MLB: Dodgers' financial woes are Frank McCourt's making
With the Dodgers facing the prospect of being unable to meet the May 31 payroll and owner Frank McCourt embarking on a media tour in which he has reiterated the Dodgers' financial problems would be solved if Commissioner Bud Selig would immediately approve of a $3-billion television contract with Fox, the commissioner's point man on the Dodgers' matter shot back on Wednesday.
"Any financial problems faced by the Los Angeles Dodgers are the result of decisions made by Mr. McCourt and his management team over a period of years," MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said in a statement.
McCourt also has said he has offered full cooperation into Selig's investigation into the Dodgers' finances so that the commissioner can expedite the probe.
"The pace of the commissioner's investigation has been adversely affected by the Dodgers' failure to produce documents in a timely manner and by the complexity of the financial structures surrounding the club," Manfred said. "The commissioner intends to complete the investigation promptly but will not accept less than a thorough investigation."
Earlier Wednesday, McCourt sent a letter asking for immediate approval of the Fox deal.
"The commissioner's continued delay and his conscious decision to put the Dodgers into a state of distress and make it a matter of public discussion is harming Mr. McCourt and the Dodgers," read the letter, signed by attorney Robert Sacks.
The letter, which was read to The Times, also said: "The press now is discussing the Dodgers' ability to make its payroll at the end of May. There would be no issue whatsoever about that issue -- or any other issue involving the Dodgers' financial strength and viability -- had the commissioner timely acted on Mr. McCourt's request for approval of the Fox transaction or were he to approve it now."
Manfred and Dodgers trustee Tom Schieffer met Wednesday in the commissioner's office in Milwaukee.
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt attends the game against the San Diego Padres on April 29, 2011 at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images