frank1.jpgThe 2011 baseball season has seen its highs and lows for the Atlanta Braves. Although some fans have been upset by the team's inconsistent performance, they can take solace in the fact that the Braves are not facing the same troubles that the Dodgers are facing. Major League Baseball has already assigned a watchdog to the Dodgers to keep an eye on the team's day-to-day financial condition. In the latest chapter in the property division contest over the Dodgers, the former wife of Dodger's owner Frank McCourt wants the baseball franchise to be sold to keep the team from being taken over by the league.

Jamie McCourt, Frank McCourt's former wife, has filed a claim in Judge Scott Gordon's courtroom to force the sale of the Dodgers. The judge in the case is familiar to the McCourts. Last December, while presiding over the couple's divorce proceedings, Judge Gordon threw out a post-nuptial contract the McCourts had signed in 2004 that would have given Frank McCourt full control of the team.

The ex-Mrs. McCourt said the team has been mismanaged since she was fired as a Dodgers' chief executive by her ex-husband. Her goal, according to court papers, is to get the most value for the franchise for everyone involved, including her ex and the fans. A hearing for arguments on the property division issue is set for June 22.

Media reports say the team is having trouble paying the bills and there are rumors of impending bankruptcy, but Frank McCourt says he's got the financial problems solved. McCourt asserts that the team has cut a $3 billion deal with Fox television for game broadcasts that will bring in a team-saving first payment of $300 million.

The rub for McCourt is that the league must approve that television deal before it becomes reality and that's not something MLB Commissioner Bud Selig says he will do anytime soon. Selig says he won't make any decision on the matter until he gets the results of two separate investigations into the Dodgers' finances. 

Source: Thomson Reuters News and Insight, "Jamie McCourt seeks immediate sale of the Dodgers," Mark Lamport-Stokes, 5/19/2011