McCourts won't sit together any more *

Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt said tonight in a statement that they are separating. "This is a personal matter and they request that their privacy be respected,'' said the statement, adding that no further public comments would be made. The couple has four sons and of course are intertwined in another big way: she is CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers and he has whatever title they decided on for the top guy. The Dodgers open the National League Championship Series tomorrow at Dodger Stadium against the Phillies. AP says that in the last round, "the McCourts didn't sit together in the owner's box behind home plate. She sat in the first row and he was in the third, often next to former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda." Associated Press, L.A. Times

* Updates: It's still unclear, to me anyway, who was going to break the news, likely forcing the McCourts to confirm it just when the team needs the distraction least. AP's story carries a 7:59 p.m. stamp, the LAT's about 15 minutes later.

Helene Elliott: "No mention was made of a possible divorce. A dispute over their assets could lead to a sale of the team, as happened in a dispute between San Diego Padres owner John Moores and his estranged wife, Becky. Frank and Jamie McCourt had not been seen together often this season."

Tim Brown, Yahoo: "A question as to whether Jamie McCourt remained the team’s CEO was referred to Frank McCourt’s lawyer, Marshall Grossman, who said, “I can only refer you to the joint statement issued on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. McCourt. There is really nothing to add at this time. The focus of the Dodgers is on the playoffs and the World Series.” Speculation the McCourts’ marriage was in trouble has existed for months, as the couple had rarely been seen together.

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