Bud Selig on selling Dodgers to Frank McCourt: 'There were no other bidders'
And that's how you get stuck with an owner who doesn't have the financial wherewithal to run a team.
Commissioner Bud Selig, who has been largely silent about baseball's takeover of the Dodgers, opened up ever so slightly on a New York radio show.
Asked by WEPN-AM's Mike Lupica on Monday why Major League Baseball allowed Frank McCourt to purchase the Dodgers in the first place back in 2004, Selig said:
"There's a lot of history here, which a lot of people don't seem to understand. There were two other bidders. Fox was anxious to get rid of the team. They were all really anxious. I'll tell you what happened. There were a couple of groups, one group led by Dave Checketts and another group.
"And for whatever reason, [the Checketts group wasn't] around at the end, so Fox sold the club to the McCourts and presented them to us. So this idea that we ought to examine ourselves -- there was nobody else. We have a long relationship with Fox. There were no other bidders."
Also, Selig again refused to compare the Dodgers' economic plight to that of the Mets, who are looking for a partner who would buy a minority interest in the club. Mets owner Fred Wilpon is facing a lawsuit stemming from his involvement in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme that could cost the team an estimated $1 billion.
"But Fred Wilpon is doing what he should do. He's looking for an economic mechanism that will bring equity into the club: sheer raw cash to put it in the most candid way. That alone is a huge difference. There are a million of other differences.
"To compare one situation to the other is factually incorrect. I've talked to Fred a lot about it, and I feel very comfortable that we're gonna have a very reasoned economic solution to that problem as opposed to another."
During his infamous New York news conference, McCourt blasted Selig's decision to take control of his franchise, calling the decision "un-American."
"I guess I've been commissioner so long, so I'm used to most everything," Selig said. "I'm cautious. I like consensus. I like to be very deliberative.
"My job is to protect the best interest of this sport, so when I do something, it is with the firm knowledge and understanding that I'm doing what I think is in the best interest of baseball."
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Bud Selig and Frank McCourt in 2006. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images