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Bud Selig defends approving Frank McCourt's purchase of Dodgers

Commissioner says the decision came down to a simple fact: 'There were no other bidders.'

May 10, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez

Reporting from Pittsburgh — Asked in spring training whether he felt responsible for backing Frank McCourt's highly leveraged purchase of the Dodgers, Commissioner Bud Selig sidestepped the question.

Monday, Selig offered his version of what happened in 2004 to Mike Lupica of WEPN-AM in New York.

Selig's main point: There were no other bidders.

"There's a lot of history here, which a lot of people don't seem to understand," Selig said. "There were two other bidders. Fox was anxious to get rid of the team. They were all really anxious. I'll tell you what happened. There were a couple of groups, one group led by Dave Checketts and another group.

"And for whatever reason, [the Checketts group wasn't] around at the end, so Fox sold the club to the McCourts and presented them to us. So this idea that we ought to examine ourselves — there was nobody else. We have a long relationship with Fox. There were no other bidders."

Selig continued to maintain that the Dodgers' situation isn't similar to that of the New York Mets, who are in a financial bind because of a $1-billion lawsuit owner Fred Wilpon is facing as a result of his involvement with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.

"I've read all these stories that say, 'Well, they're really essentially the same,' " Selig said. "They're far from the same. … Fred Wilpon is doing what he should do. He's looking for an economic mechanism that will bring equity into the club: sheer raw cash to put it in the most candid way. That alone is a huge difference. There are a million of other differences."

Whereas McCourt is looking for a new television contract to alleviate his problems, Wilpon is reportedly close to selling a minority share of the Mets.

Hawksworth is injured

Pitching in the seventh inning of the Dodgers' 10-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Blake Hawksworth felt a familiar sensation in his right groin.

"I felt it grab," he said.

Hawksworth was promptly removed and scheduled for an MRI exam Wednesday morning.

Asked whether he thought he would have to go on the disabled list, Hawksworth said, "I don't know. Once it settles down, I'll know."

Hawksworth said he was sidelined for more than a week because of a similar injury two springs ago.

But there was one major difference: Last time, he continued to pitch.

"Then it got really bad," he said. "I had bruising and swelling last time."

Manager Don Mattingly said it was too early to speculate whether Hawksworth would go on the disabled list but added that "a groin for a pitcher is never good."

Ticket promotion

The Dodgers are offering field-level seats for $30 for their game Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers, a markdown of as much as 75% for some tickets.

The discounted tickets can be purchased until 5 p.m. at the Dodger Stadium box office or until 10 p.m. at using the promotional code "STREAK."

Because the promotion is celebrating Andre Ethier's recent 30-game hitting streak, Ethier merchandise will be discounted 30% in the stadium on the day of the game.

Through 18 home games, the Dodgers have averaged 36,672 spectators. That marks a 16.5% drop at the same point in the season last year.

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