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L.A. leaders stunned by Dodgers takeover

April 20, 2011 |  4:17 pm

Villaraigosa
Los Angeles leaders said they were stunned by Major League Baseball's decision to take over the finances of the Dodgers.

“It’s not a good day for the Dodgers, and that means it’s not a good day for L.A.” said county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It’s rather extraordinary.... I don’t know if it’s deserved, particularly in the way that it’s happened.”

“In terms of the civic health of our region and many of the communities of which the Dodgers have been a part, it’s most unfortunate. This is a brand that is practically inseparable from Los Angeles’ identity,” he added.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has been an occasional presence in the McCourt box during games, declined to comment. But City Controller Wendy Greuel voiced surprise at the day’s events, saying she spoke to the Dodgers’ newly hired vice chairman, Steve Soboroff, earlier in the day and was given no hint that Major League Baseball was about to take action.

“I’m disappointed that the situation has come to this,” Greuel said. “As a lifelong Angeleno and a Dodgers fan, I would hope there would be stability so the Dodgers can focus on winning the World Series.”

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday that his office would assume control of the financial operations of the  Dodgers. The move comes after Dodgers owner McCourt needed a personal loan from Fox to meet the team's payroll.

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-- David Zahniser

Photo: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, talks with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt before opening day at Dodger Stadium.  Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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