Dodgers Takeover Links: Thursday

Yesterday MLB made a move to wrest ownership of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt, taking over financial operations for the club.  Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles wrote, "Never in the modern history of professional sports has there been such a hostile takeover."  The decision was an accumulation of all of McCourt's missteps, writes Yahoo's Tim Brown.  The takeover is a hot topic today, so we'll be adding the latest links in the top bullets.

  • Bud Selig said the Dodgers' ownership problems are "not similar" to the Mets' financial situation, reports John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times.  Selig made a slight comparison between Major League Baseball's takeover of the Dodgers and when the league stepped in to handle the Rangers' sale last year. 
  • History isn't on McCourt's side, as the courts have traditionally upheld the commissioner's jurisdiction over the sport, reports Victoria Kim, Chris Goffard and Dan Weikel for the L.A. Times.
  • Brewers owner Mark Attanasio "dismissed…completely" any interest in buying the Dodgers, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Athletics owner Lew Wolff is also not interested in the Dodgers, reports Shaikin.
  • A rival executive doubts McCourt will sue, talking to ESPN's Buster Olney.  The owner seems to have little chance at winning and is already short on cash.
  • This link is from yesterday, but Jonah Keri's article for FanGraphs on what it was like when MLB owned the Expos is a good read.  Meanwhile, Keri's colleague Dave Cameron notes that the Dodgers were already notorious for making payroll-neutral deals, so GM Ned Colletti can probably keep doing that this summer.
  • Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times says Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert are "the two parties most often mentioned as interested buyers," assuming MLB tries to force a sale.  Tom Werner, part of Boston's ownership group, is not interested, learned Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Shaikin notes that Selig "has anticipated the possibility of a legal challenge by McCourt, which could delay any ownership change."
  • MLB "will now have approval rights over every significant expenditure by the team, including a trade or contract extension," write David Wharton and Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times.  Former Braves and Nationals executive Stan Kasten is a candidate to be Selig's point man in charge of the Dodgers, according to ESPN Los Angeles.  John McHale Jr. and Corey Busch are other possibilities.
  • Dodgers outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier reiterated to Dylan Hernandez that they want to remain with the team.  Both players are looking at eight-figure arbitration rewards for 2012, after which they can become free agents.

36 Responses to Dodgers Takeover Links: Thursday Leave a Reply

  1. Gibbys_Limp 4 years ago

    Maybe now MLB can get the Dodgers to release the terms of Colletti’s contract extension, which have never been made public.

    Probably because it’s an open ended contract, with deferred payments like all of the players Ned signs – “Ned, I.O.U. all of your pay when I become solvent again, whenever that may be. Until that time, I agree that you will continue to remain in the position of General Manager of my baseball team. With love, Frank”

  2. theophilus166 4 years ago

    At least they didn’t do what the Mets did with Bobby Bonilla. Starting this year, they have to pay Bonilla about 1.1 million a year for the next 25 years (about 29 million), simply because they didn’t want to pay him 5.9 million in 1999. The Mets also owe Bret Saberhagen $250,000 a year for 17 more years because he pitched with them in 2004.

    I think baseball needs to put an end to contracts that defer money more than 2 or 3 years. It’s too easy for GM’s and owners to worry about the ‘now’, and figure they won’t be around when those payments start, and it will be someone else’s problem.

    • Philip Marlowe 4 years ago

      I agree. I remember thinking the same thing when Holliday signed with the Cardinals. He’s getting 1.6 million a year from 2020-2029 after his contract has expired.

  3. I for one think this is an atrocity. An owner of a business should never be forced to sell his business without his consent. Now if I’m misunderstanding the situation, i.e. maybe MLB loaned McCourt money and he hasn’t made his payments, then I apologize and MLB is well within it’s rights. But if I don’t misunderstand, this looks like the Commisioner “flexing his muscles” once again.

    To Bud Selig: Please stop meddling in team affairs and while you’re at it, stop trying to change the game itself. You are ruining it!

    • Gibbys_Limp 4 years ago

      Are you familiar with the mishandling of money that has gone on at the hands of Frank and Jamie McCourt? Using any and all TEAM money they can get their hands on to lavishly pamper themselves, without putting the money back into the team or the stadium? Purchasing the team with borrowed money and being leveraged from day 1? Didn’t have the money to pay his players April 15th, so he had to take a personal loan from FOX just to cover THAT expense? Those are just a couple examples of MANY…

      • It’s his money to do with as he pleases. If he can’t pay the loans, the lender takes over the franchise. Not MLB.

