Several times--dozens of times--over the last few months, we've read something like this quote from Marc Seltzer, one of Frank's attorneys:
"It's a distraction to management. The team on the field is not affected in any way, shape or form."Setting aside the lunacy of the notion that a distraction to management cannot trickle down to the independent contractors on the field, we see the same 'is not affected' language that has been omnipresent this winter. Frank and his attorneys have taken a lot of heat for that statement throughout the course of this drama. If the divorce isn't affecting the team, critics say, how can Frank explain the underwhelming personnel moves this offseason?
Let me tell you something: I might just believe Frank. The divorce may not be not affecting the team.
From the outside, it sure looks like this budget crunch was sort of inevitable, regardless of the divorce. If you're to believe Frank's own lawyers, the couple's spending was "out-of-control [and] unsustainable." According to Jamie's filings, the couple has taken about $108 million out of the club since they took control. That's more than the club will spend on players this season. The McCourts have been living on borrowed money and borrowed time for years. Which is why the quotes drawing the most scorn all offseason--that the divorce isn't affecting the team--might just be true. Maybe this was coming all along. There's just a little more collateral damage than might have been expected.