Frank McCourt Divorce: Larry Silverstein's Boner Is Key; On The Stand He's Not Sure What Year This Is
Fred Merkle committed the most famous mistake in baseball history in 1908, when, in a game against the Chicago Cubs, he failed to touch second base as the winning run scored. Merkle's Boner cost the New York Giants the game and the pennant.
That was nothing compared to the mistake Larry Silverstein made when he drafted Frank and Jamie McCourt's marital agreement, Forget throwing away the season. Silverstein's Boner may cost Frank the Dodgers. Merkle, you're off the hook.
Silverstein took the stand Tuesday morning, ending the intrigue about whether he would appear. He has some sort of medical issue that had kept him away from the trial until now.
|Fred Merkle's soul can rest in peace, now that Larry Silverstein has made a bigger screwup|
If you didn't know better, you'd think he'd been hit by Jamie's Land Rover.
Silverstein's Boner was to prepare two different copies of the same agreement. One gave Frank the Dodgers, and the other one left the team as Frank and Jamie's joint property.
It's a huge difference, one that he has variously described as a "drafting error" or a "typographical error." What he meant to do, he says, was to give the Dodgers to Frank. He just screwed up on three copies. But he didn't help himself when, after the two conflicting agreements were signed and notarized, he went back and switched the exhibits to make them all give the Dodgers to Frank.
He didn't tell anyone he had done this. Jamie McCourt's lead attorney David Boies is an even-tempered fellow. But this made him angry. For the first time during the trial, he raised his voice to a shout.
Boies: Who gets to determine what the error is? Is it up to you unilaterally?
Silverstein seemed disoriented today, right from the start. Asked when he first learned that the original agreement had been switched, he said 2009.
Boies: I want to be absolutely certain. You know this year is 2010?
Silverstein: I meant 2010. I apologize
We've seen three attorneys testify so far -- Leah Bishop, Jamie, and Silverstein -- and Silverstein seems like the last one you'd hire if you needed some estate work done.
Now, there is still a question about whether Silverstein is merely a bumbler, or whether he was involved in something nefarious. As they say, on that point the jury's still out.
Full McCourt coverage:
Week 1 Wrap-Up:
The Screaming Meanie
Even more McCourt:
L.A. Weekly cover story, Dodger Dog, from August