Dodgers owner Frank McCourt hopes the approval of a potential television… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
Frank McCourt's lieutenants met Tuesday with executives from the commissioner's office, presenting McCourt's plan for preserving his ownership of the Dodgers.
Neither McCourt nor Commissioner Bud Selig attended the meeting. No decisions were made; the baseball officials promised to forward all the details to Selig.
The framework of the plan involves a television deal with Fox that would enable McCourt to settle his divorce, manage the Dodgers' steep debt and improve the team.
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Selig has to approve any television deal, and without this one, McCourt might be unable to afford to settle his divorce without selling the team. Selig wants McCourt out, but the commissioner risks a lawsuit from McCourt should he reject what would be a fair-market television deal comparable to other clubs.
Neither MLB nor the spokesman for McCourt, Steve Sugarman, would comment on the meeting.
Blake to be activated
The Dodgers created a place on their active roster for third baseman Casey Blake by optioning infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. to triple-A Albuquerque after losing, 3-0, to the Colorado Rockies.
Blake, who is returning from a back injury that sidelined him for nearly a month, traveled with the Dodgers to Denver and Manager Don Mattingly said he planned to activate Blake on Wednesday for the game against the Rockies.
Mattingly said he still plans to give the 37-year-old Blake frequent days off.
"I still believe in what I was talking about," Mattingly said. "I can't let him get beat up."
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Mattingly said that late in his playing career, then-New York Yankees manager Buck Showalter did something similar with him. The more Mattingly rested, the more effective he was when he played.
"I didn't really want it, but it ended up being the best thing for me," Mattingly said. "It worked out. That's what lets me know that it's probably the best thing over the course of the season."
Furcal to start day game
Rafael Furcal sat out the first day game of the season, even though it was only the third game of the season.
The Dodgers play another day game Wednesday, but Mattingly said he intends to start Furcal this time.
The Dodgers were off Monday and have another day off Thursday.
"It's not every day game," Mattingly said. "There's no perfect way and who knows if this works or not, but it's really about keeping Raffy for over the course of 162. You have to bite the bullet here and there to keep him the whole year."
The Dodgers have been cautious with Furcal in recent years because he has been slowed by back problems.
Garland nears return
Jon Garland has been ruled out to start Sunday, which is the first time the fifth spot in the rotation comes up.
That day, the Dodgers will turn to John Ely or Tim Redding. Ely appears to have the edge because he is already on the 40-man roster.
Garland, who is recovering from a strained side muscle, had been pushing to pitch Sunday in San Diego.
Instead, he will be on the mound that day in San Bernardino for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Mattingly said Garland could be activated by the Dodgers on April 15 so that he could start against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.
"That would be the best-case scenario," Mattingly said.
Vicente Padilla felt soreness in his surgically repaired forearm after a recent 60-pitch outing in a simulated game and will be slowed down. … Jay Gibbons, who had vision problems throughout the spring, will start the season with triple-A Albuquerque on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Hernandez reported from Denver.