With the Los Angeles Dodgers plagued by financial problems and caught in the team owner’s divorce dispute, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig dropped a bombshell Wednesday, stepping in and transferring control of the franchise to Major League Baseball, the AP reports.
Selig told team owner Frank McCourt on Wednesday that he will appoint someone in the next few days to oversee day-to-day operations of the team along with all aspects of its business operations. McCourt appeared prepared to challenge the decision.
McCourt issued a statement Wednesday night saying: "Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner’s action."
According to an insider, McCourt was readying a lawsuit against MLB.
Selig said in a statement: "I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the club.”
The action reportedly came after word surfaced that McCourt would need a $30 million loan to meet the team’s payroll. The team’s finances have been the subject of controversy since Jamie McCourt filed for divorce from Frank McCourt in October 2009–one week after she was fired as the team’s chief executive.
Ownership of the team has been a key issue in the ongoing divorce proceedings.
Said Selig: "My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."