Schadenfreude and the Dodgers

April 26, 2011

As a Giants fan, the 2010 World Series was amazing. Enough said on that. If you don’t believe me, email me privately and I’ll send you some stories to go read, pictures to gape at and video of an amazing parade.

As a Giants fan, the Dodgers’ current situation is like icing on the cake of 2010. It even has a Wikipedia page! For those of you who don’t follow baseball but are still reading this post, the powers that be at Major League Baseball have taken over control of the Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt. MLB is one of the few government granted monopolies and normal business rules just don’t apply. If the league doesn’t think you’re doing right by the league, your team can get taken away. This isn’t the first time it has happened.

The story is interesting because there are so many angles. Other teams have similar problems but they’re not the Dodgers and baseball respects its history. And its money — Los Angeles is the second largest media market and much is at stake. But probably most importantly, the owners of baseball teams (all incredibly rich people, not surprisingly) see their ownership as a badge of respectability. Frank McCourt, the primary owner of the Dodgers just isn’t respectable anymore. He may never have been (his original purchase of the Dodgers — from Fox! — was controversial at the time) but now he’s divorcing his wife in a very public, very LA way.

Baseball teams are to rich people like houses are to the rest of us. In other words, too big of an asset to survive a divorce. A couple of years ago, the Moores had to sell the Padres after their divorce and now the McCourts are heading down the same path, the difference being that Bud Selig is doing it for them. The Mets may be next for a different reason — that team’s owners were on the Madoff gravy train — but that’ll be someone else’s schadenfreude as I still have a special place in my heart for the Mets.

But not the Dodgers.

Further schadenfreude: