MLB asks bankruptcy court to order sale of Dodgers

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According to the Los Angeles Times, MLB on Friday asked a federal bankruptcy judge to order the sale of the Dodgers. Bill Shaikin has the entire rundown.

The Dodgers have been trying to get the court to approve an auction of its television rights, which would presumably provide Frank McCourt with the money necessary to continue running the team.  MLB, though, has no intention of approving any such sale of TV rights.

Here’s Shaikin’s take:

The MLB request accelerates the legal confrontation at the heart of the case: Would the bankruptcy court override the rules of Major League Baseball?

A hearing is set Oct. 12. The league asked the judge to act even before the expiration of McCourt’s exclusive window to propose a reorganization plan so the Dodgers could “emerge quickly from bankruptcy under new ownership and with the financial stability necessary to adequately prepare for the 2012 baseball season and beyond.”

MLB’s filing makes no bones about its ultimate goal and states that “Mr. McCourt cannot hide the Dodgers in bankruptcy forever.”

The request for the sale of the Dodgers was just one of two made by the league today.  MLB has also asked that the Dodgers’ bankruptcy attorneys be ousted because they represent McCourt’s interests, rather than those of the team.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.