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New Dodgers head makes first public appearance

The man who will oversee the Dodgers daily operations will make his first public appearance in Los Angeles Wednesday.

April 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Wednesday, the man appointed to oversee Dodgers daily operations made his first public appearance in Los Angeles. Tom Schieffer admits he's not quite sure what he's up against.

J. Thomas Schieffer held a news conference Wednesday. He is the man hired by Major League Baseball to run the team and is going to talk about the future of the Dodgers.

Schieffer says that Major LeagueBaseball Commissioner Bud Selig called him just two days ago and said we got this great Dodgers franchise, one of the greatest franchises in all of sports, that's in serious trouble.

The commissioner asked Schieffer if he could help him out. Schieffer agreed. Schieffer also said the commissioner is acting within the rules and the guidelines of Major League Baseball and his commissionership, despite what Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said Wednesday.

McCourt met with Major League Baseball executives in New York. He made his case to maintain control of the Dodgers, and he is basing that argument on a television contract he has signed with Fox Sports.

"The agreement reached by the Dodgers and Fox for a new media rights deal provides financial stability for the ballclub for years to come. The media rights package is fully negotiated and it is one of the most favorable ever reached by a baseball team," McCourt said in a statement.

"I don't want to get into an argument with Mr. McCourt," said Schieffer. "A transcontinental argument here. I am just here to help and I will be happy to listen to him and evaluate his argument what not. But I want this franchise to focus on baseball. People don't want to talk about what's going on in the front office, they want to know what is going on in the field."

The Dodgers are reportedly set to hire former LAPD Captain Rich Wemmer as their new security chief. It's a position that has been vacant since December and that brought heavy criticism on the Dodgers, especially after Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally beaten on opening day and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Schieffer says that he and Major League Baseball have to approve all expenditures over $5,000.

"I think it would have to be approved but I don't want to prejudge it," said Schieffer. "Because I have not heard the arguments for it or whatever but yes, it will have to be approved.

"The first thing you have to do with a ballpark is make sure that it is safe. It has to be safe in the parking lot, it has to be safe inside the ballpark because this is a game we play. And we don't want people injured to watch that game. And you can't have fun if you are worried about your safety," said Schieffer.

Schieffer says he would love to meet and talk to McCourt if McCourt would like to do so. Schieffer says he will be at Dodger Stadium Thursday and will remain on the job for as long as it takes to get the franchise turned around.

There has already been talk of the Dodgers being put up for sale, as well as talk of potential buyers for the team.

L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn wants the fans to be able to buy the team. She is going to talk to Congress about changing the rules that would allow fans to buy stock in the Dodgers.

This is not an unheard of idea. It has been done by several other teams, the most famous being the Green Bay Packers, who recently won Super Bowl XLV. The team is owned by the community of Green Bay.