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McCourt Has Met More With Selig Than Any Owner, MLB Exec Says

Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt
Frank McCourt, owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Photographer: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has occupied more of Major League Baseball’s time than any other owner over the past seven years, the sport’s third-highest-ranking official said.

McCourt, who is at odds with MLB because of its takeover of the Dodgers’ day-to-day operations, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness with Margaret Brennan” that Commissioner Bud Selig hadn’t returned “half a dozen” phone calls over the past few weeks.

Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations and human resources, said yesterday that McCourt has met plenty of times with Selig since he became an owner.

“With respect to the commissioner not calling, all I can tell you is since 2004, there is no owner when he came into the league who has occupied more commissioner’s time, or commissioner’s office time, than Frank McCourt,” Manfred said in a telephone interview.

Selig announced last week that his office was taking over the Dodgers’ operations because of “deep concerns regarding the finances” of the club. McCourt said that the team hasn’t violated any MLB rules and that he feels as though top officials are trying to force him out.

“It sure seems that way to me,” McCourt said. “This is a franchise that is in complete compliance with all of baseball’s rules, including the financial rules; we’re current on all of our payments; I haven’t asked for, nor have I received, a penny of emergency funding from baseball or from the other owners.”

In the last seven years, the commissioner’s office has handled, among other things, the relocation and sale of the league-owned Montreal Expos, and the bankruptcy of the Texas Rangers last season. The league has also dealt with numerous investigations into steroid use, including the December 2007 Mitchell Report, which named 89 MLB players who were alleged to have used steroids or human growth hormones.

Selig’s concern over the Dodgers stems from the legal fight surrounding McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, who divorced in October after almost 31 years of marriage. The McCourts, who bought the team from News Corp. in 2004 for $430 million, are arguing over who owns the Dodgers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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