Major League Baseball is on the path to taking over one of its marquee franchises, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has nixed an agreement the team struck with Fox for broadcast rights. As a result, the team has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The teams finances have become embroiled in a divorce proceeding between Frank McCourt and his former wife Jamie. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has threatened to take over the team if it cannot meet its next payroll payment 6/30/11.
The McCourts had hoped to use a down-payment on the 17 year deal struck with Fox to not only meet payroll, but to settle some of their divorce matters and legal fees.
Selig claims that using the team to deal with the personal problems of the McCourts is not in the best interest of the team, its fans or the league.
McCourt said that the league is treating his team differently than others, and in fact has turned its back on the Dodgers. In a statement announcing the bankruptcy filing, he said, “I simply cannot allow the commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer.”
McCourt believes that the Dodgers’ problems can be overcome but for Selig’s blocking of the Fox deal. However, Selig and MLB believe that the contract value is unacceptably low and would damage the team over the long haul.”