On, of all days, Friday the thirteenth, the Los Angeles Dodgers obtained an order from the bankruptcy court in Delaware, approving their plan of reorganization. The actual baseball team, on the field in San Diego, celebrated by defeating the Padres 9-8 with a thrilling “walk-off” (literally) win to parallel their attorneys’ triumph tree time zones away.
It wasn’t easy. The legal team fought off challenges from their owner’s ex-wife (who will be paid $131 Million by the new owners), the Screen Actors Guild (representing the announcers), Fox TV, and many more. Even the Commissioner of Baseball weighed in with his own legal eagles.
When all was said and done, there was little action to show for it. The parties involved actually made nice and presented the judge with a 46 page order they could swallow. The courtroom non-drama eerily presaged the outcome of the baseball game that night, where, after struggling back to tie, the Padres walked in the winning run with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
This Chapter 11 case had a happy ending. All creditors (including Mrs. McCourt) will be paid every nickel they are owed, all thanks to the protection afforded the club by the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Dodgers were able to stay afloat, limiting the stressful and damaging efforts of its creditors, while the wheelers made deals and eventually sold the team, resulting in a nice payday for its owners.
We haven’t seen the legal bill(s) yet, but using high-powered attorneys from all over the country, it is likely to approach a double digit fraction of the team’s player payroll. And that is a lot of money.