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.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.