Osama bin Laden, Frank McCourt and the Dodgers

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The Dodgers’ ownership drama took a bizarre turn Thursday when owner Frank McCourt apologized after his vice chairman claimed the team could not get prompt authorization to increase security in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death.

Dodgers Vice Chairman Steve Soboroff told several media outlets Thursday that Tom Schieffer, the trustee appointed by Commissioner Bud Selig to run the team, did not respond promptly to a request for upgraded stadium security. The allegation outraged Major League Baseball officials, for whom Schieffer produced an email in which he granted authorization two minutes after the request from Dodgers general counsel Sam Fernandez.


In addition to issuing a statement, McCourt apologized in a telephone call to Rob Manfred, the MLB executive vice president and Selig’s point man on the Dodgers.

Soboroff did not return messages from The Times. He spoke Thursday with KPCC, Yahoo Sports and the New York Times.

In his statement, McCourt said Soboroff had made ‘several comments regarding Mr. Tom Schieffer that were factually incorrect. One comment, in particular, that was not correct was Mr. Soboroff’s characterization of Mr. Schieffer’s response to the need for heightened security at the stadium following the President’s announcement regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.

‘Not only did Mr. Schieffer respond immediately to our request for permission to increase security at the stadium, he volunteered to assist the organization in any way that he could. I apologize to Mr. Schieffer for the inaccurate statements that were made about him.’

-- Bill Shaikin