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The Wilpons should send Frank McCourt a thank-you note
One of my favorite film plot devices is multiple villians. Not when they work together, mind you, but once there's tension between the two.
Like in "The Dark Knight," when The Joker scares the daylights out of even the Gotham City mafia. Or in "Romancing the Stone," when you think that Danny DeVito's character is the primary bad guy but he turns out to be mere comic relief, just as terrified at Zolo as Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.
I thought of those scenarios Monday when the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy, and how the Wilpons are the goofy Danny DeVito compared to Frank McCourt's ultra-sinister villain.
The Wilpons (and Saul Katz) have been publicly crushed here in New York - deservedly so, in my opinion. But think of how much more space they'd be occupying in the yakosphere (trademark Neil Best) if not for McCourt's legendarily kooky travails.
McCourt seems to be incapable of feeling shame. He's actually boasting of his accomplishments as the Dodgers' owner, and he continues to wage war on commissioner Bud Selig.
Gotta give him credit for his resilience. With this filing, it appears he'll stave off - for now - MLB's aspirations to take over the Dodgers' finances and therefore officially push McCourt out the door.
This isn't going to end well for McCourt, however, and if he doesn't realize that somewhere in his deeper being, then he's even crazier than he appears.
It very likely won't end well for the Wilpons and Katz, either. They're still negotiating with David Einhorn for the cash infusion/polite takeover plan, and once there's a final agremeent, it'll go to Bud Selig for approval. The other team's owners don't need to vote on this, since it's only a minority purchase, but if the agreement proves as hairy as it has hinted to be, then Selig could vet it with people outside his office.
It is, essentially, an exit strategy. A soft landing. It's hardly wonderful or pretty; the Mets fans have been victimized, the franchise itself damaged.
But when you're comparing an exit strategy to what amounts to a man holding the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise hostage . . . it's no wonder the Mets owners can feel like the good guys at times. Or, at least, the bad guys who exist to make the really bad guys look even worse.