June 29, 2011
At least someone is having fun with this Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy mess.
Or maybe a better way to put it is that a few entrepreneurs out there have figured out how to cash in on this debacle.
Or they're certainly trying, anyway.
Here are five examples of ventures that might be making more money at the Dodgers' expense than Frank McCourt is probably pulling in.
1. Ask a famous rich guy to buy your team: For any team and fanbase hoping for new ownership, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the golden goose. It's the sports equivalent of finding out your neighbor won the lottery and hoping he'll pay for your hip replacement. Yes, he could do it, but he's probably not going to.
But a website was created for the movement, allowing fans to post their cherished Dodgers memories and beefs with the McCourt regime. While you're there, why not buy a T-shirt or donate to a billboard to express your desires for new ownership?
2. Offer debt settlement services: You've seen these commercials, especially the later in the evening you watch TV. (Or are we just watching the wrong shows, wrong channels?) A company like J.G. Wentworth could help a team that still owes Andruw Jones(notes) $11 million and Manny Ramirez(notes) $21 million. And how about making payroll this month?
OK, that may have not been completely serious. But we'll dial that number after finishing this post, just to make sure. (h/t Vin Scully is My Homeboy)
3. Customize a "Chapter 11" Dodgers jersey: OK, this one doesn't quite apply. MLB.com could be making money from people customizing "Chapter" jerseys with the No. 11, but is choosing not to. If you try to request such a jersey, you'll get the following message:
"Your current entry cannot be processed. Language deemed inappropriate, derogatory, or profane will not be accepted. Please create a new entry."
So go ahead and create that new entry. As Busted Coverage pointed out, you can still customize a "Chapter 11" jersey with a tweak here and there. Spell that last name "Chaptur, "Chap Ter," or "Ch Apter," and you can circumvent the system (along with blowing $100). Until MLB.com catches on, of course.
(You can make a "Mexico 7" jersey without a problem, however. Is that joke old now?)
4. Clever puns make great T-shirts: Frank (as in McCourt) rhymes with bank (as in bankrupt). Get it? You've got T-shirt gold! (In appropriate Dodger Blue team colors, that is.) Clothe yourself in a "Frankrupt" tee! It looks almost just like a Dodgers jersey.
Hopefully, we see a few of these babies at Dodgers games in the days, weeks and months to come. They shouldn't be too hard to find because ... well, there are a lot of empty seats at Dodger Stadium. Maybe you've noticed. (h/t: The Biz of Baseball)
5. Sell a Frank McCourt autographed jersey: Maybe this seemed like a good idea in 2004. Did someone get caught up in the excitement of McCourt buying the team from News Corp? Whoever that was is now trying to cash in by selling that now-ruined jersey on eBay.
How many fans would want a jersey autographed by the team's owner? Yankees fans with George Steinbrenner's signature, perhaps? (Big Stein!) Mavs fans with Cuban's autograph? A Rangers Nolan Ryan jersey is a natural choice, but that's really not the same thing, since he played for the team.
It's too bad this eBay sale isn't an auction. (The seller has a "Buy It Now" price of $99.99 listed for the jersey. That means for just $115 — shipping cost included — you can own this piece of Dodgers infamy history.) Wouldn't you love to see the bids on this one?