Frank McCourt was in New York Wednesday meeting with Major League Baseball, and he made it clear he would not give up control of the Dodgers without a fight. McCourt presented a new television deal worth as much as $3 billion over 17 years, including an equity stake for the Dodgers in Prime Ticket, but the deal was ultimately rejected by commissioner Bud Selig, who was not present at today's meeting.
"I came to New York for one reason: to present a fully drafted and fully negotiated, ready to be signed, waiting for MLB approval," McCourt said. "We were ready to make any changes necessary as MLB saw fit." McCourt also said $300 million would be paid upfront by Fox to the Dodgers, and that money would be re-invested into the Dodgers, and that McCourt was willing to put that in writing.
On his relationship with Selig, McCourt said, "I suspect commissioner Selig calls the other 29 other owners back when they call."
McCourt was defiant throughout his press conference today, saying MLB had no right to take away his team. "Nobody handed me the Dodgers, and I’m not going anywhere," McCourt said. "It's my money invested in the Dodgers. It's my liability." He called MLB's appointment of Tom Schieffer to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers "Un-American."
As for MLB stepping in, McCourt said if Schieffer's role was simply to oversee the club, he would welcome him. But, if Schieffer's role was as a receiver, essentially in charge of the Dodgers, McCourt would not abide by that. When asked whether he would sue, McCourt was noncommittal, but said repeatedly that the Dodgers were his and he didn't plan on giving them up.
Meanwhile, Schieffer was in Los Angeles, holding his own press conference, during which he said he was now in control of the Dodgers. It looks like this will get a lot uglier before it gets better.
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