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Sports Fans Say Baseball Should Leave Dodgers Alone, Poll Shows

More sports fans oppose Major League Baseball’s takeover of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ day-to-day operations than believe the league acted properly, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll.

The survey, conducted this week by Seton Hall University’s Sharkey Institute, showed that 45 percent of those fans believe baseball was wrong last week when Commissioner Bud Selig took over the Dodgers because of “deep concerns” regarding the club’s finances.

Of the 495 respondents who identified themselves as sports fans in the nationwide telephone poll, 34 percent supported the move and 20 percent said they didn’t know. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

“This action still has a number of acts to play out,” Rick Gentile, director of the South Orange, New Jersey-based poll, said today in an e-mailed statement. “But for now, in the court of public opinion, the team’s ownership seems to be winning versus MLB’s decision.”

Selig appointed former Texas Rangers president J. Thomas Schieffer on April 25 to monitor the Dodgers’ operations. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has opposed the takeover, saying that his team has never violated any of MLB’s financial rules and that he feels top officials are trying to force him out.

The poll found that female fans were more likely to favor McCourt’s position, with 49 percent opposed to baseball’s move and 24 percent in favor. Male fan were almost equally divided, with 44 percent supporting and 42 percent against.

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