TheÂ Los Angeles DodgersÂ haveÂ filed for reorganizationÂ under Chapter 11Â of the Bankruptcy Code.Â News item.
BAILIFF:Â Oyez, oyez, oyez, whatever in the hell that means.Â All rise forÂ the HonorableÂ Mary BethÂ Coolidge, BankruptcyÂ Judge.
JUDGE:Â Thank you, and welcome to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.Â Please be seated.
BAILIFF:Â Some of these mooks ainâ€™t got no tickets.
JUDGE:Â Itâ€™s the Dodgers, Iâ€™m not expecting a sell-out crowdâ€“let them move down front.Â Counsel?
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Your Honor, this is the first meeting of creditors of theÂ Los Angeles DodgersÂ Baseball Club, the most popular baseball team in Los Angeles!
JUDGE:Â I would caution you not to use exclamation points.Â The stenographer sometimes takes them down as semi-colons.
DODGERSÂ COUNSEL:Â Yes, your Honor.
JUDGE:Â Your client has paid the initial filing fee, but canÂ I getÂ one of those MannyÂ hats with the dreadlocksÂ as well?
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Manny quit, your honor.
JUDGE:Â Why was that?
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â He failed his drug testâ€“after he stayed up all night studying for it.
JUDGE:Â I always say, itâ€™s better to get a good nightâ€™s sleep.Â But I still want that hat.
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â I guess I could call that an administrative expense . . .
CREDITORS COUNSEL:Â Your Honor, with all due respect . . .
JUDGE:Â Counsellor, when people say â€œwith all due respectâ€Â what they really mean is â€œnone.â€
CREDITORS COUNSEL:Â Your Honor, any souvenirs, utility infielders or players-to-be-named later are property of the estate and should be liquidated for the benefit of creditors.
JUDGE:Â You know, I always get the two mixed up.Â Is the creditor the one who owes the money, or the one the money is owed to?
CREDITORS COUNSEL:Â Your honor, the debtor owes money to the creditors.
JUDGE:Â â€˜Cause they always get it wrong in the newspapers.
CREDITORS COUNSEL:Â I knowâ€“ainâ€™t that pathetic?
JUDGE:Â Is there anyone here on behalf of the fans, or will they appear pro se?
DODGERSÂ COUNSEL:Â I like how you spoke in Italics . . .
JUDGE:Â I had a year of Latin in high school.
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Since Dodgersâ€™ fans usually donâ€™t show up until the third inning, theyâ€™ll probably be late.
FANS COUNSEL:Â Your Honor,Â I represent the long-suffering fans of the Dodgers.
JUDGE:Â And how long have they been suffering?
FANS COUNSEL:Â Since that carpetbagger Frank McCourt bought the team whenÂ Bud SeligÂ wouldnâ€™t let him have the Red Sox.
JUDGE:Â Is Bud Selig the guy in the â€œWhoâ€™s on Firstâ€ routine?
Bud Abbott, left, Bud Selig, right.
FANS COUNSEL:Â No, thatâ€™s Bud Abbott.Â Your honor, attendance is down 16.7% this year, the steepest decline of any team in baseball.Â And why?Â
FANS COUNSEL:Â Iâ€™m glad you asked.Â Because Mr. McCourt and his wife are fighting over them like a pet shih tzu.
BAILIFF:Â You want me to remove this mook for swearinâ€™?
FANS COUNSEL:Â Thatâ€™s a fancy kind of dog, dubo-head.Â The ongoing divorce going on is tearing the team apart, and the fans are the ones who are suffering!
JUDGE:Â On the basis of that evidence, I would like counsel for the Dodgers to tell me why I shouldnâ€™t put the team into Chapter 7 and just liquidate them.Â
DODGERSÂ COUNSEL:Â Your Honor, theÂ Dodgers arenâ€™t a bad team.
JUDGE:Â Then why did they call them â€˜Bumsâ€™?â€
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Thatâ€™s when they played in Brooklyn.Â Here in Los Angeles the more polite term isÂ â€Homeless.â€
JUDGE:Â Youâ€™re dodging my question.Â Â
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Â Your honor, attendance is down because thereâ€™s so much to do in sunny Los Angeles!
JUDGE: Like what?
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Thereâ€™s Disneyland, and Knottâ€™s Berry Farm, and Rodeo Drive.
JUDGE:Â How do you respond to that, counsellor?
FANSÂ COUNSEL:Â Your honor, baseball is an idyllic, pastoral sport, a respite from our hyper-active consumer society.
JUDGE:Â Last time I went to a game a hot dog was $4.50 and a beer was $8.Â Letâ€™s get back to the central issue, counsellor.Â Give me one good reason why I shouldÂ allow your team to remain in existence, frustrating its fans, stiffing its creditors and generally running amuck making a mockery of the game of baseball?
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Just one?
JUDGE:Â Â Just one.
DODGERS COUNSEL:Â Piece of cakeâ€“if this team goes under, there goes the Dodgers-Giants rivalry.