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.