Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dodger Thoughts [Print without images]

Friday, July 22, 2011
Bankruptcy judge pushes McCourt to negotiate with MLB


From ESPNLosAngeles.com and The Associated Press:
A Delaware judge has rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers' proposed $150 million bankruptcy financing plan, a decision that likely will force the team to accept a financing offer from Major League Baseball.

The judge issued his eight-page decision Friday, two days after presiding over a hearing on the competing financing plans.

The team had sought approval of its proposed arrangement with hedge fund Highbridge Capital.

But the league, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, countered with a competing plan that carried better financial terms.

The Dodgers rejected MLB's offer, saying it likely would result in legal battles and was an attempt by baseball commissioner Bud Selig to take control of the team and force a sale. ...

This is not a fastpass for MLB to take control of the Dodgers, though MLB being able to have a direct say in the terms of the loan is significant. But the bigger decision still awaits: Who will drive the Dodgers TV future, upon which McCourt's fate as Dodger owner rests.

More on Judge Kevin Gross' ruling from Bill Shaikin of the Times:
"It is unclear to the Court how Debtors think they can successfully operate a team within the framework of Baseball if they are unwilling to sit with Baseball to consider and negotiate even more favorable terms while under the Court's protection," Gross wrote.

By the way, the first footnote in the ruling reads:
This entity owns the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball Team ("the Dodgers") whose rich and successful history is of mythical proportions. Its great former players, managers and executives could justify their own hall of fame ...