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Breaking: MLB to take over the Dodgers

Apr 20, 2011, 4:59 PM EDT

Frank McCourt

Major League Baseball has announced that it is going to take over the financial and day-to-day operations of the Dodgers.  The move, first reported by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, was detailed in the following statement that was just released by Major League Baseball on behalf of Bud Selig:

“Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club.  I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership.  I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days.

“The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.”

This statement suggests that this will be more than a mere receivership. McCourt is being pushed out. And not only that, he’s being “investigated.”  This is a far more harsh oversight regime than Tom Hicks got in Texas. This is, I believe, unprecedented.

As has been recently reported, Frank McCourt took a $30 million loan from FOX in order to make team payroll.  Clearly this doesn’t sit will with Selig, who has already gone on record against Frank McCourt using the Dodgers’ TV rights as a means of resolving his personal financial problems. Problems, as everyone who follows the Dodgers knows, stem from McCourt’s over-leveraging of the team combined with his costly divorce from his wife who, as it currently stands, is legally part owner of the Dodgers.

However this shakes out, it’s hard to see how this isn’t the beginning of the end of Frank McCourt’s disastrous reign as the owner of the Dodgers. And while it may be painful for the team and its fans to go through this in the interim, baseball stepping in and relieving McCourt of command is a good thing in the long term for the franchise.

  1. bloodysock - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    What are the chances Bud appoints Jamie ;-)

    • Old Gator - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:15 PM

      That’s not funny. Tell a dead baby joke instead.

      • visnovsky - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        How do you get a dead baby to float….

        Take your foot off of it.

      • dreadpiratesteve - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:53 PM

        What’s the best gift to give a dead baby?

        A dead puppy.

    • dormied9027 - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:04 PM

      Please don’t let the government get involved with the appointment, the Dodgers are screwed up enough already!

  2. Old Gator - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    I’m just afraid that all that sunsetside cheering and clapping and stomping is going to cause the fault to slip.

  3. mentalotherhalf - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Can we start a pool now on when Selig’s representative will determine that McCourt invented baseball?

  4. SmackSaw - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Praise be to the Great Dodger in the sky!

  5. Reflex - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Next up? The Mets

    Can’t wait.

  6. ahemahem - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Better screening for prospective owners ahead.

  7. scatm48 - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Now maybe, God willing, someone else can buy the team and bring them back to BROOKLYN where they belong!

  8. richm2256 - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    “we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.”

    Earth to Bud:
    If the Dodgers HAD “legions of fans”, MLB wouldn’t be taking them over, would you……

    LA fans can’t support a MLB franchise, can’t support an NFL franchise, and the minute Kobe retires, they won’t support an NBA franchise either. The second largest city in the country is filled with third-rate fans.

    • lbcdeeznutz - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:33 PM

      The LA area has supported 2 MLB, 2 NBA (soon to be three), 2 NHL teams.
      There only reason we lost the NFL was because of the greedy owners (one of whom still claims to hold the rights to the LA market and may soon move his team back).

      Unless you are in NY (where they think they’re better than everyone else), you don’t have a case!

      • bwh1954 - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:47 PM

        Just where would an NFL franchise play in the LA area at this point? Let’s admit that the current answer is NOWHERE!

      • lanflfan - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:29 PM

        bwh,

        There are multiple options at this point, and the NFL could end up raking in some dough by making them all compete (assuming the NFL survives its labor issues).

      • Brian Murphy - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:54 PM

        “Just where would an NFL franchise play in the LA area at this point? Let’s admit that the current answer is NOWHERE!”

        Actually, the franchise would play at the site of what is currently the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center, which is right next to Staples Center in downtown. The plan is to have that building demolished and have the 64,000-seat Farmers Field built there.

        That’s not exactly nowhere.

      • weneedabiggerboat - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:50 PM

        Funny how that bitch Frontieire had to come to Los Angeles for her medical treatment for her terminal cancer, what’s the matter the doctors in St Louis stink? She couldn’t wait to leave LA because St. Louis had the greatest fans. I guess the doctors in St. Louis aren’t so great.

    • SmackSaw - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

      L.A. supported two NFL teams before the Coliseum Commission refused to alter a “historical landmark”.

      Let’s see, two NHL teams, two NBA teams, two MLB teams. When Kobe retires? The Lakers just signed a billion dollar TV deal with Comcast. They’ll continue to reload just as they always have. I don’t know who your favorite player is, but odds are they want to play in L.A.

    • lanflfan - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:21 PM

      This whole “LA fans don’t support ___” is old and tired.

      If LA fans don’t support the Dodgers, WHY do they annually draw more than 3 million people, even in bad years? Why are some of all-time attendance marks, including the single game mark, owned by the Dodgers? Those aren’t all opposing team fans out there, and they aren’t all corporate “fans” either.

      Seems to me the same thing was said after Magic retired. Even in bad years, the Lakers draw. When Kobe retires, there will be the next great Laker player.

      If the Hag that owned the Rams spent more money and the team, and less on maintaining her corpse, LA fans would have continued to support the team. Fans stopped supporting a loser putting losers on the field. See Carolina Panthers for a current analogy.

      And if the gangbangers hadn’t adopted the Raiders, more people might have braved the Coliseum and supported them.

      It’s cool you hate LA. Brings a smile to my face.

