In a somewhat surprising move, Major League Baseball (MLB) has moved to take control of the financially troubled Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the first time in the 142-year history of the league that it has ever made a move of this magnitude.
In the past, Major League Baseball has taken control of franchises -- but they were troubled, small-market clubs with low value and little fan support. The Dodgers are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and play in the second-largest markets in the United States.
The decision comes on the heels of the MLB investigating the club’s policies and internal operations.
Speaking with the Associated Press, an executive simply said this of the Dodgers’ activities: "It was not up to our standards.”
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MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, issued the following statement on the matter:
"The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."
According to a Los Angeles Times report, Frank McCourt arranged a $30 million loan from Fox, the team’s television partner in a last-ditch effort to handle expenses. And while Selig hadn’t yet approved the new long-term contract between them, McCourt was in desperate need of a financial infusion.
"I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball," Selig said. "My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. (Frank) McCourt's ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days."