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Judge tells Dodgers to seek loan with MLB

DOVER, Del. — A Delaware judge on Friday rejected the Dodgers' proposed $150 million bankruptcy financing plan, directing the team to instead negotiate a loan deal with Major League Baseball.

Judge Kevin Gross said the team failed to show that the terms of its secured financing with hedge fund Highbridge Capital were fair, given the more favorable financial terms in MLB's unsecured loan offer.

The Dodgers previously rejected MLB's offer and had refused to negotiate with the league, arguing that its financing proposal was simply an attempt by commissioner Bud Selig to take control and force a sale.

While acknowledging an "underlying feud" between Selig and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Gross said he based his decision on debtor-in-possession financing on the narrowest grounds possible and leaving arguments over the team's management for later.

Bruce Bennett, an attorney for the Dodgers, said he had spoken with McCourt, and that the owner was satisfied.

"He was pleased that the financing will not have any impact on the Dodgers' reorganization strategy," Bennett said.

The Dodgers already have asked MLB for a draft credit agreement reflecting the judge's requirements, said Bennett, adding that the loan agreement could be wrapped up next week.

Giants fan update: Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten at Dodger Stadium at the season opener and suffered brain damage, opened and closed his eyes on command, moved his right hand and mouthed his last name, according to a message posted on the family's website. Stow, 42, had surgery Monday for fluid buildup in his head that caused a seizure. Doctors have kept him under heavy sedation.

Meanwhile, authorities now believe Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, were responsible for the attack. They were charged with assault and mayhem and remained in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail. Both have violent criminal histories, according to court records. A third person, Dorene Sanchez, also was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact to a felony, police records show. Sanchez, 31, is the sister of Louie Sanchez. She is out on bail.

Dykstra case: Former Mets and Phillies OF Lenny Dykstra, 48, was ordered to stand trial in Los Angeles on car theft and drug possession charges. He will go to trial on 25 counts, and if he is convicted, Dykstra faces up to 12 years in prison. He remains in jail, and also faces federal bankruptcy fraud charges.

Brewers: All-Star LF Ryan Braun did not start in order to rest his lingering left calf strain. Mark Kotsay started instead.

Giants: C Buster Posey had the screws removed from his surgically repaired left ankle but is still weeks away from putting weight on it. He tore three ligaments in his ankle and fractured a bone in his lower left leg in a collision at the plate with Florida's Scott Cousins on May 25.

Phillies: Former closer Brad Lidge (elbow, shoulder) was activated and reliever Danys Baez was designated for assignment.

Rangers: All-Star 3B Adrian Beltre left Friday's game after straining his left hamstring running from first to third on a single. He will have an MRI exam today. … Manager Ron Washington said he was fined for criticizing umpire Angel Hernandez this month. Washington said the fine "wasn't nice" and wouldn't say how much it was. … RHP Brandon Webb, 32, will have rotator cuff surgery again, a setback for the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner.

Reds: 3B Scott Rolen (strained left shoulder) was put on the disabled list, while RHP Jose Arredondo (strained right forearm) was activated from the DL.

Red Sox: LHP Jon Lester (strained back muscle) is slated to come off the DL and pitch Monday. RHP Clay Buchholz, out since mid June with a back strain, is still feeling discomfort and has only thrown on flat ground.

Judge tells Dodgers to seek loan with MLB 07/22/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 22, 2011 10:50pm]
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