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Selig explains why Moores was allowed to take $200m from TV deal when McCourt wasn't

Trying to make sense out of Selig's vague answers

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

Sometimes I feel like Selig follows, ignores and makes up rules as it suits him. And by sometimes I mean all the time. I guess technically he's allowed to "for the good of the game", but still he doesn't seem the least bit consistent most of the time.

First Selig proclaims that TV money belongs and should remain with the team when Frank McCourt tried to spend a little less than $200m. Then John Moores does practically the same thing and the only explanation we get from Selig is it's "different".

LA Times: Q&A with Bud Selig

McCourt's last lifeline was a television contract with Fox that you rejected, in part because he intended to use $173.5 million for purposes unrelated to the team. You said television revenue belonged to the team and should remain invested in the team. Yet, when John Moores sold the San Diego Padres this year, you let him keep $200 million in revenue from a new television contract, one that was not approved until after he put the team up for sale. Is that not a double standard?

"The San Diego thing was different. John Moores was going. A new group was coming in, with beautiful credentials. They found, in their projections, they could live with what had been done. And so they and John Moores worked that out.

"They knew what part of the sale price was. They felt that, even with that lack of television money, they could run a very good operation. They were themselves very well-financed. With what John Moores took out — because he thought it was part of the sales price — they feel there's enough other television revenue and enough other income that they can live with it."

The main difference as best as I can tell is that McCourt was taking money while still trying to run the Dodgers. With the Padres the money was taken as part of the sale of the team. "John Moores was going" seems to be Selig's key point.

But why didn't you tell Moores that television money belongs to the team — not to him — and then let him sell the Padres for the best price he could get?

"It didn't matter. It was part of the sale price. The buyer has to make that determination. They made the determination that they like the deal, even with that money gone.

"The analogy of the Padres did not apply to L.A. That was a far different situation."

Since the TV deal money is part of the value of the team then it would make sense that Moores would be entitled to his portion of that money. If Moores tried to remain in control of the team and tried to cash out his cut of the TV money then Selig might have ruled differently.