        • Gibbys_Limp 4 years ago

          OK, whatever. You don’t get it, or you refuse to get it, so I won’t spend my time with you. So you think “the bank” is just going to come in and take over? MLB IS THE BANK.

          • You’re obviously a Dodger fan that doesn’t bother to try and understand the business side of baseball…. So tell me something: How much money did MLB lend the Dodgers? Like I stated in my original post, if MLB lent the Dodgers money and wasn’t making the payments, MLB has a right to repossess the team. But I’m pretty sure MLB didn’t do that.

            How would you feel if you owned a business in a city, but the city didn’t like the way you ran your business so they just took it away from you?

            And if the concern is that the Dodgers will be too poor to field a competitive team, I have to ask: Why hasn’t MLB forced Pirates ownership to relinquish control of their franchise? They haven’t fielded a competitive team in almost 20 years. Why is it more important for the Dodgers to field a competitor then the Pirates? If you were a Pirates fan, you would think it was unfair that MLB is willing to make the Dodgers better, but not the Pirates.

            I beleive that it is you, sir, who refuses to “get it”.

          • Gibbys_Limp 4 years ago

            Nice try, but you still don’t get it. Your business in a city example is flawed, and let me tell you why:

            So in your city example, say I bought & own an electronics store, and I’m making OK money, but I borrow a lot of money from anyone really, telling them that I’m putting it into the business but in reality I’m using it to buy myself lots of nice homes, cars, have my kids on the payroll in no-show positions and write off their salary as business expenses -I really get myself into some serious debt. (Oh yeah, and I’m not paying my personal income taxes either.) I even tell a lender that my loan will be paid back by a settlement “I’m sure to win,” but in the meantime I can’t pay them back. I let the business slowly slide further and further into debt, borrowing money from Peter to pay Paul. Guess what? Unless I’m doing something corrupt and against the law, the city won’t come and take my business over from me. They simply can’t – it’s not THEIR business to do so – my electronics store doesn’t work for the city. Now, if my business was A PART of the city in some way, then, yes, they could come and take it away from me, b/c they have a vested interest in how my business is run.

            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.

            In your city example, if I want to make commercials to promote my electronics store, the Mayor has no right to first check to make sure that it makes fiscal sense for the city before I can move ahead with that endeavor. If it’s a decision that I feel would be good for me & business, I choose to do it. If it works out, great, I probably make more money; if it doesn’t work out, and I continue to go into debt, I probably file for Chapter 11 and that’s the end of my electronics store. The point is, that I don’t check with the city first before I make a financial decision such as that. In MLB, if the Dodgers want to negotiate with FOX for a 20-year, $3 billion TV rights deal, MLB has to approve it, b/c they’re the boss. The teams work for MLB. My electronics store doesn’t work for the city.

            I didn’t mention a single word about fielding a competitive team. Obviously the Pirates haven’t had any newsworthy misdealings, from a financial standpoint, where they can’t pay their bills, their employees, including THE PLAYERS, etc. The Dodgers have. I’m guessing you’re a Pirates fan – I’m sorry.

          • jwsox 4 years ago

            Dude you don’t get it. Yes each MLB team has an “owner(s)” but they work for the MLB technically. The MLB and the commissioners officer are a governing body that over sees all things MLB. Much how our government is a system of checks and balances the MLB and the commissioners office are the checks and balances of every team. This is why the stepped in on the dodgers because the dodgers name and business are owned by one guy but the the team is owned by the MLB. Remember last year or two years ago the MLB stepped in on the marlins and forced them to pay uggla what he was owed in arb. These teams are. FRANCHISES not any different than your local subway franchise. Local businesses that still have to follow rules of corporate.

          • thegrayrace 4 years ago

            He seems like a libertarian/free market ideologue that – like most of them – doesn’t really understand how things operate in the real world.

          • thegrayrace 4 years ago

            You realize that any team owner operates under a contract with MLB, right? Just like the owner of a Subway or McDonald’s, they have to operate under the guidelines of their contract or they can lose their franchise.

