Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt won a minor battle in his ongoing war with Major League Baseball to maintain control of the team Tuesday when a Delaware judge granted interim approval on a $150 million bankruptcy for the team.
While the ruling will allow the Dodgers to continue day-to-day baseball operations, it did little appease MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who is none too happy with McCourt’s numerous financial missteps.
Here’s an excerpt from Selig’s statement Monday:
“My goal from the outset has been to ensure that the Dodgers are being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future for their millions of fans. To date, the ideas and proposals that I have been asked to consider have not been consistent with the best interests of Baseball. The action taken today by Mr. McCourt does nothing but inflict further harm to this historic franchise.”
Under league rules, Selig has the power to take control a team team that seeks Chapter 11 protection — a very distinct possibility in the coming weeks — but MLB first must file “a motion seeking termination of the franchise.”
Selig has pinned the blame on McCourt, whose finances continue to hemorrhage in his divorce proceedings with former team CEO Jamie McCourt. Earlier Tuesday, MLB filed an objection to the bankruptcy proceedings, claiming McCourt’s lavish lifestyle contributed to the team’s current predicament.
Meanwhile the Dodgers believe Selig’s refusal to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal with Fox prevented them from getting out of the mess. McCourt expected that TV contract to keep one of baseball’s most storied franchises afloat.
So who is really to blame here? Is it McCourt for failing to keep the interests of the Dodgers at the forefront of his checkbook? Or is it Selig for allowing this situation to unravel on his watch and carrying out a personal vendetta against the Los Angeles owner?
And how long will it be before we see Manny being Manny in the courtroom? The Dodgers owe the female fertility drug expert nearly $21 million.