner and FOX are reportedly interested in the rights, with FOX already offering a 17 year deal worth a reported $3 billion that was turned down by Major League Baseball.
If I were leading either one of those wealthy TV giants, I’d take a quick pass on that process. The people of Los Angeles are genuinely angry McCourt has dragged the Dodgers into the darkest moment in franchise history. They will exact a cost from anyone or thing that attempts to aid McCourt.
Is Dilbeck suggesting that no one will watch the Dodgers once whoever wins the broadcasting rights begins airing games? Wouldn’t that put a damper on his livelihood as well?
Any television company willing to bid for the rights to the Dodgers is well aware of the current situation, and they’re going to bid accordingly. That’s part of the reason why Bud Selig and Major League Baseball are going to try to stop a reduced rate sale to cover McCourt’s misspending.
Look, I get that it’s a frustrating time to be a Dodgers fan, but let’s not go imagining that fans wield more power than they actually do, and instead, do our best to keep the options that are best for baseball in the realm of reality. For instance, has Dilbeck thought of a mass lynching? Or maybe just a tomato stoning?