According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt met with executives from the commissioner’s office — but not the commissioner himself — from Monday through Wednesday at MLB headquarters in New York.
The topic du jour? McCourt, who requested the meetings, outlined his plans for retaining control of the Dodgers as he continues to go through divorce proceedings with Jamie McCourt. As we learned last month, a judge threw out a post-nuptial agreement between the two that would have granted Frank full ownership of the team.
Frank filed an objection to the ruling, but as it stands right now, he would have to pay Jamie a significant amount of money in order to keep the team. It’s not exactly clear what options were discussed this week, but Shaikin speculates that that he could get hundreds of millions of dollars by either negotiating a new television deal or selling a minority share of the team, then using that money to settle his divorce.
The thing is, Bud Selig could reject any new television deal or partnership agreement. He could also reject short-term financing available to owners from MLB.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it sounds like he is losing support of other MLB owners.
“I can’t imagine one vote going against Bud on anything having to do with the Dodgers,” said the owner, who declined to be identified because Selig has not authorized him to speak on the issue.
In other words, Bud Selig may not force Frank to put the Dodgers up for sale, but he could make it very difficult for him to have any other choice.
On Friday, Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse altercation that started when Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia was wearing off-brand spikes during games. Valencia didn’t like Butler’s interference, potentially costing him an endorsement deal, so he punched Butler in the temple, causing a concussion.
Neither player had said much to the media about the incident, but Butler finally addressed the issue on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reported Butler’s comments:
“This was something that could’ve been prevented on both sides,” Butler said. “We had equal faults in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn’t have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn’t my business.”
“By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion,” Butler said. “This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team.”
“To say that we’re enemies is not right,” Butler said. “To blame this all on one side is not right either.”
Butler also apologized to his teammates. “I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this because they didn’t deserve this. This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn’t deserve this. The coaching staff didn’t deserve this. The organization didn’t deserve this,” he said.
Butler is making progress in his recovery from his concussion. He’ll travel with the team to St. Louis to open up a three-game series against the Cardinals starting on Friday. If he passes his concussion protocol test, the Athletics will put him back on the active roster from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery in early May. Weight has been the top subject of conversation regarding Sandoval ever since he showed up to spring training and an unflattering photograph was published by the Boston Globe.
Sandoval had a miserable spring training, batting .204 in 49 at-bats and lost out on the starting third base job to Travis Shaw. He went hitless in seven regular season plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder, which ultimately required reconstructive surgery.
Sandoval is still under contract through at least 2019, earning $17 million next season, and $18 million in ’18 and ’19. His controlling club has a $17 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2020 as well. It’s hard to see Sandoval fitting into his current club’s future plans, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to get rid of him without eating a significant portion of his remaining contract.