Having already severely wounded the once-proud Los Angeles Dodgers, the Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce is now inflicting collateral damage elsewhere, specifically in the direction of commissioner Bud Selig.
At a court hearing earlier this week in Los Angeles, Frank's response to Jamie's assertion that he was waging "jihad" against Major League Baseball at her expense was to take on Selig.
Although the commissioner has accused Frank of diverting more than $100 million from the Dodgers for personal use, the embattled owner's reply was stunning.
"The claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers over the course of seven years is patently false," according to a court filing in the divorce case, which has nothing to do with the divorce case.
"Moreover, even taking the Commissioner's false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value," the filing continued, "it is difficult to understand how the Commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year - meaning that he has taken out between $120 million and $140 million from baseball revenues during the same period that he complains about $100 million being taken out by the owner of a team."
The Los Angeles Times reported that Selig's annual salary, according to recent MLB tax documents available online, is $18.35 million.
So Selig's salary is not quite $20 mil - but it still puts him among baseball's highest-paid players.
In a statement in response to the filing, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred agreed that McCourt had not taken $100 million from the team. "He took a lot more than that," Manfred said.
And so it goes.
Those merciless Giants
The flinty-eyed San Francisco Giants have told onetime ace Barry Zito that his spot on the rotation is up for grabs - never mind the nearly $50 million they'll have to pay him for two more years.
To be fair, Zito has not been playing all that well. In eight starts, he's 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA.
But you would think they would be less cagey about the whole thing. Although Zito was preparing to pitch Sunday in Cincinnati, the Giants listed the starter as "to be determined."
"We're just leaving it open," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's all."
Clemens wants an out
Lawyers for former baseball star Roger Clemens have asked a federal judge in Washington on Friday to throw out the former star's indictment on charges of lying to Congress, alleging that prosecutors intentionally violated a court ruling in order to force a mistrial.
On July 14, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled a mistrial after prosecutors revealed evidence that the court had deemed inadmissible: a revelation that indicated that former teammate Andy Pettitte had told his wife, Laura, that Clemens had admitted to using a drug.
Clemens' lawyers on Friday said the prosecution's revelation of the forbidden evidence "was no accident."
Prosecutors provoked a mistrial, the lawyers said, because their case was going badly. Never mind that the trial was halted on just the second day of testimony.
The prosecution has three weeks to respond. Walton has set a Sept. 2 hearing on the retrial issue.
Contact staff writer Francisco Delgado
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.