Dodgers takeover: bullet points

Man, so many wrinkles and angles and reactions to the stunning news that baseball has taken over control of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt. This means that trades and other major decisions involving the team now have to be approved. Commissioner Bud Selig said he will appoint a trustee in the next few days to oversee "all business and day-to-day operations."

  • First off, Jamie McCourt issued a statement this afternoon trying not to gloat: "As the 50% owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I welcome and support the Commissioner's actions to provide the necessary transparency, guidance and direction for the franchise and for Dodgers fans everywhere."
  • New York Times: "This may be only Selig’s first step. Two people with knowledge of the situation said that he was also strongly considering forcing the sale of the team by invoking his “best interests of baseball” powers to wrest the team from McCourt, the owner since 2004. Selig believes McCourt has mismanaged the franchise while enriching himself."
  • TMZ reports that both McCourts are now under investigation by the IRS after revelations that they haven't paid federal taxes in years — and paid their children out of the team payroll for services apparently not rendered.
  • Steve Soboroff, announced just yesterday as McCourt's new vice chairman of the Dodgers, didn't see Selig's move coming and almost looks like a victim. "There's not a question in my mind," Soboroff said yesterday. "Yes, Frank McCourt is financially fine."
  • Season-ticket sales have fallen from 27,000 in 2007 to about 17,000 this season, the Times reports based on court documents and baseball sources.
  • Headline on ESPN's website: "The Dodgers once stood as baseball's model franchise. Now they're just a huge embarrassment."
  • "This has been like watching a soap opera unfold," said Gary Toebben, the president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Dodger Thoughts' Jon Weisman: "I remember when President Nixon had to announce his resignation, and on a personal level, this feels no less momentous."
  • LAT Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck: "Listen, I’m stunned. Despite knowing the seriousness of the situation, despite witnessing Frank McCourt’s never-ending series of missteps, still stunned. For the world of sports, it’s an I-remember-where-I-was-when-I-heard-it moment."
  • The Dodgers have repaid the $400,000 salary paid to public affairs VP Howard Sunkin through the Dodgers Dream Foundation, which was supposed to be a charity.
  • County supervisor Mike Antonovich called on Selig to bring Peter O'Malley back into the Dodgers fold.
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a regular guest of one McCourt or another in the stadium owners' box, declined to comment.

Updated post


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