September 18, 2014

Selig Says No; McCourt Out of Options?

So, as expected, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig ruled that Frank McCourt’s new broadcasting deal with FOX (rumored to be worth an estimated $3 billion) was not in the best interests of the Dodgers, nor their fans.

“As I have said before, we owe it to the legion of loyal Dodger fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future,” Selig said. “This transaction would not accomplish these goals.”

Ouch.  Apparently part of the problem was the big up front payment (about $325 million) and the fact that the McCourts would need some of the funds for financial responsibilities outside of the Dodgers.  Given some of the revelations that came out of the divorce proceedings, that was not ok with the Commish.

So now what?  Given the litigious history of Frank McCourt, I don’t expect he’ll back down without a fight, and the following statement from Steve Susman on behalf of Frank McCourt backs that up.

“Commissioner Selig’s letter of rejection is not only a disappointment, but worse, is potentially destructive to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Major League Baseball.  Accordingly, we plan to explore vigorously our options and remedies with respect to Commissioner Selig’s rejection of the proposed FOX transaction and our commitment to protect the long-term best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers.” 

Yikes.  Strong words, but maybe, just maybe, Frank will see that Selig is intent on seizing the team if he can’t make the rumored June 30th payroll  and his back is legitimately against the wall.  Maybe, just maybe, he’ll be open to a settlement.  Either way, it’s the beginning of another chapter for Dodger fans that just want solid ownership with the necessary financial bankroll to fund a winning team, year after year.

In the meantime, thank God for Clayton Kershaw in keeping Dodger fans’ minds where they ought to be: on the field, watching a brilliant two-hit shutout.