Poll: The Dodgers Under MLB

Earlier today we learned that Major League Baseball has taken over financial operations of the Dodgers’ and will oversee all day-to-day operations. Owner Frank McCourt intends to fight for control of the team, but that may be an unwinnable war. While this is certainly a drastic step on MLB’s part, it’s hardly unprecedented.

MLB oversaw the Rangers’ finances last season, at least before the Chuck Greenburg-Nolan Ryan ownership group took over. Although the team wasn’t exactly given a blank check, they did have the financial flexibility to go out and add players like Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman, and Cliff Lee at the trade deadline. The Expos were under MLB’s control a few years before that, but they were under tighter payroll restrictions.

Whether or not the Dodgers have the relative freedom of the 2010 Rangers or the limitations of the 2002-2005 Expos remains to be seen. McCourt’s team has scored the second fewest runs in baseball, so they could clearly stand to add a bat or two at midseason. The question is, will they be able to?


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21 Comments on "Poll: The Dodgers Under MLB"


JD
4 years 3 months ago

Why would MLB give them any financial flexibility?

One of (if not the only reason) the reasons for MLB doing this is to force the McCourts to sell the team and sell it now. Giving them financial wiggle room would be counterproductive to this point.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

How would that be counterproductive?
I’m sure MLB can make him sell the team. By allowing them to continue operating they allow the Dodgers to be competitive, draw fans, and sell merchandise….all of which makes them more attractive to potential buyers.
Keep in mind MLB has a fund for things like this.

Gumby65
4 years 3 months ago

#1. 56,000 seat stadium, under which most of the time is at 85% capacity (significantly down this year, vociferously because of anti-McCourt sentiments from fans ) #2 2nd largest MLB television market, not to be tapped to pay off a divorce or buy multiple beach-front mansions. How’s that for a start?

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I’d be willing to bet attendance is down pretty much everywhere, not just LA.
As to what the money is for, thats really none of our business. None of these teams are required to open their books.
As with the Expos and Rangers, you can be sure that owners aren’t going to lose any money. You just can’t castrate a team like thus in the middle of the season… Its bad business, and its not fair, to the fans.

Gumby65
4 years 3 months ago

MLB’s point. If McCourt can’t even make paydays, why would they enable the unthinkable act of the Dodgers’ franchise failing?

cscd1111
4 years 3 months ago

Quest writes.

“I’d be willing to bet attendance is down pretty much everywhere”

I’d take this bet the Philadelphia Phillies have sold out, Something like 123 straight games last years tickets sales hit a staggering 3,650,000 at CBP. OK that was last year so far in 2011 tickets sales are up around 200,000 and I don’t expect this trend to change any time soon because Philadelphia loves this Phillies team.

johnsilver
4 years 3 months ago

Don’t know about that. Fenway has sold out every home game since 2004…

Shu13
4 years 3 months ago

I have this discussion often and they don’t ave 85% capacity
3.5m fans over 81 games is 43,200 which is 77% capacity…they will barely break 3m fans this year IMO….right now they are ave’ing 39k (4500 ave fan drop from last year) w/ 3 of the last 4 below between 22k-26k the 4th of those 4 was on Fernando Blanket nite and they had 40k fans
The reason the Rangers were granted the ability to make moves at the deadline was b/c they had an ownership in place ready to take over (buy) the team when the bankruptcy went thru it’s red tape….UNLESS that happens w/ the Dodgers and there is a new owner waiting in the wings I don’t see the MLB giving them much leeway

The Angels are drawing a tad less then last year but not a very far fall off(ave’ing 500 fan drop per game)

Angels fans aren’t as mad at their owner as the Dodgers fans are w/ McCourts…they are less likely to give him money(or as much) when they can watch at home in HD until he’s gone….he has really really fallen out w/ the fans…..I know of not 1 fans who is happy w/ him(them)

Payaso
4 years 3 months ago

I dont even care. It would be nice. But Im still ecstatic about getting rid of Frank McCourt.

scott_boras
4 years 3 months ago

If Ned Colletti is the guy who gets to spend that money, it’s a waste.

Bill B.
4 years 3 months ago

The Rangers picked up Cliff Lee while under MLB control. There is a precedent. Plus, it would behoove MLB to have an organization of the Dodgers’ stature in contention.

Shu13
4 years 3 months ago

Yes there is precedent which he will argue adamantly but the reason the Rangers were granted the ability to make moves at the deadline was b/c they had an ownership in place ready to take over (buy) the team when the bankruptcy went thru it’s red tape(prior to the end of the season I might add)….UNLESS that happens w/ the Dodgers and there is a new owner waiting in the wings I don’t see the MLB giving them much leeway

laxtonto
4 years 3 months ago

Ummm… Texas had to overpay in prospects in several deals to have the other teams eat additional salary. People forget that the Rangers where well below their MLB sanctioned budget the entire year last year and where very price conscious in LA and the draft. They still worked hard to minimize the amount of incoming cash from the various deals.

There is no precedent of the MLB allowing a team to exceed the budget figures they set in place while under club control. The “increase” came from the Rangers being up approximately 11% in attendance in a year it was expected to lag. Unless you are going with the premise that the Dodgers will automatically see an attendance spike, then no, it is not likely to happen.

Gumby65
4 years 3 months ago

It’s like April 15th (or 18th) where you may find that you’re not getting $5000 back, but you don’t owe $5000 anymore either.

4 years 3 months ago

Poll is irrelevant because McCourt wouldn’t have allowed the Dodgers to have any financial flexibility. Get McCourt out of here, sell off the veterans not named Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw and Billingsley, and start over!

Infield Fly
4 years 3 months ago

It’s sad to see a franchise with such a proud tradition come to this, but if it pressures McCourt to sell I see it as an opportunity. Dodgers fans can look to better days ahead, although it might take a while.

In a somewhat similar situation, here’s hoping the Mets are next. In his typical old boy way, Bud Selig has been excessive in his assistance to the Wilpons; a real disservice to Mets fans since what the team really needs is new ownership!

johnsilver
4 years 3 months ago

Too bad they can’t bring back Leo “The Lip” Durocher to resurrect the proud part.

baseballz
4 years 3 months ago

I wonder if this will affect their draft budget. Dodgers have a pretty good pick this year and could really make a splash by grabbing some good talent and it would be a shame if they were limited like the Rangers were when they tried to sign Purke.

SRT
4 years 3 months ago

This is Selig we’re talking about. We all know that MLB doesn’t believe in going over slot. I’ve seen nothing to suggest they’ll go the other way and allow the Dodgers to do just that.
Not sure how many draft picks the Dodgers have this year and high ones at that but I’m pretty sure with Selig running the show, they’ll not have any flexibility with going over slot.

4 years 3 months ago

Let’s clarify something. The Rangers didn’t have “new ownership in place” at the time of the Lee, Cantu and Guzman deals. The sale wasn’t completed until August.
In the meantime, they were forced to operate on almost a zero-sum basis. Those weren’t free-agent signings. All three deals were trades.
The Mariners picked up a large part of Lee’s remaining salary, and the Cantu and Guzman deals worked the same way. If I remember correctly the Rangers added less than $2 million in payroll.
MLB let them do that because Bud Selig placed them on a very limited budget, which I suspect he will also do with the Dodgers. He’s not going to tie down a team’s purse strings. The Dodgers are on the verge of a new local TV deal (as revealed in the divorce court proceedings). They’re not going to have to “borrow money from the Yankees” (as Yankee fans prefer to think) to continue to operate a respectable team.

JacksTigers
4 years 3 months ago

I see what you did there, you clever person, you.