McCourt to meet with officials over ownership

Tim Brown

Seeking approval for a proposed television contract and resistant to having his team run by Major League Baseball, embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt expects to meet Wednesday with baseball officials in New York.

Commissioner Bud Selig last week seized financial and operational control of the Dodgers and Monday announced former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer would take over operational duties.

McCourt, through vice chairman Steve Soboroff, has insisted the Dodgers remain financially viable, in spite of appearances. McCourt recently borrowed $30 million from Fox in order to make good on the first payroll of the season, hastening Selig's decision to step in. The deal is believed to be worth nearly $3 billion over 20 years.

Sources said McCourt intended to address league officials in a meeting, but was not expecting Selig to be in attendance. MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred will attend the meeting, as well as several MLB lawyers.

On Tuesday afternoon, McCourt, who is expected to arrive with lawyers Wednesday, issued the following statement: "I am traveling to New York to meet with executives at Major League Baseball tomorrow to discuss a number of matters, including practical concerns regarding the monitor and the details of the Fox agreement. The agreement reached by the Dodgers and Fox for a new media rights deal provides financial stability for the ballclub for years to come. The media rights package is fully negotiated, and it is one of the most favorable ever reached by a baseball team."

Selig fears the money will go toward McCourt's personal debts, including those incurred in his divorce, leaving the team in the same poor health. McCourt has offered to stipulate that no Fox money will be used for personal purposes.

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