Judge To Rule On Dodgers-Highbridge Loan Today

Jul 21 2011 | 12:19pm ET

The Los Angeles Dodgers should learn today whether they'll be allowed to accept a $150 million loan from Highbridge Capital Management after an acrimonious bankruptcy hearing yesterday.

The team and Major League Baseball traded accusations at the marathon 10-hour session in federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del. A lawyer for the Dodgers, which filed for bankruptcy after MLB rejected a $3 billion television rights deal, blasted baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's "arbitrary and capricious treatment." For its part, MLB asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross to enforce its bylaws, which Dodgers owner Frank McCourt agreed to when he bought the team in 2004.

McCourt "seeks to have and enjoy rights to which no other owner is entitled," baseball attorney Tom Lauria said. A victory for McCourt "would make the end of Major League Baseball as we know it," Lauria added, accusing McCourt of using bankruptcy to skirt baseball's rules.

Lauria told Gross that baseball's financing offer was cheaper and wouldn't encumber any team assets. The Dodgers' lawyer, Bruce Bennett, called that "a deal with the devil that is attractive on the front end and has all kinds of problems on the back end."

Gross told the two sides that he hoped to issue a decision today, and that, "to me, this is about dollars and cents."


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