Dodgers owner Frank McCourt voiced frustration with commissioner Bud Selig and vowed to maintain control of the team at a press conference in New York City this afternoon. McCourt says he and FOX were ready to proceed with a deal worth nearly $300MM only to hear that MLB was vetoing the deal, taking over financial operations and appointing Tom Schieffer as the team trustee. Yet McCourt insists he intends to maintain control of the club.
"Nobody handed the Dodgers to me and nobody's going to take them away,” he said. “I'm not going anywhere."
McCourt says he’s current on all of his payments and has not received any money from MLB, despite a long, public divorce with his wife, Jamie. The Dodgers owner is frustrated not only by Selig’s handling of the proposed deal, but because he hasn't been able to meet with him face to face.
"I suspect commissioner Selig calls the other 29 owners back when they call," McCourt said.
However, MLB VP Rob Manfred has issued a statement that opposes some of what McCourt said today, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. Manfred says Selig has not vetoed the FOX deal and that McCourt did not ask about Schieffer's role (Twitter links).
Though he admits to having made mistakes and shown poor judgment, McCourt insists that it’s un-American to seize someone else’s property. He asked Dodgers fans for a second chance, insisting that his proposed deal will benefit the Dodgers directly, rather than his personal funds.
“It will give the Dodgers the financial wherewithal to compete at the highest level for years and years to come,” he said.
McCourt said he hasn’t ruled out legal action against MLB, which took over the Dodgers’ financial operations last week.