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Debt issues plague nine teams, report says

In addition to the Dodgers and Mets, seven other teams are out of compliance with MLB rules regarding debt, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The Phillies, Cubs, Rangers, Orioles, Tigers, Marlins and Nationals were also cited in a confidential briefing presented at last month's owners meetings, according to the newspaper.

Though the league reportedly takes in a combined $7 billion annually, former commissioner Fay Vincent told the newspaper that the prospect of so many teams in violation of the debt rules was "troublesome."

Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president of labor relations, would not confirm the number or identity of teams.

"With one or two exceptions, we see how teams are going to be compliant again in the short term, so we're not worried about them," Manfred told the Los Angeles Times. "We are not concerned about the overall economic condition of the industry."

Commissioner Bud Selig declined comment.

The rules, which are intended to ensure clubs have the resources to support their financial obligations, say a club cannot hold a debt more than 10 times its annual earnings unless it has built a new stadium within the previous 10 seasons. In that case, the multiplier is 15 times its annual earnings, according to media outlets.

The commissioner's office has latitude in enforcing the debt rules. Among the options, according to the report, are ordering a team to raise equity, requiring expenditures to be approved by MLB in advance and suspending a team's owner.

Marlin threatened over hit: Marlins rookie Scott Cousins has received death threats despite repeatedly apologizing for a May 25 collision with Giants C Buster Posey that left the former Seminoles star with a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle. Posey has had surgery and is done for the season.

Giants GM Brian Sabean criticized Cousins this week on a radio show, saying "if I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy." The Giants said Friday that the comments were not meant to vilify Cousins and were made out of frustration. The Giants said they've been in contact with MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre.

Cousins issued another apology and said he has been unsuccessful in contacting Posey: "As I have stated previously, nobody outside of Buster feels worse about his injury than I do."

Blue Jays: 1B Adam Lind (lower back strain) was activated from the disabled list and is expected to start as the designated hitter today vs. the Orioles.

Braves: Rookie Jordan Schafer fouled a bunt off his face and was taken off for X-rays. There was no immediate word on his injury or condition.

Cardinals: Manager Tony La Russa said RHP Lance Lynn, who gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings in his major-league debut Thursday, would get another turn in the rotation.

Indians: DH Travis Hafner (oblique injury) will hit off a tee today. The team said he is two weeks away from resuming game activities, which likely would begin with rehab in the minors.

Red Sox: Manager Terry Francona said RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka probably will need elbow-ligament replacement surgery that will sideline him for 12 months. The team transferred Matsuzaka from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Lefty reliever Rich Hill might be out for the season as well, headed for the same type of surgery.

Tigers: 3B Brandon Inge went on the DL with mononucleosis, and there is no timetable for his return.

Fan beating: A parole commissioner ruled that the man accused of assaulting Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium can be held for allegedly violating his parole but found insufficient evidence was presented that Giovanni Ramirez committed the attack, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Debt issues plague nine teams, report says 06/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:57am]

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