Dodgers owner separating from wife/team CEO

LOS ANGELES – Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife, team CEO Jamie McCourt, have separated, they confirmed in a joint statement provided to Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night, the eve of the National League Championship Series.

“Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt confirm that they are separated,” according to their statement. “This is a personal matter and they request that their privacy be respected. They will be making no public statements.”

It is unknown if the McCourts intend to divorce or what that might mean for the franchise, which Frank McCourt purchased in 2004 for $271 million. The price included the team, Dodger Stadium, the team's spring training facility in Vero Beach, Fla. and its academy in the Dominican Republic.

In April, Forbes magazine estimated the club was worth $722 million.

The contentious divorce of San Diego Padres owner John Moores from his wife, Becky, precipitated the sale this spring of the Padres to a group led by Jeff Moorad. Before the sale, Moores carved $30 million from the Padres' payroll, a scale-down that included selling off some of the club's best players, staff ace Jake Peavy among them.

The Dodgers are not believed to be for sale, though the club referred all questions on the matter to the McCourt's statement. A question as to whether Jamie McCourt remained the team's CEO was referred to Frank McCourt's lawyer, Marshall Grossman, who said, “I can only refer you to the joint statement issued on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. McCourt. There is really nothing to add at this time. The focus of the Dodgers is on the playoffs and the World Series.”

Speculation the McCourts' marriage was in trouble has existed for months, as the couple had rarely been seen together. They were married in 1979 and have four sons.