McCourt Contends Financial Woes Have Not Affected Dodgers' Roster
Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt Saturday said that "even if the team didn't have financial problems, it would be made up of the kind of players it has now," according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. TIMES. The Dodgers' payroll of about $110M ranks 12th in MLB, and McCourt contends that the roster is not a "reflection of the organization's economic troubles." McCourt was "vague about his future payroll plans if a proposed multibillion-dollar television contract with Fox were to be finalized." Asked if a completion of the deal would result in increased spending, he said, "I've said over and over again that the media transaction that this team has before it is a very, very important transaction. ... It is a very important piece of the overall puzzle for us to be able to compete at the same level as our competitors who have those media deals in place." MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has said that he "won't accept or reject the Fox contract until his office has completed an investigation of the team's finances." In addition, Fox "doesn't intend to move forward with the deal until the company is assured it won't be contested by Jamie McCourt, Frank McCourt's ex-wife." On Saturday, Frank "offered no insight into his recent conversation with Selig." He only said, "I think there was a little progress made" (L.A. TIMES, 5/15). The Dodgers reportedly are at risk of missing payroll at the end of this month, and in N.Y., Bill Madden wrote, "The Dodgers' finances are the mess everyone thought they were, and it's going to take a lot longer than May 31 when the next payroll is due, to figure them out" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/15).
IN THE NAME OF THE LAW: In L.A., Paul Pringle reported despite "complaints about drunken hooliganism at Dodger Stadium, state regulators rarely visit the ballpark and have issued no citations for liquor-law violations there since 1999." That is not because investigators "haven't had ready access to the stadium, where beer stands and margarita bars now line the concourses." The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control "requires the company holding the Dodgers' two master alcohol licenses, Levy Premium Foodservice, to grant the agency four passes and free parking for each game." Joseph Cruz, Assistant Dir for ABC's southern division, defended the agency, saying, "I don't see a lot of issues that are arising inside the stadium. At any venue you're going to see some boisterous fans. I don't know if it's all driven by alcohol." Cruz said that investigators "drop in on Dodger Stadium only once or twice a season." Pringle noted the Dodger Stadium-ABC "experience is not unusual." No citations for "violations at Angel Stadium have been filed since at least 1992, and the most recent allegation against a Staples Center vendor came in 2002" (L.A. TIMES, 5/14).