Frank McCourt to meet with MLB execs

Updated: April 27, 2011, 9:05 AM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

MIAMI -- Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt issued a statement on Tuesday -- his first since commissioner Bud Selig named former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer on Monday to monitor the Dodgers' day-to-day business and financial operations -- stating that he plans to meet with Major League Baseball officials on Wednesday in New York.

McCourt said in the statement that he'll also discuss the "practical concerns" about the hiring of Schieffer. He also talk about a pending television deal with Fox at the meeting.

MLB seized control of the Dodgers last week, only days after the Los Angeles Times reported McCourt had arranged a $30 million loan from Fox to meet payroll. Selig cited his concern about the team's finances and operations as the reason for his decision.

McCourt said he is confident a new television deal will provide financial stability for the Dodgers.

"The media rights package is fully negotiated, and it is one of the most favorable ever reached by a baseball team," McCourt said.

A source close to McCourt, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Selig won't be one of the officials meeting with McCourt, but that McCourt will be meeting with officials on the "senior, senior level." The primary reason for the meeting, according to the source, is to make an impassioned appeal for approval of the 10-year agreement with Fox on the development of a jointly owned, regional sports network, which would go into effect in 2014.

Selig has yet to either approve or reject the agreement, which according to most early media reports is worth in the neighborhood of $3 billion. The McCourt source denied a report earlier this week that the actual worth of the agreement is closer to $1.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Schieffer will hold a news conference Wednesday at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport, not at Dodger Stadium. Schieffer, 63, is the younger brother of "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer and is currently senior counsel at a Texas law firm.

It's unclear what role McCourt, who bought the Dodgers in 2004, will have under the new regime.

McCourt has been embroiled in a nasty and costly divorce battle with his former wife and ex-Dodgers' CEO Jamie McCourt. An 11-day trial last year revealed the former couple's penchant for spending, while court documents indicated the McCourts had taken out more than $100 million in loans from Dodger-related businesses.

A judge in December threw out a 2004 marital property agreement that gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers, clearing the way for Jamie McCourt to seek half the team under California's community property law.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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