LOS ANGELES, Calif.–A former president of the Texas Rangers was appointed by Major League Baseball today to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
J. Thomas Schieffer was an investor in an ownership group headed by George W. Bush that purchased the Rangers in 1989. Schieffer also served as U.S. ambassador to Australia from 2001-2005 and as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2005-2009 when Bush was president.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced last week that the league was taking over operations of the Dodgers, citing his “deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers.”
“Tom is a distinguished public servant who has represented the nation with excellence and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership throughout his career,” Selig said today. “The many years that he spent managing the operations of a successful franchise will benefit the Dodgers and Major League Baseball as a whole. I am grateful for Tom’s acceptance of this role.”
There was no immediate response from Dodger owner Frank McCourt.
McCourt, who recently took a $30 million loan from Fox to cover the team’s payroll, has insisted that the team is on strong financial ground.
“Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 300 teams must follow,” McCourt said in a statement issued the day Selig announced the MLB takeover. “The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the commissioner’s action today.”
McCourt has indicated he may file a lawsuit to regain control of the Dodgers.
The ownership of the team continues to be the subject of discussion in the pending divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt.
In December, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon ruled that a 2004 marital property agreement–which Frank McCourt said gave him sole ownership of the team–was invalid, saying it conflicted with other post-nuptial agreements.
Frank McCourt’s attorneys still insist that he is the sole owner of the team, but Jamie McCourt last week issued a statement referring to herself as “50 percent owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.”