Larry Brown Sports – Now that Magic Johnson’s group has won the Dodgers bidding, it is time to get down to business. Frank McCourt has left Dodgers fans depressed and dejected. Each and every one of them is hopeful that Magic and company can rescue a franchise that was once one of the best in baseball. Once the business aspect of the deal is worked out, assembling a winning team for years to come will be the top priority. The good news for the new ownership group is that Jose Canseco is willing to give them a great jump on things — and it won’t cost them a dime.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dodgers owner Frank McCourt looted nearly $190 million from the Los Angeles team, using the money for non-baseball use in violation of Major League Baseball rules, according to Delaware bankruptcy court documents filed on Monday.
It’s the first time the league has specified an amount, the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/vzu9OH ) said.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig wants to oust McCourt.
Using team revenue for non-baseball use is one of 10 MLB rules broken by McCourt, the league said. A violation of any league rules are grounds for termination of McCourt’s franchise.
The league claimed McCourt funneled $73 million in parking revenue through Blue Land Co., a non-team related entity, and he used $61 million in team revenue to pay off personal debts. The court documents also said McCourt took $55 million from team revenue for personal use.
“The Dodgers are in bankruptcy because McCourt has taken almost $190 million out of the club and has completely alienated the Dodgers’ fan base,” the league said.
A flurry of bankruptcy documents filed Monday also said San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day, could be a central figure in next week’s critical bankruptcy court hearing in Dover, Del. Stow lawyer Thomas Girardi has said his client’s medical bills could exceed $50 million.
Stow’s representatives sit on the official committee of creditors.
An earlier court document said there were 197 sworn police officers were on duty the day Stow was attacked, and it noted McCourt was the Dodgers owner to hire uniformed Los Angeles police officers.
“McCourt, however, omits the fact that he removed uniformed officers before the 2011 season, including the opening game when Stow was so seriously injured,” the league responded in its filing on Monday.
The creditors’ committee and Fox Sports each asked the bankruptcy judge to deny the Dodgers’ bid to auction television rights. The TV deal is key to McCourt’s strategy to emerge from bankruptcy as the team’s owner.
The Times says the Dodgers asked the judge to extend their exclusive window to propose a restructuring plan until April 25, saying Major League Baseball and Fox refuse to work cooperatively with McCourt.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — All Chad Billingsley tried to do with a six-run lead was throw the ball over the plate to the Philadelphia Phillies and let his defense do the work.
On two occasions, first baseman James Loney and third baseman Casey Blake weren’t up to the task and committed costly fielding errors that led to three unearned runs. On two other occasions, Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence hit the ball where no one could reach it – except the fans in fair territory.
Howard and Pence hit two-run homers and the Phillies rallied with a four-run sixth en route to a 9-8 victory on Wednesday, completing a three-game sweep of the Dodgers. Howard’s 25th homer against Blake Hawksworth (2-3) snapped a 7-all tie right after Chase Utley pulled the NL East leaders even with a two-run single against the right-hander.
“That team over there, they’re not going to quit,” Loney said. “They don’t care what the score is, who’s pitching or who’s hitting. They believe they can beat you in any game and they’re never out of it. I’m not happy when they beat us, but I do respect the way they play the game. They’re one of the best teams playing right now, if not the best.”
Billingsley couldn’t get out of the fifth inning despite the big lead – but it wasn’t entirely his fault. Two of the five runs he gave up in his 4 1-3 innings came in the fifth, after Blake misplayed a potential inning-ending double-play grounder by Pence that allowed Shane Victorino to score from second base.
That was all for Billingsley, who slammed his glove on the bench after returning to the dugout. Hong-Chih Kuo came in and Raul Ibanez drove in Howard with a groundout, narrowing the Dodgers’ lead to 6-5.
“It hurts a little more, but they all hurt,” Blake said. “Bills didn’t have his good stuff today, and he’d probably admit that. But I don’t care what kind of lead you’ve got against those guys. They keep grinding out at-bats and getting on base. They keep clawing back and clawing back – and the next thing you know, they’re leading.”
The Phillies began their comeback in the fourth after Billingsley walked Howard for the second time to open the inning. Pence hit his 14th homer of the season and third since joining the Phillies in a July 29 trade with Houston. Michael Martinez then reached on Loney’s two-base error and scored on starting pitcher Vance Worley’s single.
Loney hit an RBI double in the fifth off winning pitcher Kyle Kendrick (7-5) to make the score 7-5. But Howard drove Hawksworth’s 2-1 pitch into the lower seats in the left-field corner, raising Howard’s NL-leading RBI total to 91.
