Bud Selig alludes to post-McCourt era for Dodgers
If you wanted a direct comment from Bud Selig about Frank McCourt, you weren't getting anywhere. But Selig dropped more than enough hints about his disgust over the McCourt saga during a news conference Tuesday in Phoenix, at one point alluding to a Dodgers future under new ownership.
In answering a question about how the Dodgers' bankruptcy might be bad for baseball, Selig recalled hearing last year how terrible the Texas Rangers' bankruptcy would be for baseball. The Rangers were sold in a bankruptcy court auction.
"It didn't turn out terrible," Selig said. "They wound up getting a great price and a wonderful ownership group. We will work our way through all these things. Life doesn't always work out exactly the way you want."
Selig is determined to oust McCourt and has not heard from any other owner concerned enough about the costs and risks of the bankruptcy fight to suggest yielding to McCourt, according to someone who has spoken with him but could not be identified because of the litigation. Selig has no intention of considering any settlement under which McCourt would retain ownership, the person said.
In a meeting with the Baseball Writers Assn. of America, Selig cited the bankruptcy court case in declining to speak directly about McCourt and the Dodgers mess.
"There are a lot of things I'd like to say, but I won't," Selig said.
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the players' union, was asked whether he had an opinion on McCourt.
"Yes," he said.
Rather than share that opinion, Weiner opted for tact.
Weiner described the union as "concerned" with the Dodgers' situation. He said the union is "confident" that current and former players will be paid in full but wanted to ensure the Dodgers' ability to win would not be compromised during the bankruptcy process.
"We want the Dodgers' players to have the best chance to compete," Weiner said. "This is the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most storied franchises in professional sport, not just in major league baseball.
"It's not good for anybody in MLB for the Dodgers to struggle, to be compromised, to be crippled, whatever word you want to use."
As Weiner and MLB executives negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement amid the lockouts in the NFL and NBA, Selig dropped a Dodgers reference in saying baseball had enjoyed a year of "peace and quiet."
Said Selig: "With one exception, which I don't have to diagram for you."
Selig offered his standard response to the question of why MLB allowed McCourt to buy the Dodgers in the first place. McCourt bought the team from Fox in 2004 with what his attorney since has said was "not a penny" of his own cash.
"There was no other application submitted to us," Selig said. "It was something Fox really wanted to get done."
-- Bill Shaikin in Phoenix
Photo: Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig smiles during a news conference in New York in April. Credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters