Dodgers Takeover Links: Friday

MLB took over the Dodgers' financial operations on Wednesday, and a trustee should be appointed any day now.  Yesterday owners of other teams such as Mark Attanasio, Lew Wolff, and Tom Werner denied interest in buying the Dodgers, though ESPN's Buster Olney passes along the opinion of a longtime executive who feels an interested team owner would keep such intentions secret until the last possible moment.  Today's links, with the latest to be added at the top:

  • "Business as usual" is the operative phrase being thrown around Dodger Stadium, writes SI.com's Tom Verducci. He looks at how the takeover could impact the team's on-field product with regards to the draft, midseason trades, contract extensions, and more. 
  • In a free article at Baseball Prospectus, Steve Goldman examines the first time MLB took over the Dodgers, back in 1929.
  • Lots of good reading on this topic from ESPN's Jayson Stark today.  He found one sports attorney who thinks McCourt at least has a shot in a lawsuit against MLB, since MLB does not appear to treat its troubled franchises the same.  Also, Stark feels the pressure will be on for the Dodgers' next owner to crank payroll up to the $150MM range.
  • The team's baseball operations department "will continue to work under the same guidelines and budget," Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times learned from GM Ned Colletti (Twitter link). 
  • Commissioner Bud Selig seized control of the Dodgers partly because the other owners "fear the devaluation of their own franchises" from Frank McCourt's actions, reports Yahoo's Tim Brown.  In particular, the other owners do not want to see McCourt undersell the Dodgers' valuable TV rights.  Brown's sources believe Selig felt secure in his legal standing before making the decision to take over the Dodgers.
  • Fox loaned McCourt $30MM to make April payroll partially because Time Warner was "ready and willing to assist him with his financial problems," reports Diane Pucin of the L.A. Times.  Fox, of course, has a tentative agreement worth $3 billion over 20 years for the team's TV rights, which has not been approved by Selig.


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43 Comments on "Dodgers Takeover Links: Friday"


4 years 3 months ago

I wish you would stop using “Fox” if you mean “FOX”…you don’t say Abc or Espn, and it makes you sound like you are speaking about a person. Bad form.

Gumby65
4 years 3 months ago

Wow, one person is having is having issues on trying to figure out who FOX is, and wow, they commented… What are the odds?

paul_oneills_lovechild
4 years 3 months ago

And one person is having is having…what are you having, Gumby…a stroke?! Boo-Yah!!

Gumby65
4 years 3 months ago

Lipitor, FTW

paul_oneills_lovechild
4 years 3 months ago

I take Simvastatin (generic Lipitor)…good stuff, bro!

thegrayrace
4 years 3 months ago

Uhhhh, Fox is correct. It is Fox Broadcasting Company, owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is part of News Corporation. Fox is not an acronym like ESPN, ABC or CBS. Fox is a name.

paul_oneills_lovechild
4 years 3 months ago

You are technically correct, Macy Gray…however, one might get confused and think that Fox refers to Michael J. Fox or Matthew Fox or…let’s not forget the hottie herself, Megan Fox. Oh, Megan…By the way, who do you think is hotter, Megan Fox or Scarlet Johanssen?? I’d have to go with Scarlet J. What was Ryan Reynolds thinking?!?! Unlike Megan, she is “more than meets the eye!”

notsureifsrs
4 years 3 months ago

…viagra, ftw?

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

It is correct-correct. Writing it FOX is like writing MAC because it looks more like PC. One is an acronym, the other is not.

MaineluvstheSox
4 years 3 months ago

Think til it hurts.

Lunchbox45
4 years 3 months ago

Glad to see you pick the important battles.

sherrilltradedooverexperience
4 years 3 months ago

I nominate this for comment of 2011!

optionn
4 years 3 months ago

Please sue MLB for billions of dollars for this epic swindle. This is a much stronger case than most lawsuits like the NFL Players.

McCourt may own MLB after he collects a billion dollar settlement after he files a claim.

jb226
4 years 3 months ago

Oh, I don’t know. When you are unable to pay your own payroll obligations I think that’s a pretty good time for somebody to step in and let you know it’s time to leave.

optionn
4 years 3 months ago

He met his payroll. Getting an advance payment for TV money is perfectly ok. Bud Selig unilaterally decided that he was going to do this. McCourt has the potential to win a huge lawsuit because of antitrust law, breach of contract claims, anticipatory breach claims and a whole variety of other claims that McCourt will now sue MLB for.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

the point is he met his payroll by borrowing money, again, from Fox. He had to borrow money because he has used Dodger funds to pay for his lavish lifestyle and lawyer costs. He also is at a point that he barely made the payroll payment just before the season and it looked as if he wouldn’t have made the next one. Do you really think Selig should have let McCourt run the franchise into the ground? Furthermore, if he continued to borrow money from Fox to make payroll, he would most likely have accepted a lesser TV deal from them and then would threaten all team’s future TV deals.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

