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Fan’s opinion: What Bud Selig is doing to Frank McCourt and the Dodgers is wrong
The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Monday, June 27, with owner Frank McCourt hoping to stave off the growing tide trying to force him to sell the team.
Watching Baseball Tonight on ESPN last night, and listening to Bobby Valentine and John Kruk talk about the issue, I was struck by their very unprofessional attitude. It's almost as if they believe McCourt fully deserves what is happening to him, and I couldn't be more in disagreement with that view.
To me, what MLB, and its commissioner Bud Selig, are trying to do to McCourt is simply wrong on so many levels.
First, while the Dodgers are certainly having financial problems, unable to fully meet their payroll, and even owing Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully more than $150,000, all of this has come about, in my opinion, because of the actions of Bud Selig.
Sure, there are other reasons that have been at the heart of the problem, such as the messy divorce between McCourt and his wife Jamie McCourt, but when it all comes down to it, Selig's refusal to approve a multi-billion-dollar TV deal with FOX Sports that would have made the Dodgers completely solvent.
Second, Selig can claim, as he has, that the Dodgers' financial woes were "caused by Mr. McCourt's excessive dept and his diversion of club assets for his own personal needs." But those statements aren't backed up by any hard documented evidence that I've seen or read about, and are a moot point if the TV deal with FOX had been approved.
For that deal would have provided McCourt with $385 million up front, and given him more than enough money to put the Dodgers' books in the black; significantly in the black.
Instead, they're deeply in the red, and Selig is using this as leverage to try and oust McCourt.
Anyone who's read a number of my articles, especially my pieces on the NFL lockout, will easily glean I'm no huge fan of owners and corporations. However, I am a believer in capitalism (albeit I believe it should be regulated), and feel what Selig is doing is the exact opposite of capitalism; it's socialism.
He is effectively acting like he's some Soviet premier, dictating who can and can't do business in his league, even after the fact. For McCourt is already an owner, and should be allowed to run his business and make the deals he likes.
Finally, I've yet to see one single reasonable argument for why Selig shouldn't approve the television deal with FOX that would make the Dodgers solvent, and until I do, I will firmly believe what Selig and MLB are doing to Frank McCourt is wrong—heinously so.
After he'd filed for bankruptcy, McCourt had the following to say about Selig and his dealings:
"He's turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today."
I couldn't agree more, and whatever happens (and the consensus is Selig is going to win this fight), it will only show that the more powerful you are, the more you can abuse that power at your leisure. Selig has abused his, and it is wrong.
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All stats and information taken from personal notes and verified at Baseball-Reference.com and Yahoo! Sports.
Read more by Daniel Barber aka Hotnuke at TFS Sports.
*Daniel Barber has rooted for all Miami teams since he was a child or since their inception having been born right above Miami.
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