Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday July 7: Dodgers Mess Is More Proof of Baseball's Mess

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Perhaps for the first time, Bud Selig, the man who sits in the baseball commissioner's office, did the right thing in trying to take control of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt. But the Dodgers soap opera illustrates once again the messes that Selig and Major League Baseball have made.

Giving a pass to McCourt, who came up short in his quest to buy the Boston Red Sox, by letting him have the Dodgers even though the financing wasn't fully in place was not the best idea in the world. It happened because Fox, which owned the Dodgers at the time, wanted to stick to televising baseball.

Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers played musical chairs with its ownership. Jeffrey Loria, a man whose management style would have gotten him tossed out of many businesses, has gone from nailing the coffin on the Montreal Expos to causing Florida Marlins fans plenty of misery.

No one is discussing the ownership of either the Dodgers or the New York Mets - whose boss, Fred Wilpon, is also in trouble - as an opportunity to diversify the collection of owners. Baseball needs more females in the top spot. And why can't the team that broke the color line on the field also break it in the owner's office?
The full details of both the Dodgers' and Major League Baseball's messes could be aired in a court battle between McCourt and MLB. Since public embarrassment - usually by Congress - has nudged baseball to clean up messes regarding steroids and labor issues, will it do the same for the ownership issue?

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