LOS ANGELES – A newly hired Los Angeles Dodgers executive criticized Bud Selig on Thursday, calling the baseball commissioner's move to take control of the team "irresponsible."
Vice chairman Steve Soboroff held a news conference during a 5-3 win over Atlanta in 12 innings at Dodger Stadium to assail Selig's actions.
Major League Baseball took over day-to-day operations of the Dodgers on Wednesday because owner Frank McCourt's troubled finances and unresolved divorce settlement have seemingly paralyzed the franchise.
"All this momentum is building and then all of sudden this letter comes in and says, 'You don't have any money. You don't have this or that.' I think it was irresponsible," Soboroff said.
"To me, if you're going to send somebody out here to take something over, you don't write a letter that says, 'Gee whiz, here's all these problems with you and here's everything else, but don't worry, later on in the week we're going to send somebody else out.' You do it the same day. … What are you supposed to do for four days?" he said.
Selig is expected to soon appoint a new head of the Dodgers.
Soboroff was hired this week to improve the fan experience at Dodger Stadium and help with ties to the community.
Soboroff is currently board chairman of both the Weingart Foundation and the EXPO Center in Exposition Park. He is a former president of the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission, was senior adviser to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and made a mayoral run in 2001.
The Dodgers, Soboroff said, are in good shape from a financial standpoint.
"Frank has money in the bank. He has a $3 billion deal with Fox," Soboroff said. "Can't we talk to the commissioner? Can't we talk to the people that are going to vote on this?"
Selig's move came after The Los Angeles Times reported this week that McCourt had arranged a $30 million loan from Fox, the team's television partner. Selig has not approved a $200 million loan from Fox to the club, which was first proposed by the Dodgers last summer, and the Times said the money was needed to make payroll.
The messy divorce between McCourt and wife Jamie, the team's former chief executive officer, has been a cloud hanging over the 121-year-old franchise.
Soboroff said he joined the Dodgers to help the city.
"I'm doing this because I think it's the best thing for me to do for L.A.," Soboroff said. "I think Frank McCourt is a different person now moving forward than he was before, or I wouldn't risk having people of your quality looking at a guy like me, who has spent my life helping Big Brothers and all these things, saying, 'What are you doing? Have you lost your mind?'
"I don't drink. I don't use drugs. I don't use steroids. I have one wife. I have five kids. I'm bald, I got stitches in my nose. I'm not doing this for any reason than to help L.A.," he said. "And I'd love to show the commissioner what's going on here."
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