“They give you good at-bats all the way up and down the lineup,” Blake said. “They just have a lot of weapons that can beat you – speed, power – it’s just a tough lineup to pitch to. It’s tough for a pitcher when you don’t have your good stuff, especially against a team like that that’s gonna make you work and work for your outs.”
Billingsley, who gave up seven hits without striking out anyone, had to struggle to record his first out as leadoff man Jimmy Rollins ended a stubborn 15-pitch at-bat by fouling out to catcher Dioner Navarro.
“It was a great at-bat,” Howard said. “He threw every pitch that he had. And for Jimmy to get the starting pitcher’s pitch count up that early from the first batter of the game was key.”
Billingsley finished the first inning with 30 pitches – then Worley then threw 38 pitches in the bottom half as the Dodgers batted around and took a 5-0 lead.
The Phillies rookie walked three, including Blake and Andre Ethier with one out, and Matt Kemp singled home a run to end a personal six-game RBI drought. Juan Rivera then drove Worley’s 3-2 pitch to left-center for his first homer since connecting on the first pitch he saw with his new team on July 15 at Arizona. Loney walked and came all the way around on a double by Navarro, who was tagged out in a rundown just before Jamey Carroll tripled.
The Dodgers increased their lead to 6-0 in the bottom half on Navarro’s sacrifice fly, but all that did was wake up the Phillies’ potent offense.
“We just believe the game isn’t over until the 27th out is made,” Howard said. “They got ahead early, but we knew there was a lot of game left. So you just kind of chip away, get a run here and a run there, and the next thing you know you’re back in the game. Vance got off to kind of a rough start, but we were able to pick him up today.”
Worley, who played his college ball about 29 miles south of Dodger Stadium at Long Beach State, gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings and struck out six after coming in with an 8-1 record. The 23-year-old right-hander’s ERA jumped from 2.35 to 2.85 in his sixth start since he was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the fourth time this season.
The Phillies won for the 12th time in 13 games and completed a 9-1 road trip. They improved baseball’s best record to 77-40 – Philadelphia is 37 games over .500 for the first time since 1977.
Kendrick pitched one inning of relief for the win after replacing Worley. Ryan Madson, the sixth Phillies pitcher, got three outs for his 22nd save in 23 attempts, giving up a run on a groundout by Rivera before retiring pinch-hitter Rod Barajas on a flyball with the tying run at first.
© 2011 The Associated Press
In addition to its in-depth look into the team’s troubled finances, the commissioner’s office now is speaking to former team executives about the team’s security, among other things, the newspaper reports.
The security issues became front-page news when San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day. Following that incident, commissioner Bud Selig appointed a six-man task force to evaluate the Dodgers’ security. As a result, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt agreed to heighten security measures.
McCourt and MLB had no comment when reached by the Los Angeles Times about the reports of an expanded investigation.
Read more at Sporting News
Other pages of interest Major League Baseball News
Former Dodgers greats Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser are forming an exploratory ownership group in case their former team goes up for sale.
In the wake of financial struggles that have left the team in limbo, Garvey approached Hershiser and the two launched the Garvey-Hershiser Group.
“We’ve always talked and communicated through the years,” Hershiser, an ESPN analyst, told the Los Angeles Daily News. “He was a little more of a role model for me, the way he did things. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ He’s been a good businessman.
Hershiser met with Garvey and other possible investors in Los Angeles on Friday, according to the Daily News.
Read more at ESPN
New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon said the team is “bleeding cash” and could lose $70 million this season, in an interview with Sports Illustrated that was obtained by the New York Daily News.
Wilpon also said that he fears he could lose the Mets if the trustee for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme wins a $1 billion lawsuit against the team and the owner’s other interests.
Wilpon said he is willing to settle based on the $295 million in fictitious profits he earned, but will not settle based on $700 million in principal he and his partners invested with Madoff.
No wonder Wilpon made those comments about his players, he’s seriously stressed out. I also think it’s interesting that two of baseball’s most high profile teams, the Mets and Dodgers are having such financial problems.
