Wednesday, baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced via a letter that Major League Baseball had assumed control of the day-to-day operations of the financially distressed Los Angeles Dodgers franchise. While this move was met by cheers from the Dodgers’ fan base, ESPN reports that team Vice Chairman Steve Soboroff, who was hired the day before by team owner Frank McCourt, publicly blasted Selig’s move as “irresponsible” and “a shock.”
Frank McCourt offered Dodgers as collateral
According to the New York Times, Major League Baseball asserts that Frank McCourt used the L.A. Dodgers as collateral in the process of racking up $459 million in debt. As McCourt is also going through a messy divorce from wife Jamie McCourt, Selig is concerned that Frank McCourt doesn’t have enough money to continue to operate the team.
However, Soboroff objects to Selig’s characterization of his employer, citing the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 20-year, $3 billion television deal with Fox Sports.
“All this momentum is building and then all of sudden this letter comes in and says, ‘You don’t have any money. You don’t have this or that.’ I think it was irresponsible,” Soboroff said. “It was a shock. … Let us show the exciting things that Los Angeles can do for Major League Baseball.”
A call for decisive action
Soboroff also criticized the way in which Bud Selig made the announcement regarding Frank McCourt and the L.A. Dodgers, as well as the delay in naming who the MLB trustee who takes control of the Dodgers will be.
“To me, if you’re going to send somebody out here to take something over, you don’t write a letter that says, ‘Gee whiz, here’s all these problems with you and here’s everything else, but don’t worry, later on in the week we’re going to send somebody else out,’” Soboroff said. “You do it the same day.”
Soboroff hired after Bryan Stow incident
Steve Soboroff, a former Los Angeles mayoral candidate, was hired by Frank McCourt to address the Dodgers’ fan experience following the horrific beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow after the Opening Day game between the Dodgers and the Giants at Dodgers Stadium. Stow is in a medically induced coma at this time.
Soboroff is adamant that he will be able to help the Los Angeles Dodgers a great deal. What he wants, writes ESPN, is a chance.
“I’m not doing this for any reason than to help L.A.,” said Soboroff. “This should be the model for other baseball teams. But Frank McCourt is being picked out (by baseball).”
New York Times: http://nyti.ms/fNzOg2
Frank McCourt on the Bryan Stow Opening Day incident
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