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DODGERS SPRING REPORT

Bud Selig doesn't enter the fray regarding Frank McCourt

The commissioner, on a visit to Camelback Ranch, says he's monitoring the Dodgers' ownership situation and wouldn't comment beyond that.

March 21, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is interviewed during a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is interviewed during a game between the… (Chris Morrison / US Presswire )

Reporting from Phoenix — —

When the Dodgers were on the market in 2004, Commissioner Bud Selig endorsed their highly leveraged sale to a real-estate developer from Boston.

That developer was Frank McCourt.

So now that McCourt is dealing with the fallout of a costly divorce that has further clouded the future of what was already a cash-strapped club, does Selig feel responsible for the situation?

"Well, Fox sold the club to him and we did approve it, but that's a normal process," Selig said. "I don't really have any other comment."

Selig maintained his longstanding silence on the matter during his visit to Camelback Ranch on Sunday — this, despite being told that fans in Los Angeles were probably waiting for him to address the matter. The Times reported last month that he rejected a proposal under which Fox would have lent about $200 million to McCourt.

"I'm not going to say anything today," he said. "It's a situation that I've monitored and am monitoring very closely and I think any comment from me at this point is inappropriate."

Selig was good-natured in his response to follow-up questions.

At one point, Selig was asked by reporters from Chicago whether he considered outspoken White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen a problem.

"Given the problems I have today, Ozzie's No. 794," he said.

What about mischievous catcher A.J. Pierzynski?

"795," Selig said.

What about the Dodgers?

"That's a different story," he said, drawing laughs from the semicircle of reporters standing in front of him.

Later, Selig mentioned he was teaching classes at Marquette University, including one on sports law.

Asked whether he would invite McCourt to be a guest lecturer, Selig responded, "We're going to move on to another subject. Anybody have any more logical questions?"

So inviting McCourt to speak would be illogical?

"Logic, to me, is maybe one that I enjoy," Selig said. "How's that?"

Incomprehensible.

Gem of the farm system

A 22-year-old Dominican kid who was unknown to the manager at this time last year is generating considerable buzz in camp.

"He's just filthy," Manager Don Mattingly said of Rubby De La Rosa.

The Dodgers' reigning minor league pitcher of the year, De La Rosa has a fastball that has been clocked from 97 to 98 mph, Mattingly said. Although his breaking pitches are works in progress, his changeup is already a big league pitch.

"You can tell guys don't see it," Mattingly said.

Although De La Rosa isn't expected to make the Dodgers' opening-day roster, he remains in major league camp. Mattingly said he will start two more games this spring, including the exhibition finale at Dodger Stadium on March 30.

"It's going to be good for him to get a little taste," Mattingly said.

De La Rosa doesn't appear to lack confidence.

After pitching four scoreless, no-hit innings against the San Francisco Giants last week, he was asked whether he was intimidated facing the defending World Series champions.

"They were the champions of last year, not this year," he said.

Short hops

Jonathan Broxton and Mike MacDougal, who each pitched a scoreless inning in the Dodgers' 9-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox, will pitch again Monday. This will mark the first time any Dodgers pitch on consecutive days.… If Casey Blake isn't ready for opening day, his spot as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup could be taken by whomever replaces him in the starting infield. Jamey Carroll, Aaron Miles and Ivan DeJesus Jr. are the leading candidates.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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