The McCourts: It's worse than you think *

This might be the best reconstruction and assessment yet of the Frank and Jamie McCourt tragicomedy, and it comes from ESPN the Magazine. Remember all those years of fawning stories in the local media about the McCourts as a model couple? Here's the telling graf of the piece by Molly Knight, with emphasis added:

To report this story over the course of two months, The Magazine reviewed several thousand pages of court documents and interviewed dozens of people close to the team and couple, including lawyers for Frank and Jamie. Not one source was surprised when the split was announced. "They hated each other from the moment they set foot in Los Angeles," says a former high-ranking Dodgers official. "There was a saying in the front office that the three worst days of our jobs would be when Vin Scully died, when Tommy Lasorda died and when the McCourts decided to split. There was never any question it was gonna go lethal."

Good. Stuff. Remember, no L.A. media that I can recall foreshadowed feuding between the McCourts — or their obscenely excessive personal spending on the Dodgers accounts — in the years before it all hit the fan during last October's playoffs. Knight answers questions about the story from Jon Weisman at ESPN's Dodger Thoughts, and it's more good stuff.

Considering how much the McCourts borrowed, why didn't it occur to them to maybe rein in personal expenses just a little?

They live in a different world than we do, is the best answer to that. Frank has spent his adult life borrowing Peter to pay Paul. The only thing that changed is he got his hands on some better collateral. I think they were riding the gravy train knowing that when the TV rights came up in 2013 they'd become rich beyond their wildest dreams. I also think they desperately wanted to be part of L.A.'s high society. Trouble is out here you have to be a movie star to be A-List. No one cared until this divorce hit.

Is Frank really running out of money, or is this just a shell game?

It's not so much that he's running out of money as it is he has no liquidity.

In the six years he's owned the Dodgers, Frank has borrowed an estimated $390 million against the team, Knight says. The divorce trial now isn't scheduled to begin until Aug. 30, all but ensuring its shadow will fall on next season as it has on this season. Oh wait, sorry, the official line in L.A. is still that the McCourts' split has had no impact on anything. BTW, the Los Angeles Times' Metro staff was working on a long piece about the McCourts last year that as yet hasn't run.

* Also Wednesday: Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon, tired of hearing Frank and Jamie's lawyers bickering over money, said he might have to order the Dodgers sold to resolve the couple's pre-trial squabbling. LAT

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