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Thursday, April 28, 2011
Frank McCourt: Bud Selig 'ducking me'

ESPNLosAngeles.com

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said Thursday that commissioner Bud Selig is "ducking" him as he makes his case to retain control over the team.

McCourt spoke to MLB officials in New York on Wednesday, but Selig was not present. The league has taken control of the franchise in the best interests of baseball and has installed Tom Schieffer as monitor.

McCourt has argued that MLB just has to approve a proposed television deal with Fox and uncertainties over his divorce and the finances of the team will disappear.

"I want to talk to Bud, and I want to know why he's ducking me," McCourt said during an appearance on MSNBC Thursday. "I'm here to solve a problem, not make a problem, and you know, we'll deal with the next steps if he says. I can't make a person talk to me and can't make a person focus on the issue.

"This is a great transaction for the Dodgers and for baseball. It's consistent with transactions approved for other teams. This, I'm not asking for a penny from any other owner or from MLB. I just want to access my capital. That's all I want. I want to sit and talk about it, that's all."

McCourt said Wednesday that Selig has vetoed the deal that he claims will infuse $300 million into the Dodgers immediately and can be worth up to $3 billion over the 17-year life of the deal. MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said that Selig hasn't vetoed anything and that the league is waiting for a review of the Dodgers' finances before making a decision.

"I'm not resisting the investigation. I'm resisting the notion that the investigation is an excuse to close a transaction that's in the best interests of the Dodgers and baseball," McCourt said to CNBC. "It doesn't smell right to me. I don't believe it's a legitimate -- there is no process. I don't believe the investigation is genuine."

McCourt admitted that he's made mistakes in his professional and personal life, calling his very public divorce proceedings "a bear." But he thinks that if he can just sit down with Selig, they can solve the Dodgers problems.

"I just want to talk to Bud," he said to CNBC. "I'm sure I'll learn a lot more. You know, guys, we all you know run into different jams at different times, and how do you solve them? You communicate. You sit down if you're interested in solving a problem, you sit down to talk about a solution. At least that's what I've found in my business career. And I've tried to talk to Bud for several weeks. He's ducking me. I don't know why. We should be having a conversation about this. This is about solving a problem."