MLB attorney Thomas Lauria said the league was not trying to block the sale but wanted more information and time to review the deal because a number of the sale’s conditions appeared to be “inconsistent” with MLB rules. He also repeatedly complained that the recourse of a mediator enjoyed by the Dodgers was not fair to other owners. “We don’t want a league of the “the Dodgers and 29 other teams,” Lauria said.
In the end, Judge Kevin Gross sided with the Dodgers, confirming the post-sale role of mediator Joseph Farnan and saying he himself would rule on parking lot issues.
He also said the Dodgers would not have recourse to mediator for matters not specifically cited in settlement—that is, most MLB rules.
Lauria said MLB had several issues and questions about the sales agreement – most pointedly regarding the structure of the new ownership group and the deal that had been struck with McCourt about the use of the land surrounding Dodger Stadium.
The contentious debate seemed to surprise Judge Gross, who, as arguments grew tense, quipped, “I had no idea. I thought this was going to be a celebration-type occasion.”
The sale is set to close by April 30. If the deal closes as scheduled, the Dodgers would play their first home game under new ownership May 7, against the rival San Francisco Giants.