Frank McCourt signaled his intent to go down swingining.
Hours after Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball will take over operation of the Los Angeles Dodgers, McCourt issued a statement late Wednesday night.
"Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines," McCourt said in the statement. "On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner's action."
Newly appointed Dodgers Vice Chairman Steve Soboroff also had words for Selig. He said the decision to take over the team had been "irresponsible." He dismissed Selig's concerns that McCourt is too strapped to operate the team.
The Associated Press, citing a baseball executive familiar with the situation, reported that McCourt was preparing to sue MLB.
Selig announced his decision to take over the team in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.
"It's sad," said Tommy Lasorda, who managed the Dodgers to their last World Series title in 1988. "I've spent 62 years in this organization and I've never seen anything like this happen. Frank loved the Dodgers. A lot of people may not realize that, but he really loved the Dodgers.''
Lasorda serves as special adviser to McCourt.
What's on Deck for the Dodgers?
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said even he isn't sure what happens next.
"It's not a good day when you have turmoil within an organization," Colletti said Wednesday. "I'm waiting for Major League Baseball to give me some insight into it."
Selig said he will appoint a representative to oversee the "business and the day-to-day operations" of the team. Selig said a representative would be appointed in a matter of days.
The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with Selig's thinking, reported former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals chief executive Stan Kasten is a possible candidate to oversee the club. Other names in the mix -- MLB Executive Vice President John McHale Jr., and former San Francisco Giants executive vice president Corey Busch helped negotiate the McCourts' acquisition of the Dodgers.
"My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt's ownership,'' Selig said. "The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."
LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said he commends Selig's decision. He said it's a move that will bring "integrity back to the game."
"It is my hope that the commissioner appoints a representative from the O'Malley family to oversee the team's business affairs during the investigation -- a return of the O'Malley family to the Dodgers would be a home run for fans and the Dodgers," Antonovich said.
The O'Malley family owned the Dodgers from 1950-98.
Colletti met with the players Wednesday.
"I'm sure Major League Baseball isn't trying to hurt the franchise or isn't trying to derail the Dodgers," Colletti said.
Selig Cites "Deep Concerns" Behind Decision
As for why he took the action, the statement said, "because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers."
The team is in a dire financial position, due in part to the divorce battle involving Frank and Jamie McCourt. Jamie McCourt was ousted as the team's CEO in October 2009. Frank McCourt is the team's owner and chairman.
Jamie McCourt said in a statement that "As the 50 percent 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."
The move comes after the Los Angeles Times reported Frank McCourt had arranged a $30 million loan from the team's television partner, Fox. That loan was projected to cover expenses into May. McCourt bought the team from News Corp. in January 2004.
"News of this MLB receivership came as a surprise to everyone," said former LAPD Chief William Bratton, who is working with the Dodgers to assess security.
Bratton says his team will "continue the aspect of coordination with the LAPD and work with them assessing the security at Dodger stadium."
The security plan was requested in response to the beating of a Giants fan in the stadium parking lot.
The fan, Bryan Stow, remains in a coma.
The team also brought in LAPD officers to provide security at the first home series after the opening day beating.
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