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Bud Selig Reportedly Considers MLB Intervention With Dodgers
Published September 15, 2010
The inability of Frank and Jamie McCourt to "settle their divorce case and the prospect of several more years of litigation has prompted" MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to "consider intervening on behalf of the Dodgers," according to sources cited by Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Selig has "remained virtually silent on the issue since the McCourts filed for divorce 11 months ago." But sources indicated that the commissioner is "dismayed at the public spectacle surrounding the divorce and concerned about the potential for lasting damage to the league and its flagship West Coast franchise." Selig reportedly has expressed that he "wants the Dodgers' ownership situation resolved long before his scheduled retirement" in '12. The McCourt divorce trial is scheduled to resume Monday and conclude Sept. 30. Attorneys involved with the case, however, contend that with both sides "openly discussing possible appeals and additional legal maneuvers, a final decision on whether Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the team or Jamie McCourt is a co-owner could be two to three years away." Attorney Steve Susman, a member of Frank's legal team, yesterday said that MLB "has not leaned on his client to settle or sell." Former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent said, "I think it's very unlikely any commissioner in any sport would get too much involved in a mess like that." Shaikin notes if Frank McCourt ultimately elects to sell the Dodgers, the "list of potential buyers is headed by Southern California residents," including Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio, Red Sox Chair Tom Werner, former player agent Dennis Gilbert, former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and real estate developer Alan Casden. Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison "also have been mentioned as potential buyers," and one baseball source said that "Asian investors might explore a bid as well" (L.A. TIMES, 9/15).
DODGE BALL: SI's Lee Jenkins, when asked about the chances of Selig intervening in the case, said, "I actually think it's more likely that the judge steps in. The judge in this case actually has the power to invalidate this post-nuptial agreement which this whole case hinges on and order the team to be sold." Jenkins added if Jamie wins the team, Frank “likely appeals.” But if Jamie “wins the appeal, then it becomes community property. It becomes their shared asset and everyone says that they will have to sell it, even Jamie McCourt's lawyers say they will have to sell it. She will not be able to buy out Frank and even if she does, there's no way baseball will approve her after this sideshow." Jenkins added the McCourts "still have assets, but the way that the world is now it's harder to get a loan. I don't know they're going to have the liquid cash to run that team" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 9/15).