From Bill Shaikin, our go-to guy for all things McCourt/Selig, who’s on the ground in New York at the owners’ meetings … here’s Shaikin’s quick summary, along with a snippet of Bud Selig’s press conference:
Commissioner Bud Selig met with reporters Thursday in New York at the conclusion of baseball’s quarterly owners’ meeting. Selig met on Wednesday with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who said he had impressed upon Selig the urgency in approving the team’s proposed long-term television contract with Fox, which would provide the funding McCourt now lacks to meet the May 31 payroll.
“I just emphasized the importance of timing,” McCourt said.
Q: How do you respond to McCourt saying the outcome is “predetermined?”
A: Number one, the outcome is not predetermined. When I talked to Tom Schieffer and offered him the position, I just told him to go out there. He’s got a lot of baseball experience. He and I were in the business a long time together. I have great faith in his ability. Nothing has been predetermined. That’s why he is there, to monitor things [on a day-to-day basis]. And that is why Proskauer, our law firm, is doing a lot of other work [on the MLB investigation into the Dodgers’ finances]. We wouldn’t have to go through all this if it was predetermined. I’m doing it because I think it is the right thing to do. There are a lot of facts that develop. You can’t develop facts … without doing this. So it has not been predetermined. People can say whatever they want. I will anxiously await the reports from both parties, Proskauer and the monitor. Certainly, the reports will be very important.
Actually, Major League Baseball would have to go through all this even if the outcome were predetermined, because otherwise the outcome would be more difficult to defend in court, if things come to that. This is simply due diligence, and if there’s one thing Bud Selig believes in — at least when it comes to legal matters — it’s due diligence. They’re going to cross every T and dot every I before they seize a man’s property, because the man is potentially litigious. Highly litigious.
McCourt’s smart to worry about the timing of the “investigation,” because we’ve seen that MLB can delay investigations and studies and Blue Ribbon Committee findings for exactly as long as it’s convenient. So this investigation will be completed exactly when Selig’s ready for its completion, and not a nanosecond earlier.