Incorrect. Not only was he not able to cover his own payroll obligations this season, but there are also claims in court saying that they use Dodger money in order to fulfill their lavish lifestyle. Furthermore, they haven’t paid taxes on anything since they bought the Dodgers! Needless to say, McCourt was abusing his power as an owner and was subsequently threatening the value of other franchises with his actions to now cover his misuse of funds

optionn
4 years 3 months ago

He is the owner- that should be perfectly fine. Millionaires live differently than a poor working slob who has 500 bucks in the bank.

jwsox
4 years 3 months ago

what should be perfectly fine, him not paying taxes? him not paying his employees and using that money to buy another mansion and another boat and 5 more luxury cars?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

jwsox just said exactly what I was going to. Being the owner does not allow them to perform illegal actions. Those actions are the reason Selig took over

Gibbys_Limp
4 years 3 months ago

Yes, McCourt is the owner of the Dodgers, but the Dodgers work for MLB, who is run by Selig. It’s no different than owning a McDonald’s or any other franchise…if you don’t run yours the way you are supposed to, the big boss man will step in and take it away from you, one way or another.

Here’s a portion of one of my responses to another “McCourt defender” (aka Adam) from Dodgers Takeover Links: Thursday: MLB is made up of all the MLB teams, the Dodgers, the Pirates – ALL 30 OF THEM. MLB has the right to come in and take over any team that they feel is in financial trouble. MLB has the right to come in and dissolve any team that they feel is in financial trouble – see the resurfaced contraction talks about Tampa Bay and Oakland. The two leagues merged in 2000 into a single MLB organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball & under the direction of the Commissioner of Baseball, MLB hires and maintains the sport’s umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. The CEO of MLB is the Commissioner. MLB has five executive vice-presidents in charge of the following areas: baseball operations, business, labor relations and human resources, finance, and administration.

If you still don’t get it, read the entire response, no, read the entire conversation. Maybe you’ll get it then. Here, I’ll even give you the link: link to mlbtraderumors.com

jwsox
4 years 3 months ago

there is no law suit to be won. McCourt may own the FRANCHISE but the mlb technically has controll over the team. The MLB is the governing body that over sees all actions by the owners of the franchises. Much like a corporate restaurant over sees all actions taken by their local franchises( subway for example) If they see a problem they are entitiled to step in it is still their brand. They saw a ton of problems with the McCourts using the teams money to pay for their lives and the fact that they could not even pay their players means there was a big enough issue to step in. And technically McCourt stil owns the team its just that the MLB has put more attention on them and anything they do has to be approved by the MLB right away.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

The LA Times had an article on this subject today. The upshot is, unless the Commissioner is behaving arbitrarily and capriciously, McCourt has no chance because franchise owners acknowledge and agree to the Commissioner’s powers when they buy into MLB. Note that arbitrary and capricious don’t mean the same thing as “not totally equal.”

bleedDODGERblue
4 years 3 months ago

150mm payroll sounds nice..

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

“Also, Stark feels the pressure will be on for the Dodgers’ next owner to crank payroll up to the $150MM range.”

Dodger fans, imagine having the Dodgers actually act like a large market team with a goal of winning?! Somebody pinch me

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

Okay. Did you feel that?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

Guess I’m really not dreaming!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

optionn
4 years 3 months ago

The Commissioner can use ‘arbitrarily and capriciously’ language all he wants and say he is doing nothing wrong. However, a court can overturn all that.

It seems to me McCourt has an excellent case. The MLB unconstitionally, illegally and unlawfully seized McCourts property. (Similiar to the 5th Amendment/ Takings Clause). In addition McCourt can raise other breach of contract and tort claims.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

you seem confused. The McCourts still own the Dodgers. However, Selig has taken over operations of the team. He would easily cite McCourt’s multiple misuses of funds and unethical actions(such as not paying taxes) to back his decision. Furthermore, Selig can say he was protecting all owners of the game because of the fear that McCourts actions would threaten the property of others. However, when the Dodgers are sold(if), the money will go to McCourt.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 3 months ago

Also, you seem really hurt over all of this. Are you McCourt’s right hand man who came out today and ripped the MLB by any chance?

bleedDODGERblue
4 years 3 months ago

My moneys on one of McCourt’s lawyers

sherrilltradedooverexperience
4 years 3 months ago

If it’s one of McCourt’s lawyers, McCourt has a 100% chance of being owned at the pleadings stage.

