LOS ANGELES (AP) — Commissioner Bud Selig is taking away control of the Los Angeles Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt, whose troubled finances and unresolved divorce settlement have seemingly paralyzed the once-proud franchise.
Selig told McCourt on Wednesday he will appoint a MLB representative in a few days to oversee all aspects of the business and day-to-day operations of the club.
However, McCourt appeared to signal his intent to challenge Selig's decision.
"Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines," McCourt said in a statement issued late Wednesday night. "On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner's action."
At the same time, McCourt was preparing to sue MLB, a baseball executive familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity before McCourt issued his statement.
"It's hard to imagine it would happen somewhere like the Dodgers, but there's crazy stuff going on everywhere. You're seeing monster major banks going down, so obviously it can happen," first-year manager Don Mattingly said before the team beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 without McCourt in attendance.
The Dodgers have been mired in controversy since Jamie McCourt filed for divorce in October 2009 after 30 years of marriage and a week after her husband fired her as the team's chief executive.
"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," Selig said in a statement.
A person familiar with Selig's thinking said the commissioner may choose to force a sale. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because Selig's statement did not mention that.