To no one's surprise, the Dodgers and the Mets head the list of baseball's biggest financial headaches - but they aren't the only ones with issues.
The Los Angeles Times, citing a confidential briefing at last month's owners meetings, has reported that a total of nine teams in both leagues are in violation of MLB's debt-service rules. Although the rules limit a team's debt to 10 times its annual earnings, commissioner Bud Selig has wide latitude in enforcing the standards. Selig declined to comment.
Now, we understand why Frank McCourt's Dodgers (messy divorce, plush lifestyle, ridiculous expenses) and Fred Wilpon's Mets (Bernie Madoff, enough said) are on the list, and were mildly surprised when the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals were cited, but we were shocked to hear that the Chicago Cubs and the Phillies made the list. The Phils?
And we were really, really shocked to learn that the Tampa Bay Rays did not make the list. This is a team that always has a hard time drawing fans - including when they made the World Series in 2008 against the Phils.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean made some pointed remarks Thursday about Scott Cousins, the Marlins outfielder who crashed into catcher Buster Posey at home plate May 25 - ending the reigning rookie of the year's season - and now may have to pay for it.
During a radio interview Thursday, Sabean said: "If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."
When asked if perhaps he was being too harsh (after all, Cousins has expressed remorse), Sabean did not back off.
"Well, no," he barked. "Cousins chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that's his flash of fame, then that's as good as it's gonna get, pal. We'll have a long memory."
That may cost him. ESPN is reporting that Joe Torre, MLB's vice president of baseball operations, plans to call on Sabean regarding his comments.