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Tom Schieffer has busy first full day: Dodgers make payroll, and he meets with Frank McCourt

April 29, 2011 |  7:27 pm

Tom-schieffer_300 First full day on the job and already monitor-trustee-overseer-receiver-ambassador Tom Schieffer is showing great progress.

The Dodgers made payroll.

That’s right boys and girls, Andre Ethier and Roger "Peanut Man" Owens can cash their checks.

Schieffer had himself a busy first day, he got an office at Dodger Stadium, met with general manager Ned Colletti, the players -- and Frank McCourt.

"It was a cordial meeting," Schieffer said. "I think everything got off to a good start.

"He obviously would prefer that I wasn’t here. That’s OK with me; I understand that. And I think we can get this done. I think we’ve come a long way in a couple of days here."

McCourt, who had termed Schieffer more a receiver taking over the club than the monitor he was termed by Commissioner Bud Selig, asked Schieffer what his role would be.

"I guess that probably came up," Schieffer said. "He wants to know what I think my role is, and I was trying to explain that I think my role is to be the last check on what’s going on. And trying to study the situation, investigate the situation and try to determine what the facts are. If we can determine what the facts are, then the options I would take would be pretty obvious afterwards."

"There have obviously been some problems here and I’m trying to figure out what those problems are, what they really are -- not rumor, not innuendo -- what the plan is for addressing them.

"Major League Baseball wants this to be the model franchise it’s been in the past."

McCourt had personally borrowed $30 million from Fox to meet payroll in April. Schieffer would not comment if the team had the resources to meet payroll next month.

Since McCourt runs the Dodgers under multiple entities, some that pay each other, figuring out the organizational finances figure to be more challenging than at most baseball clubs.

 "This is a pretty complicated situation," Schieffer said.

"That’s something where you have to follow the dollar from place to place. That’s certainly one of the things you look at."

Schieffer said he would be the final approval on any change in the budget, but that McCourt could still veto a trade before it ever got to him.

Schieffer said he assured Colletti he would operate normally and only need his approval for an increase in the budget. He said he wanted to meet with the team to let them know he would not be interfering with their play on the field.

"I don’t want to be in the clubhouse, but I need to tell the players that," he said.

Former Dodgers manager Joe Torre, now an MLB executive, was with Schieffer again Friday and hoped he would continue as a resource.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Tom Schieffer. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

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