Report: MLB wants more access
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball wants more complete access to documents on the Los Angeles Dodgers' finances, a person familiar with the sport's investigation of the team told The Associated Press.
Former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer was appointed last month by commissioner Bud Selig to monitor the team's finances, and he met with Selig and MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred on Thursday in Milwaukee. The three decided to press ahead with MLB's probe of Dodgers finances dating to Frank McCourt's purchase of the club in 2004, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized.
The Dodgers said Wednesday that documents requested by MLB had been made available in a "virtual data room" at Dodger Stadium. But baseball officials determined that was insufficient, the person said, because MLB will not be able to remove CD-ROMs for financial analysis and might not be able to print documents without the Dodgers having a record of what MLB is examining.
The Dodgers didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on MLB's concerns.
"I think we just continue on down the path and continue to work as hard as we can to get the thing done as quickly as possible. I'll be back out there on Sunday and continue the process," Schieffer said before leaving Milwaukee.
"I just keep saying, you can't tell how long it's going to be because you don't know what you don't know. We'll find that out as we go along, and I think if we can just determine what the facts are, then we'll be in a position to know what options are available to us," he said.
Baseball officials believe the Dodgers do not have enough money to make their May 31 major league player payroll of about $8.25 million. Most players are paid on the 15th and final days of each month during the regular season. If the Dodgers don't have the money, MLB would step in and make payroll.
"I just don't want to get into the cash situation," Schieffer said. "I just think that's something that's better taken care of in a private meeting."
McCourt, later Thursday, said Dodgers vice chairman Steve Soboroff had made incorrect comments about Schieffer on a radio show earlier in the day, including a "characterization of Mr. Schieffer's response to the need for heightened security at the stadium following the president's announcement regarding the death of Osama bin Laden."
"Not only did Mr. Schieffer respond immediately to our request for permission to increase security at the stadium, he volunteered to assist the organization in any way that he could," McCourt said. "I apologize to Mr. Schieffer."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press