So There’s Good News & Bad News

Good news, maybe, from Bill Shaikin:

MLB, McCourt trying to see if there is a deal to be made. McCourt would agree to sell. Long way to go.

This would jive with Molly Knight’s report from earlier today that Frank McCourt was in New York, since that’s where the MLB offices are. It might also explain this morning’s news that the major bankruptcy court hearing originally scheduled for October 31 has been pushed back to November 29 – it would seem that either one side or both signaled to the court that settlement was enough of a possibility that more time would be worthwhile.

Of course, Shaikin is absolutely correct that there’s a long way to go, and I would caution everyone not to expect any sort of imminent deal. But if this report is correct, it does signal that McCourt is at least willing to discuss the possibility of selling the team, an idea he’s always refused to entertain. If that’s the case – and remember, this is all hypothetical, since we don’t have all the facts – I would imagine this means that he’s the one who is backing down, not MLB. All the cards do seem to be stacked against him, and as the odds continue to get lower that he’ll actually win the case, it would be in his best interests to settle. That goes for MLB as well, of course; even if they’re confident they’ll win the case, there’s a lot of dirty laundry there I’m sure they’d rather keep hidden.

So while that’s possibly a reason for optimism, there’s also really, really bad news, from Steve Dilbeck:

Hong-Chih Kuo is headed to elbow surgery, again.

Kuo was examined Wednesday by Dodgers physician Neal ElAttrache, who found a “loose body” of enough significance in his left elbow that arthroscopic surgery has been scheduled for Friday.

That would be elbow operation No. 5 for Kuo.

This one is hardly as significant as the two Tommy Johns that were included in those four previous surgeries, but total number is staggering.

ElAttrache estimates this procedure will prevent Kuo from throwing for the next six to eight weeks, which would put him past the Dec. 12 deadline when teams must tender contracts to players –- like Kuo –- who are eligible for arbitration.

Kuo almost certainly wasn’t going to get tendered a contract anyway, so this might actually work in the Dodgers’ favor, since it makes it more likely that no one else will give him a guaranteed deal and that he might be willing to return to the medical staff that knows him so well for a minimum, or even a minor-league, contract.

Of course, that’s not what I’m focusing on right now, because mostly I just feel so bad for Kuo. His injury struggles have been well-documented, and few stories were more gratifying in 2010 than his absolute domination out of the bullpen. After his tough 2011, he mentioned he might not want to come back, and we’ve heard him say in the past that he might retire rather than undergo another surgery. Since he was originally planning on pitching next week in Taiwan against a team of major leaguers – it was his reported arm soreness while training for that which led to the cancelation of his trip and the examination that resulted in today’s diagnosis – I’m guessing that is no longer the case, and Dylan Hernandez reports that Kuo’s agent says he will do his best to return in 2012.

We don’t know yet if that will be with the Dodgers, but I have to say, I hope it is. I just don’t know how you can root against Kuo after all he’s been through.

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