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Baseball's investigation into Dodgers' finances could be nearing an end

June 1, 2011 |  7:47 pm

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The commissioner's office hopes to conclude its investigation into the Dodgers' finances by June 22, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly, characterized the potential end date as a goal, not a guarantee.

Such a development would represent a significant step toward the end of the ownership drama that has enveloped the Dodgers for 18 months, with Frank McCourt fighting to retain sole ownership of the team amid opposition from his ex-wife Jamie McCourt and a trustee imposed on the club by Commissioner Bud Selig.

June 22 is the date set for a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing in which Frank McCourt will ask for a ruling that his ex-wife has no standing to challenge a proposed long-term television contract with Fox, one that he says would restore the team to robust financial health. At the same hearing, Jamie McCourt will ask Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to order the immediate sale of the team.

Fox does not plan to move forward with the television contract unless the company can be assured Jamie McCourt will not contest the deal in court. Selig has said he would not consider approving the contract until the investigation is completed.

Frank McCourt has scrambled to meet the Dodgers' payroll, and those close to him have expressed concern that Selig would delay the investigation until owner runs out of money, opening the door for the commissioner to seize the team and put it up for sale.

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-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Frank McCourt speaks at a news conference outside Dodger Stadium on April 14. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

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