NEW YORK - With the Dodgers in danger of running out of cash in less than three weeks, commissioner Bud Selig wouldn't set a timetable for approving a $3 billion television deal that would enable owner Frank McCourt to make payroll at the end of the month.
Selig gave McCourt the face-to-face meeting the Dodgers owner wanted but hasn't loosened baseball's grip on the franchise, hampered by the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt. With the team's finances failing, Selig installed former Rangers president Tom Schieffer as team monitor on April 25 and told the Dodgers that Schieffer must approve any expense of $5,000 or more.
MLB officials believe the Dodgers don't have enough cash to make their end-of-May payroll, which runs about $8.25 million. McCourt has said the TV deal with Fox would give the club about $300 million up front.
"Nobody is using the Dean Smith four-corner offense. We're trying to move as fast as possible," Selig said Thursday.
If McCourt is unable to make payroll, MLB would step in and pay players, avoiding a default that might allow them to become free agents. MLB might then begin trying to force a sale of the team.
Threshers fans treated to Oswalt, Utley, Ruiz
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Threshers fans got something extra at Thursday's Florida State League game against Palm Beach: a pair of Phillies All-Stars and their starting catcher on minor-league rehab assignments at Bright House Field.
2B Chase Utley (knee), RHP Roy Oswalt (lower-back inflammation) and C Carlos Ruiz (back) each played five innings in the 7-5 win. Utley hit a solo homer, walked and scored twice in his second FSL outing. He was 1-for-4 Tuesday. Oswalt allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Ruiz had a single in three at-bats and felt good behind the plate: "No pain."
"It's all good so far," Utley told MLB.com. "I was able to see some pitches, especially in that second at-bat, so hopefully, it's coming."
A crowd of 2,677 attended.
Dodgers-Pirates Rainout: The Dodgers' game against the host Pirates was postponed after a long rain delay. The rainout was the 27th this year, surpassing the total from all of 2010.
More Pirates: CF Andrew McCutchen was benched by manager Clint Hurdle for the start of the game as punishment for not running out a dropped third strike Wednesday. McCutchen struck out in the eighth with the Pirates trailing 2-0. The ball squirted away from Dodgers C Rod Barajas, but McCutchen just turned toward the dugout.
Braves: RF Jason Heyward was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game though an MRI exam showed no significant damage to his sore right shoulder.
Mets: 1B Ike Davis was put on the DL and will be out at least two weeks with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise. He was hurt in a collision with 3B David Wright on Tuesday. ... Ace Johan Santana threw off a mound in Port St. Lucie this week for the first time since September surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder and reported no problems, ESPN.com reported.
Yankees: 2B Robinson Cano homered one day after getting hit in the helmet by a pitch. A neurologist gave him clearance after a CT scan.
Fenway thief: Authorities in New York say a Massachusetts man is accused of stealing Red Sox memorabilia from Fenway Park. Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Jamie Pritchard Holland was arrested May 4 and charged with criminal possession of stolen property. It was not immediately clear why the arrest happened on New York's Long Island. Investigators recovered a home plate, uniforms, a first-base glove used by Kevin Youkilis, cleats worn by 2B Dustin Pedroia and other property.