SBD/April 22, 2011/Franchises

Selig Says There Are Lots Of Differences Between Mets, Dodgers Situations

MLB commissioner says Katz (l) and Wilpon (r) have worked hard at pursuing investors
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig Thursday said that the Mets are "not in the same sinking boat" with the Dodgers, according to Thompson & O'Keeffe of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Selig: "There's a lot of differences between the Mets' and the Dodgers' situation. I keep reading they're similar but they're clearly not similar. Anyone who portrays that as similar is wrong." Selig said that unlike Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt, "who is mired in a protracted divorce proceeding with his wife, Jamie, and has burdened the club with $400 million debt, the Mets' owners are in the process of selling a portion of the club to raise capital" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/22). Selig said Mets co-Owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have been "really hard at work" in pursuing new investors. Selig: "They've really spent an enormous amount of time on this. And I think they're coming to something pretty quickly" (NEWSDAY, 4/22). Selig said, "The only thing I'm going to say is that there are a lot of differences. The situations are clearly not similar, and that's in a myriad of ways" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 4/22). Baseball writer Murray Chass wrote, "Whether you agree or disagree with Selig's unusual but understandable action against the Dodgers, you have to wonder how the commissioner can exclude the Mets from his oversight. ... Now that he has taken the first step toward forcing McCourt to sell the Dodgers, Selig has created the need to deal with Wilpon. Selig certainly considered the Wilpon issue before he initiated serious action against McCourt so you know he is prepared to defend doing nothing with Wilpon. But he also knows that he will face pressure to exhibit fair and equal treatment" (MURRAYCHASS.com, 4/21).

WATCHING FROM THE SIDELINES: ESPN MLB analyst and former Mets manager Bobby Valentine said he has "no active role" with any of the groups bidding for a minority stake in the Mets. Valentine: "I am kind of sitting on the sidelines and rooting for my friends the Wilpons, and if they need some partnerships, then they pick the right people. And the people I know can all fit that bill." When asked if he has spoken to any of the groups about the Mets, Valentine said, "If any of them have called in the past and asked about the little information I might have, I have willingly talked about baseball and the Mets" (N.Y. POST, 4/22).
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