Judge to MLB: Prove McCourt-Dodgers case

Oct. 8, 2011 at 1:15 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A judge Friday told Major League Baseball to prove its case for taking over the Los Angeles Dodgers or face some exposure of other MLB teams' finances.

MLB argues it can take over the Dodgers under a provision in its constitution that baseball can terminate an owner's franchise if it goes into bankruptcy, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt argues MLB Commissioner Bud Selig forced the franchise into bankruptcy when Selig rejected a proposed Dodgers television contract with Fox Sports. McCourt says the contract contained language similar to that of other deals Selig has approved and accuses Selig of holding the Dodgers to a double standard.

Glenn Kurtz, an attorney for MLB, rejected McCourt's claim of being held to a double standard.

"Bankrupt guy, liquidity crisis, front-loading [the television money for personal use]?" Kurtz said, referring to McCourt's circumstance. "It hasn't happened once."

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross rejected the Dodgers' request for access to MLB documents on the other 29 teams, saying the issue is that the Dodgers "either breached or didn't breach the Baseball Agreements -- the actions of other teams do not bear upon the issue."

Gross said in his ruling if MLB doesn't prove "alleged wrongdoing," he might allow the Dodgers "to take further, limited discovery" of MLB documents.

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