Question of the Day: Should Major League Baseball seize the Dodgers? [Poll]
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the turmoil surrounding the Dodgers. Check back for more responses throughout the day. And let us know what you think -- weigh in by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Please, Bud Selig, don’t step in.
For the good of the sport, Major League Baseball will probably step in to seize control of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt. That will be their right as of the end of the month, when McCourt can no longer pay the players. It’s the right thing to do for this one-time flagship franchise and its loyal fans, who never deserved McCourt, but watching from a distance there’s something entertaining about the whole fiasco.
What will Frank do next? Will he hire himself as the third-base coach, paid $10 million a year? Will he sack Ned Colletti and hire his son as general manager, at $20 million a year? Oh, the spectacle this could become.
MLB should stop trying its tough love with McCourt and start playing hardball. That is, doing nothing and just watching to see what happens next. There’s a radical idea, although MLB probably doesn’t want to be a 29-team operation.
Bill Kline, Allentown Morning Call
Whereas Bud Selig is fuller of himself than A-Rod is when he preens in front of a mirror.
Whereas Selig wields more unnatural power than a 1990s juiced-up slugger.
Whereas Major League Baseball already owns too many abnormal rights such as the anti-trust exemption.
Whereas although Frank McCourt flipped the Dodgers into the Clippers of baseball, it was his prerogative to do so. (Sorry, fans.)
Whereas the bankruptcy court has authorized a stopgap loan to keep the Dodgers afloat.
Whereas the same judge may very well approve McCourt’s $3-billion local TV deal that Selig so arrogantly rejected.
Whereas that deal should give financial stability to the Dodgers for years to come.
And whereas the next time McCourt marries he will have a pre-nup more untouchable than a Justin Verlander fastball.
The monopoly known as Baseball and Bud should stay the hell away from the Los Angeles Dodgers.]
[Updated at 12:52 a.m.:
Joseph Schwerdt, South Florida Sun Sentinel
Yes, but not for long. It’s not much of an upgrade to move control of the Dodgers from its dysfunctional ownership into the hands of baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. That said, the Dodgers are one of baseball’s jewels and certainly its most relevant West Coast franchise. The team is a mess, and Major League Baseball needs it cleaned up, pronto.
So, here’s the plan: MLB assumes control, assigns an executive to run the team and forms a small committee made up of former Dodgers as caretakers of the team’s tradition. Then it launches a search for a new owner (Mark Cuban) and brokers a deal to get Frank McCourt out and the new owner (Mark Cuban) in. The key is for MLB to open its eyes and find the right owner (Mark Cuban) who knows how to build a winning franchise (Mark Cuban).
Steve Gould, Baltimore Sun
Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a league to be running one of its teams, in part because it has the potential to shade that league toward the owners’ side in possible labor disputes with the players union.
In the case of the Dodgers, however, I think it needs to be done until a successor to current owner Frank McCourt can take over the effort to bring the team back to respectability.
This soap opera with McCourt has gone on for far too long, and it has become clear that he doesn’t have the Dodgers’ best interests at heart and is unfit to run a team. The added uncertainty of what implications his divorce from Jamie McCourt would have in a bankruptcy resolution is just another reason he should be out of the picture.]
Photo: Bud Selig. Credit: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press