Friday, July 22, 2011

Selig Shows Some Backbone, On Paper At Least

The 11-page letter that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig scribed to Frank McCourt had some pointed barbs which are about as forceful as I've ever seen Selig communicate. Reports Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

Major League Baseball said the television contract that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt presented as the team's financial salvation would instead have crippled the club's ability to compete and saddled McCourt and his affiliated companies with close to $1 billion in debt.

That was the view expressed by Commissioner Bud Selig in an 11-page letter he wrote to McCourt in rejecting a proposed deal between the Dodgers and Fox.

The previously unpublished letter was obtained by The Times from court papers in the Dodgers' bankruptcy case, which McCourt has said was forced by Selig's rejection of the proposed Fox deal. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross did not rule Thursday on whether the Dodgers would be financed through the bankruptcy proceedings by a loan arranged by McCourt or one offered by MLB.

"Despite your pledge to make the Dodgers the 'best franchise in baseball,' you are not selling the club's media rights … to improve the club's on-field performance, renovate Dodger Stadium or enhance the fan experience," Selig wrote.

"Rather, you would be continuing an eight-year pattern of exploiting the Dodgers franchise to finance your own personal needs, which would undoubtedly risk further erosion of public confidence in the Dodgers."

Selig also said he had learned that the Internal Revenue Service is investigating McCourt's tax returns from 2006, 2007 and 2008. In a divorce court filing, McCourt's ex-wife, Jamie, said the couple paid no federal or state income tax from 2004 to 2009.

"What is more worrisome to me, however," Selig wrote, "is the thought of one of our owners engaging in a prolonged public dispute with the IRS."

Entertaining reading. I'm hopeful this reflects the kind of backbone that Selig will need to have in order to thwart McCourt and his phalanx of lawyers. Sack up, Bud.


Kyle Baker said...

I want my team back! Fuck McCourt - I'm boycott...

(buys tickets to several upcoming games in the home stand with Nats)

Kyle Baker said...

Ruling is out...both sides likely feel they got a win.

Meanwhile, Ned on Power Alley:

Steve Sax said...

Dusty, maybe I'll see you on Sunday?

Steve Sax said...

@Dusty, thanks for the tip btw. Don't understand how McCourt could feel like he got a win here...

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

I will be at Sunday's game, but I'll be living it up with the bourgeois in the Stadium Club.

Steve Sax said...

@Mr LA Sports Czar: care to meet for a beer? Email me...

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

@Sax - I would, but I have absolutely no idea what's going to be happening that day.

Steve Sax said...

Let me help paint out what will be happening Sunday:

-I will be at the game
-You will be at the game
-Few other people will be at that game (if last Sunday's game is any indication)
-it will be hot
-i'm offering a refreshing beer
-you hopefully will be offering temporary refuge in the stadium club (from my blazing hot field level seats)
-i will grant you undying appreciation
-the Dodgers will lose the rubber match to the Nats