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Bud Selig refuses to discuss Frank and Jamie McCourt

Baseball commissioner is visibly agitated when the issue of the couple's divorce is brought up before start of Game 2.

October 30, 2009|Bill Shaikin

NEW YORK — Commissioner Bud Selig refused to discuss the Dodgers' divorce drama Thursday, even as the ownership of one of baseball's high-profile teams hangs in the balance of what promises to be a bitter and lengthy court fight.

"This is not a subject that needs to be addressed here," Selig said before Game 2 of the World Series.

Selig was visibly agitated when the issue was raised. He declined to discuss what he would say to Dodgers fans worried about the future of the team.

Frank McCourt has said he plans on emerging from divorce proceedings as the sole owner of the team, but John Moores said the same thing and ended up having to sell the San Diego Padres as part of his divorce settlement.

Selig, who talks to club owners on a frequent basis, would not say whether he now talks to Frank McCourt or Jamie McCourt, or both.

In his court papers, Frank McCourt provided a letter from Thomas Ostertag, baseball's general counsel, certifying him as sole owner of the Dodgers. Jamie McCourt has argued she is entitled to an ownership stake.

Selig also declined to say whether Jamie McCourt would continue to serve in her capacities with Major League Baseball, even after Frank McCourt fired her last week as chief executive officer. She has asked a court to reinstate her.

In her divorce filing, Jamie McCourt said she participates regularly on MLB committees and in MLB initiatives. She said she is chairwoman of an event being planned to honor Selig.

MLB President Bob DuPuy said last week that the commissioner's office is monitoring the situation. The nasty public spectacle is believed to have annoyed and frustrated baseball officials, but Selig apparently is wary of making too many public comments too soon into what is expected to be a long divorce battle.

No hits? He sits

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi stuck with Nick Swisher though thick, thin and thinner. But not for Game 2. Swisher, who went hitless in Game 1, was benched in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr.

"It was something I kicked around in my head," Girardi said, "and I talked to my coaches when I got here. We made the decision to go with Jerry. Swish is a team guy. He understands."

Swisher has only four hits in 36 at-bats this postseason. Entering Game 2, Hairston had a .370 lifetime batting average (10 for 27) against Phillies starter Pedro Martinez.

Who's an underdog?

Jimmy Rollins, who has tweaked Mets fans and Yankees fans with his brash predictions, most recently that the Phillies would win this series in five games, was asked if he did it on purpose.

"I wish I were that smart," he said. "No. They ask me the right questions and the right time and I try to be as honest as I can about how I feel and what I'm thinking, and for some reason people like to write about it."

Though they are defending champions, the Phillies are seen as underdogs by some, though their 6-1 victory in Game 1 may have changed that.

"We hear it," Rollins said. "We don't consider ourselves underdogs, that's the main thing."


Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant contributed to this report.

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