Read more at ESPN
1912 – A’s beat Tigers 24-2, who use amateurs protesting Ty Cobbs suspension
1929 – Dodgers beat Phillies 20-16 & lost 8-6 in 2nd game (record 50 runs)
1933 – 1st major league All-Star Game announced for July 6 at Comiskey Park It will be played as part of the Chicago World’s Fair
1942 – NYC ends night baseball games for rest of WW II
1956 – Mickey Mantle hits HR from both sides of plate for record 3rd time
1990 – Cubs Ryne Sandberg ends 2nd baseman record 123 errorless game streak
1997 – Tiger Woods wins Byron Nelson Golf Classic
1878 – 1st unassisted triple play in organized baseball, by Paul Hines
1907 – Tommy Burns beats Jack O’Brien in 20 for Heavyweight boxing title
1909 – Albert Raines runs world record marathon (2:46:04.6)
1942 – 1st twilight game in 24 years, the Dodgers top Giants 7-6 raising $60,000 for Navy Relief Fund
1946 – Red Sox Johnny Pesky scores 6 runs in 1 game
1947 – A movement among Cardinals players to protest its 1st meeting with Jackie Robinson & the Dodgers is aborted by a talk from owner Sam Breadon
1954 – 1st shot-put over 60′ (18.29 m)-Parry O’Brien, Los Angeles, CA
1967 – Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction in US Army
1971 – Joe Frazier beats Muhammad Ali at Madison Sq Garden
1973 – Ernie Banks fills in for Cubs mgr Whitey Lockman who is ejected during the game, thus technically becoming baseball’s 1st black manager
1984 – Chicago White Sox beat Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, in 25 inn (completed 5/9)
1984 – Minnesota Twins Kirby Puckett debuts with 4 singles
1984 – USSR announces it will not participate in LA Summer Olympics
1994 – Colorado Silver Bullets (all-female pro baseball team) 1st game
1996 – NY Yankee Dwight Gooden wins his 1st AL game beating Tigers 10-3
1917 – Red Sox Babe Ruth beats Wash Senator Walter Johnson, 1-0
1925 – Phillies have their 8th game postponed in a row
1945 – Branch Rickey announces formation of the US Negro Baseball League
1951 – Intl Olympic committee allows Russia to participate in 1952 Olympics
1959 – “Roy Campanella Night” Largest baseball crowd (93,103 in LA Coliseum) sees Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax beat Yankees 6-2 in exhibition
1982 – Federal jury rules NFL violates antitrust laws in preventing Oakland Raiders to move to LA
1994 – Denver Nuggets become NBA’s 1st #8 seed to beat a #1 seed (Seattle)
1897 – 1st Boston Marathon won by John McDermott of NY in 2:55:10
1900 – Highest scoring opening game, Phils beat Braves 19-17 in 10
1956 – 1st ML baseball game in NJ, Dodgers beat Phils in Roosevelt Stadium
1960 – Baseball uniforms begin displaying player’s names on their backs
1966 – Roberta Bignay becomes 1st woman to run in the Boston Marathon
1981 – Rochester Red Wings & Pawtucket Red Sox play to 2-2 tie in 32 innings, game suspended at 4:07 AM (Pawtucket later wins in 33rd)
1986 – Michael Spinks beats Larry Holmes in 15 for Heavyweight boxing title
1990 – Pistons & 76′ers get into a fight accruing $162,500 fines (NBA record)
1991 – Evander Holyfield beats George Foreman in 12 for heavywgt boxing title
1996 – Rangers scores 16 in 8th vs Orioles
1997 – SD Padres & St Louis Cards play at Aloha Stadium Hawaii
1941 – Joe Louis TKOs Tony Musto in 9 for Heavyweight boxing title
1963 – Tigers claim young pitcher Denny McLain from the White Sox for $25,000
1966 – AFL chooses 36 year old Al Davis as commissioner
1968 – Baseball’s Opening Day is postponed because of M L King assassination
1969 – 1st Baseball game in Canada – Mont Expos beats NY Mets 10-9
1969 – Expansion teams Royals, Expos, Padres & Pilots win their 1st games
1974 – Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hits 715th HR, breaks Babe Ruth’s record
1975 – Frank Robinson debuts as 1st black baseball mgr (Cleve, beats NY 5-3)
1991 – Major league umpires & baseball reach a 4-year agreement
1994 – Atlanta Brave Kent Mercker no-hits Dodgers, 6-0
1994 – Darryl Strawberry enters Betty Ford clinic
1995 – Oliver McCall beats Larry Holmes in 12 for Heavyweight boxing title
1943 – NFL adopts free substitution rule
1958 – Dodgers erect 42-foot screen in left field at LA Coliseum to cut down on home runs, since it is only 250 feet down the line
1963 – Public stock offering of 115,000 shares in Milwaukee Braves withdrawn after only 13,000 shares are sold to 1,600 new investors
1969 – Dodgers’ Bill Singer is credited with 1st official save, against Reds
1969 – Ted Williams begins managing Wash Senators, they lose to Yanks 8-4
1970 – Milwaukee Brewers (former Seat Pilots) 1st game, lose to Angels 12-0
1995 – Baseball exhibition season begins late due to strike