Gibbys_Limp
4 years 3 months ago

It would HAVE to be YOUR money on McCourt’s lawyers. McCourt doesn’t have enough to pay them himself! McCourt has already lost this fight before he tries to throw a punch.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

Really confused. It’s not for the Commissioner to make the case of arbitrary and capricious, it’s McCourt who must prove to a judge that the Commissioner was arbitrary and capricious. Look this concept up and you will find that it means completely lacking in factual basis. The Commissioner got all the factual basis he needed for his action from the divorce proceedings, and if that wasn’t enough, in Frank McCourt’s efforts to obtain loans to meet present expenses. And if that wasn’t enough, he also has the very likely prospect of the club’s ownership being in limbo for as long as it took Frank and Jamie to settle their divorce. Years, maybe. Through the franchise agreements, the Commissioner has the power to take actions which are in the best interests of the game. The only problem I have with what he’s done is that it took him too bloody long to do it.

optionn
4 years 3 months ago

Arbitrary and capricious should be easy to prove. Selig jumped in for no legitimate reason. The Commissioner saw an easy target and decided to interject himself into the situation and say ‘this is for the best interests of baseball.’

MLB singled him out and engaged in a malicious takeover that is clearly unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

No, it will be extremely difficult to prove. It’s clear you don’t know what arbitrary and capricious means, nor do you understand the Commissioner’s job, or his powers, or the way MLB is organized, or…?

Gibbys_Limp
4 years 3 months ago

Do you honestly think Selig would have dared make a move if MLB’s lawyers didn’t have every possible outlook against them already covered? This is an open and shut case for MLB, and McCourt has no chance at a win.

From Yahoo’s Tim Brown: “Baseball officials say, however, that Selig would not have taken such an aggressive action without being secure in his – and baseball’s – legal standing, if only by virtue of his “best interests of baseball” powers.”

Try these quotes from Stark’s article:

“But when we ran this scenario past another sports attorney and a high-ranking club official of one team, their reaction was: McCourt has no shot. Why? Because the commissioner’s best-interests-of-baseball powers are so monstrous, they allow him to justify practically anything.”

“When you sign on to buy a major league team,” the club official said, bluntly, “you’re basically signing on to say, ‘Bud Selig can do anything he wants.'”

“Before you become part of the fraternity,” the second attorney said, “you have to sign away all your rights. You’re waiving your right to take legal recourse. … Baseball will argue, ‘We’re not taking his profits. We’re not depriving him of anything. We’re just not allowing him to run this business.'”

Or how about this, again from Tim Brown at Yahoo:

“Selig’s seizure of the team is being guided in part by the concerns and frustrations of many of McCourt’s fellow owners, who fear the devaluation of their own franchises through McCourt’s financial and operational ineptness, sources said Thursday.”

optionn
4 years 3 months ago

You can’t slavishly believe that the Commissioner’s ‘best interests of baseball’ power allows him to unlawfully, unconstitutionally and illegally seize an owners 500 million dollar team do you? Your depriving McCourt and causing him irreprable harm by taking over operations that you have no business doing. All this negative publicity caused by MLB is ruining his reputation and causing tremendous damages to the value of his property. The Dodgers have plenty of money and are a successful franchise.

Gibbys_Limp
4 years 3 months ago

I’ll correct and answer your first question:

Yes, I do “believe that the Commissioner’s ‘best interests of baseball’ power allows him to” lawfully, constitutionally, and legally “seize an owners $500 million team.”

Don’t you think McCourt is causing MLB’s other team owners (to use your words) “irreprable harm” by spending money he doesn’t have & trying to negotiate a TV deal at a lower value than he could, only because he wants to use the money to pay for his divorce & any other debts he’s incurred over the years? By taking less money for a TV deal than he could ultimately negotiate under better circumstances, he’s under-valuing future TV deals for all the other teams in the league, or worse yet, for a future owner of the Dodgers!

Oh, and there’s 1 more statement you made that I just HAVE to correct, I’m sorry:

“All this negative publicity caused by” Frank McCourt “is ruining his reputation and causing tremendous damages to the value of his property.”

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

I’ll give him one thing, nobody else has the nerve to defend the honor of Frank McCourt. I’m not sure why anybody would, unless they were getting paid — and even then I’d cash the check first.

thegrayrace
4 years 3 months ago

Some of you really need to learn how contract law and franchising works before you go on your lengthy rants. Labeling something “illegal”, “unlawful” and “unconstitutional” doesn’t make it so. I presume you’re not a judge or legal scholar, let alone privy to the details of the contracts signed between MLB and its franchise owners.

Your phrasing is also rather disingenuous. Even if McCourt is forced to sell, he’s going to turn in a serious profit on his investment. The team is estimated to be worth 60% more than what he bought it for. He (and his wife) will have made a $300,000,000 profit in 7 years. Your sympathy may be a bit misplaced.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 3 months ago

Poor Frank and Jamie. If it hurts so much, they may have to rub some money on it.

sherrilltradedooverexperience
4 years 3 months ago

Is there going to be somebody obviously hasn’t read in any depth about the issue that makes the same ‘it’s his business he can do what he wants’ argument every time there is a post on the ownership situation with the dodgers?

It’s getting depressing to have to see the same bad argument in each thread and see multiple people have to explain it over and over again. God bless you to the posters that have the patience to do so.