Does the commissioner owe McCourt a meeting?

May 02, 2011

He's entitled to one

Peter Schmuck

Baltimore Sun

Is this a trick question? Theoretically, Bud Selig is employed by the 30 baseball owners to oversee the central management of Major League Baseball, so it seems obvious that one of those owners would be entitled to a meeting after the commissioner ordered a takeover of his business operation. The fact that Selig did not attend a meeting between Frank McCourt and MLB officials appears to be an indication of just how much McCourt's reckless behavior has rankled his fellow owners.

Nevertheless, he is one of those owners and he paid a tremendous amount of money for the right to dismantle the once-proud Dodgers franchise. He claims to be in a position to solve all the team's financial problems with a new long-term TV deal with Fox, but it appears Selig is stalling in an attempt to force the sale of the team to more responsible owners.

pschmuck@tribune.com

Top staffers come first

Phil Rogers

Chicago Tribune

Bud Selig isn't ducking Frank McCourt. He has tried to help him more than any other owner since McCourt joined baseball's ownership fraternity, speaking with him as recently as two weeks ago. But by embarrassing Selig and his fellow owners and failing to comply with MLB's rules on a ratio of debt to equity, McCourt has put himself on the other side of the table.

He's now in a position of negotiating with MLB, not working alongside MLB, and when you negotiate with MLB you do your legwork in meetings with Selig's top staffers before sitting down with the commissioner. That's how it's done. He will get his meeting with Selig. But not before a lot more due diligence has been done on the situation, and the deeper MLB officials dig, the worse the situation stinks.

It's time to go quietly, trying to save an ounce or two of dignity on the way out.

progers@tribune.com

McCourt owed nothing

Mike Berardino

Sun Sentinel

Almost a full decade ago, Bud Selig pulled all the strings behind the scenes and helped orchestrate the wild franchise swap that delivered John Henry to Boston, Jeffrey Loria to South Florida and the Montreal Expos into the hands of Major League Baseball.

Now, a week after taking over day-to-day operations of the highly dysfunctional Dodgers, Selig won't return Frank McCourt's phone calls?

"I suspect the commissioner calls the other 29 owners back when they call," McCourt told reporters. Probably so, but how many have turned their franchise into a ridiculous clown show and are threatening legal action against MLB?

How much credibility does McCourt have left after mortgaging the future of one of the game's flagship holdings to help him navigate a messy divorce? Where have you gone, Peter O'Malley? Please return to Chavez Ravine ASAP.

mberardino@tribune.com

Yes, talk to the man

Bill Kline

The Morning Call

Whenever there's controversy, Commissioner Bud Selig shrinks like the Dodgers' attendance. No wonder he won't meet with the beleaguered Frank McCourt.

But this time, Selig should earn at least earn some of his excessive $17 million salary and talk with the man whose life has spun out of control faster than Donald Trump runs to a microphone. It's not good enough that Tom Schieffer — appointed by Selig to run the Dodgers — will meet with McCourt. The Dodgers might be a mess, but they are McCourt's mess because he still owns them. It's why he at least deserves an audience with Selig.

Unfortunately for McCourt, a meeting would not help. Selig would reject the appeal and then go back to burying his head in the batter's-box dirt the way he did during the steroid era. Baseball's buddy system carries on.

wkline@tribune.com

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