Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said today there is no deadline for decisions on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ financial situation and that he’s “comfortable” with the pace of his investigation.
Selig said he met with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt during two days of meetings in New York involving owners of all 30 Major League Baseball teams.
Tom Schieffer, a former U.S. diplomat and president of the Texas Rangers, has been installed by Selig to run day-to-day operations of the Dodgers while baseball investigates the finances of the team and McCourt. The review includes a look at a 17-year, $3 billion television rights deal that McCourt wants to sign with News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox Sports. McCourt has accused Selig of trying to force him out as an owner.
“We’re doing this very thoughtfully, very sensitively with a lot of planning, and I’m very comfortable with where we are,” Selig said at a news conference in New York. “I gave up worrying about owners complaining about 18 years ago.”
McCourt declined to comment on Selig’s latest statements.
“I got nothing for you today,” McCourt told reporters as he left MLB headquarters.
Selig said he couldn’t provide an estimate of when the investigation would be completed and that he was awaiting reports from both Schieffer and the law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, which is investigating the Dodgers’ finances, before commenting further.
The Los Angeles Times reported on May 3 that the Dodgers don’t have enough cash to make payroll at the end of May.
Asked if it would be acceptable for someone other than Fox to lend McCourt money, Selig said that was “speculation I’m not going to engage.”
“The only thing I’ll say is that the sport has very definitive rules and it’s my job to make sure those rules are being enforced,” he said. “End of discussion.”
Selig also said that he is content with the speed with which the New York Mets are working to sell a stake of between 25 percent and 49 percent of the team.
The Mets’ owners, the Wilpon family, who are fighting a $1 billion lawsuit tied to the Ponzi scheme created by Bernard L. Madoff, in January hired Steve Greenberg, a managing director at Allen & Co., to advise them.
“I do talk to Steve Greenberg with great regularity, and I have great confidence in him,” Selig said. “I’m satisfied that process is moving forward.”
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