      • dreadpiratesteve - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:56 PM

        LA is a joke. Always has been, always will be. Its a disgusting city that anyone with 2 brain cells can’t wait to leave.

      • lanflfan - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        So, dread, where do you live (not looking for the internet tough guy routine)? I’d like the chance to refute your view of my city with your own. So, where is it?

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:03 PM

      The unorignal premise of your argument isn’t surprising since you can’t read.
      Bud’s statement is that he’s heard the rumble from LA, saw the attendance figures, and realized that LA fans mean business. And MLB doesn’t want to lose the Angeleno the way the NFL has. There are teams in Nashville and Jacksonville only because those cities spent the cash to pay the league a bounty. LA fans don’t necessarily go that route, and in case you’re wondering, that ain’t a knock.

    • fthrvic - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM

      @Brian Murphy-I think the point was that the stadium you speak of has yet to even exist.

  9. xpensivewinos - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Remember not that long ago when the Dodgers were the model franchise in baseball that everyone hoped to emulate?

    Oy.

  10. oldpaddy - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Boy am I glad selig blocked mcourt from buying the red sox.
    I’ve always wondered why he didn’t allow McCourt to buy the sox, but let him buy the dodgers.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:07 PM

      He was trying to control payroll and used the Dodgers as his guinea pig.

  11. visnovsky - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Ding-dong the witch is dead

  12. SmackSaw - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Mark Cuban and L.A. It’s a match made in Blue Heaven.

    • ev2b - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:47 PM

      You and I were thinking the same on this! (and I’m sure a million other people too!)

  13. ev2b - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    It’s time to right the wrong and let someone who puts the fans and team first to own and lead the Dodgers back to the top of MLB. Selig and the rest of the MLB owners picked a lackey like McCourt, and this was the ultimate outcome, geez…

    I say let the other applicant who lost to McCourt when the Dodgers were sold be offered to buy ASAP… Mark Cuban! (Mark, are you hearing me? Now’s your chance, give Ol’Bud a check today! :-)

  14. mrznyc - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Next up, The New York Wilponzis

  15. lanflfan - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    As a Dodger fan, I never thought Selig and MLB had the cajones to do this. About dam time to man up, admit your mistake, and begin the process of fixing it. Now, find the right owner/ownership group that won’t give you another black eye.

    And next, let’s fix the Mets. Their fans deserve better.

  16. jupiter999 - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Expos, Expos, Expos !

    Expect to see this scenerio more in the future………………………………………………..

    Stay Tuned to SeligNetwork.com

  17. bobcalls - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Instrea

  18. bobcalls - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Instead of relying on the corporations to pay the high prices of those tickets, lower the prices to the games and the food concessions this might get more to come for the Dodgers. Now try to figure out how to get the “fans” to stay past the 7th inning.

  19. stankfinger - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    YAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. frankvzappa - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    guess we know who the big trade deadline winner this year is going to be…

  21. Brian Murphy - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Tomorrrow’s Dodgers game is going to be glorious.

    It starts at the beautiful time of 12:10. The Dodgers will be wearing some throwback Brooklyn blues. 50 percent off food and drinks. I’ll be able to buy some peanuts from the stadium’s newest vendor, Frank McCourt.

    Just awesome.

    • bwh1954 - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:10 PM

      Brian, The operative word in your response to me was PLAN and the operative phrase in my original comment was AT THIS POINT. No NFL team can play in a PLANNED stadium AT THIS POINT. The fact is that LA has been without anything better than the Coliseum for at least 3 generations. I just hope my beloved San Diego Chargers don’t become the next NFL franchise to call LA home!

      • Brian Murphy - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:13 PM

        OK, I misintrepreted what you meant by “where.” While no team is on the way and no stadium has been built, on that site is WHERE a team would play if that is to happen.

        Fret not, however. I don’t think it will be the Chargers. I still think one of the teams out east will make the move.

  22. koufaxmitzvah - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Nice move, Bud. Now let’s see how this sale pans out. Whose gonna be the Dodgers Nolan?

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 21, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      I hope Magic has a change of heart and decides to invest in the Blue.

  23. minnesomalia - Apr 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Yes!!

    Now bring the team back to it’s real home—-Brooklyn!!

  24. stixzidinia - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    This is exactly why the NFLPA wants proof of the owners’ line item expenditures………so they don’t end up footing the bill for poorly run franchises with unscrupulous owners like this guy in LA.

  25. stixzidinia - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    And yeah, LA is a disgusting dirty city. I would know…..I grew up there. Getting out of there was the best move I ever made. Might as well call it Little Mexico these days. Completely over-run by gangs and thugs. Looks more like Tijuana these days than the Los Angeles of old.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      The Los Angeles of old was a dirty place where Whitey spent his time and energy taking as much control over the budding metropolis as he could try. If it wasn’t racism against Blacks, it was racism against Mexicans. Meanwhile, there were battles of water rights, and the mob infiltrated the police department. Those movies about LA aren’t telling you cute little stories of incest and latent guilt over homosexuality poisoning the minds of the LA powerful because the audience loves and wants them.

      I’m from LA, too, and I’m glad I don’t live there anymore, either. But racism crosses the line, and like most stereotypes, is totally off the mark.

      • Old Gator - Apr 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM

        LA has Burrito King – corner of Hyperion and Rowena. No other town can say that. Try one of their machacas. Point, set and match.

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