        • icedrake523 4 years ago

          Except he has no money.

    • ThinkBlue10 4 years ago

      Dude, he rescued the Dodgers from that pathetic excuse of an owner.

      • And why exactly do you think it’s MLB’s duty to rescue the Dodgers? Other than the fact that you’re a Dodger fan and you don’t want your team to lose?

        • sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

          Because that’s what franchises do. That’s what franchises do. Once you understand the concept of franchise you will get why MLB is putting people to watch the dodgers’ franchise finances.

          It’s like if your local KFC decided to only boil all of their chicken. Corporate would be their in a jiffy to fix that once a few complaints rolled in. If the franchisee (the owner of that particular store) somehow wouldn’t stop boiling all the chicken, Yum brands or whoever owns KFC would terminate the lease agreement, forcefully buy him out or forfeit the franchisee out of their agreement, and take over the operation of that particular restaurant so that their “brand” is uniform (no rogue KFC’s boiling their chicken with some all new 32 herbs and spices recipe).

          In this case, the dodgers are somehow running afoul of their franchise agreement with MLB (by making the brand look bad because McCourt is running around trying to get loans in the middle of a divorce so he makes MLB look “cheap”) and MLB is stepping in (beware coproate speak coming) to protect the “brand’s” value (MLB as a whole probably a little more than just the goodwill and value associated with the dodgers franchise).

    • bleedDODGERblue 4 years ago

      This is McCourt’s lawyers speaking.

  4. longtimedodgerfan 4 years ago

    It is about time!!!!!!! Good-Bye McCourt

  5. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Hmm, with these comments coming out today, it seems like the takeover wasn’t that non-violent as I first thought. I could see McCourt lawyering up and trying to hold onto his empire, Gaddafi style!

    • Gibbys_Limp 4 years ago

      I’d like an ending similar to “Shawshank Redemption”. McCourt, as the warden, locking himself in his office, pulling out the drawer with the pistol in it, MLB executives knocking on the door, “Frank McCourt! Let us in. We’ve come to run the Dodgers.”

      Frank leans back in his chair, opens his mouth, tilts his head back, and BANG.

  6. McCourt, if he wants to retain the Dodgers after all of this, has to defend himself and make “The Man” = MLB/Commissioner appear to be the bully. Do I completely agree with MLB? How could I? I don’t know all the details.

  7. timmytwoshoezzz 4 years ago

    Ramona Shelburne wrote, “Never in the modern history of professional sports has there been such a hostile takeover.”

    Is she serious? This very thing happens every year to English soccer clubs. Did she even witness that Liverpool was sold right out from under Tom Hicks and Gillett without their consent? That’s how John Henry bought the club for a fraction of it’s value. Believe it or not, there is more to professional sports than the big 3 of the NFL,MLB, and the NBA in the United States.

  8. $1742854 4 years ago

    I think the entire world (outside of LA) is sick and tired of the Dodgers and their thug fans. My solution: Contraction.

    • Alex Gomez 4 years ago

      You make it seem like other teams don’t have thug fans.

      That’s not to say what those idiots did was right, which hopefully they get caught soon…..

    • sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

      no, but i think almost everyone is sick of people who go onto message boards to make sweeping, emotionally charged statements like yours.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        i will now make a sweeping statement about your sweeping statement concerning sweeping statements

        your move

        • sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

          you’re darn right i will! :p

    • dodgers33dodgers 4 years ago

      i dont live in LA…i live in SF and all teams have thug fans…go to any city with a sports team and you will see thugs wearing there colors or hats…just cause of the incident that just recently happened and was wrong…people think every fan of the dodgers are thugs…we just raised over 60mil to help the guy out…i know he is going threw brain problems and might not live…but real dodgers fans are trying to help…so dont talk down to all fans from the mistake of 2 thugs!!!

    • Gumby65 4 years ago

      Sorry Sir, you don’t appear to be tall enough to ride the TROLLercoaster.

    • I loved it when I went to Fenway and there was fights in the stands and outside the park.. Damn those thugs!!

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      Thug? Are you basing this on the fan beating or the 50 years of gang activity in LA? Either way, I think you should go away. (Hey, that rhymes.)

  9. dodgers33dodgers 4 years ago

    you guys dont get it…adam is frank mccourt in disguise…its soooo obvious!!! lol

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