With ownership of the Dodgers set to change hands on April 30, Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball is working to learn more about the sale but is not trying to stop it.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale last week, despite complaints from MLB attorney Thomas Lauria that the league had not gotten a fair opportunity to review the transaction. Attorneys from MLB and Guggenheim Baseball, the new ownership group led by financier Mark Walter and fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming team President Stan Kasten, have met with the court-appointed mediator this week in an effort to resolve the league’s concerns.
Selig said the league still is unclear about the financial structure of the ownership group and the arrangement for a joint venture on the Dodger Stadium parking lots involving Guggenheim and outgoing team owner Frank McCourt.
“We’re making progress,” Selig told a group of sports editors in New York.
In exchange for getting McCourt to sell the Dodgers, the league let him have the final say in selecting the new owner. In approving the sale, the court essentially told MLB to live by its agreement with McCourt.
However, Selig said some issues have not been resolved to the league’s satisfaction.
“We have very specific ownership procedures,” he said. “The owners of a franchise, who they are, how much they are in for.… There are a lot of questions that Tom Lauria raised. We’re working to clear up those things.”
The Guggenheim group agreed to pay $2.15 billion for the Dodgers, a record price for a sports franchise and roughly 21/2 times the previous record for an MLB franchise.
“I had a low and high price range in my mind,” Selig said. “Let’s just say it was at the high end.”
Juan Uribe was listed as day to day because of a sore left wrist that has hampered his ability to swing a bat.
Jerry Hairston Jr. replaced Uribe on Thursday against Milwaukee. After the Dodgers’ 4-3 win, Uribe said he hoped to take batting practice Friday in Houston.
Uribe, 33, is batting .235 with one run batted in.
Reliever Josh Lindblom, who made his first opening-day roster, has now gone 82/3 innings in six appearances without giving up an earned run.
“It’s just a matter of every day getting better,” said Lindblom, 24. “There are some pitches I’m getting away with, and the guys are making plays behind me too.”
Opposing hitters are batting .115 (3 for 26) against Lindblom. The only big hit he gave up was a single last Sunday against the San Diego Padres that scored two runs charged to starter Clayton Kershaw.
“It’s the first time I’ve faced a lot of these guys,” he said of the hitters. “There’s a learning curve — they’re going to adjust, I’ll have to adjust.”
After a close call at home plate gave the Brewers a walk-off win Wednesday night, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said umpires should review replays of such calls, especially when they directly determine the outcome of a game. “Those plays … could end up costing you a game,” he said. “Those are tough calls.” … All-Star voting starts Friday and runs through late-June. … Mattingly turns 51 on Friday.
James reported from New York, Peltz from Milwaukee. Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report from Los Angeles.