Frank and Jamie McCourt have been the face of the Dodgers for six years, but Jamie McCourt and Frank may now turn the Dodgers into part of a divorce. Frank and Jamie McCourt announced their separation yesterday, though the McCourts haven’t officially filed for divorce yet. All indications are that Jamie McCourt may file for it eventually, leading to a possible fight for custody of the Dodgers.
Jamie McCourt doesn’t own the Dodgers, but she is Chief Executive Officer, while her husband owns the team. Six years after the McCourts bought the Dodgers from Rupert Murdoch, things have gone well on the field, as the Dodgers have Manny Ramirez and are playing in the NLCS for the second year in a row. But Frank and Jamie McCourt haven’t been seen together for much of it.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the McCourts were not sitting together during the NLDS series against the Cardinals, and have rarely been seen together all season. As such, their separation might not be surprising, but it still remains to be seen what this means for the future of the team.
For the immediate future, Frank and Jamie McCourt separating is a talking point, mainly because of their timing. This was announced just a day before the Dodgers host Game 1 of the NLCS against the Phillies, so the team has other priorities right now. When their World Series run ends, more attention can be paid to whether the McCourts will get divorced.
The obvious question is whether Frank McCourt will still run the team if they do, and if Jamie McCourt will leave her job. Either way, there will be some kind of shake up in the Dodgers front office, but whether it will be minor or major is unknown. For now, McCourt’s attorney says the couple hasn’t filed for divorce, and that Mr. McCourt remains the sole owner of the team.
In California, high profile separations like this are nothing new – in fact, they’re not even new for California baseball teams. A divorce led former San Diego Padres’ owner John Moores to sell his team earlier this year. But in the case of the Dodgers, the owner’s wife is also an important part of running the team, as Jamie McCourt is the most powerful female executive in baseball.
The leadership on the field may change soon as well, as Joe Torre could retire after next season – if he doesn’t resign first, as ESPN’s Peter Gammons predicted when he reported that life with the Dodgers was “a living hell” for Torre.
While the McCourts face an uncertain future together, they will both be rooting for their team in some way tonight, as the Dodgers-Phillies NLCS sequel begins in L.A.
Los Angeles Times- “Dodgers’ Frank and Jamie McCourt separate” www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-mccourts15-2009oct15,0,213794.story
NBC Los Angeles- “McCourts on the Outs, Torre Says He’s ‘Fine'” www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports/McCourts-on-the-Outs-Torre-Says-Hes-Fine-64358992.html
Yahoo Sports- “Torre: Being a Dodger isn’t a ‘living hell'” sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news