Dodgers win big amid financial meltdown

Los Angeles Dodgers beat Minnesota Twins 15-0 as court case threatens future of one of baseball's most famous sides.

    Twins fans bemoan their on-field form while poking fun at the crisis engulfing the Dodgers [GALLO/GETTY]

    The Los Angeles Dodgers responded to a growing off-field crisis as they routed the Minnesota Twins 15-0 – tumbling a series of records as they went.

    The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection earlier on Monday, blaming Major League Baseball for refusing to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal that owner Frank McCourt was counting on to keep the troubled franchise afloat.

    But in only their second win in Minnesota – and first since 1965 – the Dodgers got at least one hit, at least one RBI and at least one run scored from every player in their lineup for the first time since 1930.

    Casey Blake had a home run among his three hits for the Dodgers, who set season highs for runs and hits, at 25. It was the Twins' sixth straight loss.

    Meanwhile the battle for ownership of the Dodgers franchise heads into bankrupcy court on Tuesday.

    The fight for control of one of sport's most famous names involves a hugely expensive divorce, billion dollar TV deals and players wondering if they'll actually get paid.

    For now, beleaguered owner Mcourt is seeking an emergency loan to keep the team going.

    On Monday a petition was filed in Delaware by the Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code.

    Ramirez owed $20 million

    It lists debts to current and former players including retired star Manny Ramirez, who is owed more than $20 million.

    The move comes as MLB officials had threatened to take over the team if McCourt could not meet the Dodgers' payroll.

    McCourt said in a statement that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's refusal to approve a television deal with Fox was the cause for the Chapter 11 filing.

    Selig has rejected a proposal under which Fox would have loaned about $200 million to McCourt, who would use the Dodgers' cable television rights as collateral.

    "We brought the commissioner a media rights deal that would have solved the cash flow challenge... Yet he's turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today," McCourt said.

    "I simply cannot allow the commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn't achieve with the commissioner directly."


    The soap opera surrounding the team involves loans taken out by husband and wife owners Frank and Jamie McCourt, who are in the midst of an expensive divorce.

    The team plans to continue operations with $150 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.

    "This financing will enable the Dodger organization to fully meet its obligations going forward. There will be no disruption," the statement said.

    Among the other debts to players includes $11 million owed to Andruw Jones and $4.4 million owed to Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.

    Vin Scully, the team's play-by-play announcer is owed $150,000.

    Because of his mounting financial difficulties McCourt has been getting loans to keep the team afloat.

    His problems were expected to come to a head this Thursday when a $30 million payroll is due.

    Another $67 million loan taken out against the Dodger's parking lot is also set for Thursday.

    The once-proud Dodgers sit barely above last place in their division and are in danger of missing the playoffs.

    Manager Don Mattingly said before Monday night's game against the Minnesota Twins that the problems hadn't been a distraction to the players.

    "I know there is a lot going on and a lot of talk about it," Mattingly said.

    "To say that's changed us not getting a hit with men in scoring position, or making a pitch with a guy in scoring position, or any of that – I think it's just not true.

    "I'm sure guys chat about it a little bit, but I really believe none of that has an effect on the outcome of our games."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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