A's owner wants Dodgers sale

Updated: August 2, 2011, 3:30 AM ET
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff is hopeful that Frank McCourt will soon sell the financially troubled Los Angeles Dodgers so baseball can move forward from the sticky situation.

Wolff, a successful retail developer based in L.A., told The Associated Press on Monday he spoke out publicly on the topic in support of commissioner Bud Selig, a longtime friend and former fraternity brother at Wisconsin. Wolff first discussed his thoughts in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

"For the good of baseball, I sense that all of us would like to get the Dodger situation behind us for everybody's benefit," Wolff said in a phone interview with the AP. "I was prompted to do this because of the attorney accusing Bud Selig of taking more money. Bud has been a friend of mine for 50 years. It's just not fair. I was just upset."

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in June, about two months after Major League Baseball assumed control of the club's day-to-day operations. McCourt blamed a cash-flow crisis on MLB's refusal to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal McCourt was counting on to keep the franchise afloat.

Selig expressed concern about McCourt using that money toward his "personal needs" in the wake of losing control of the team and the owner's bitter divorce from Jamie McCourt.

Attorneys for McCourt have argued that Selig himself has taken money out of MLB.

"For anyone to seek to diminish Bud's accomplishments in order to rationalize their own actions is, in my opinion, ludicrous and hugely disingenuous," Wolff told the Times. "My hope is that the Dodgers will be sold to a party that will restart this great franchise, and that Frank and his family will benefit from a positive sale. But to try and equate or compare what Bud Selig has done with the administration of the current Dodger franchise is unsupportable."

Wolff said Monday he didn't want to "go any further than I did in that."

"They're in court. It will get settled," Wolff said. "Bud's done so much for baseball. I feel very strongly that he's the best commissioner in the history of baseball."

Wolff is still waiting for Selig to tell him whether he can go ahead with his proposal to move the A's from Oakland into Santa Clara County even though the San Francisco Giants hold the territorial rights in technology-rich Silicon Valley.

Selig appointed a committee in March 2009 to evaluate the issue facing the Bay Area teams, yet he has provided no timetable for when he might announce a decision.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press