Major League Baseball has two troublesome situations brewing in its two biggest markets. And both may get worse before they get better.Last week, Bud Selig rejected a deal that would have allowed Fox TV to loan $200 million to Frank McCourt, the owner of the Dodgers, who is currently engaged in a bitter divorce and is facing a $430 million debt.
Meanwhile, the Mets have submitted a list of names to Major League Baseball for vetting as potential owners of a minority stake in the franchise.
But based on rumours we are hearing, the hopes of both owners to retain controlling interest in their ball clubs may be fading.
One source is telling Business Insider that the Mets will have to sell more than just a portion of the team, noting that the Wilpons “need to sell a stake in it TV network (SNY) if any kind of deal is going to get done.” The source also feels that Jeff Wilpon (Fred’s son) “is not grasping the reality of the family’s circumstances” and that the Mets may be operating with a $80 million operating deficit this year.
We are also hearing that the McCourts will “have to sell.” However, their situation may be more attractive to potential buyers, with an operating profit and a new deal pending with Fox for the rights to broadcast games. The problem is that as long as the McCourt divorce is tied up in, well, the courts, it’s not clear who can sell them.
Both situations are ugly. And if Bud Selig wants to keep things from getting uglier for two if his marquee franchises, it may be best for baseball if new owners are brought in to run both the Dodgers and the Mets.
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