McCourt loses bid to force documents from MLB

McCourt loses bid to force documents from MLB

LOS ANGELES -- A bankruptcy judge has ruled against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's demands that MLB turn over documents or make Commissioner Bud Selig available for a deposition.

"This is clearly, in my mind, not an appropriate occasion to turn this hearing into a trial on the Commissioner," U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said at a hearing in Delaware Thursday.

"We are pleased that the judge agreed with our position on discovery," an MLB spokesperson said.

Gross is expected at a July 20 hearing to decide whether McCourt can continue to use $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing he arranged with a JP Morgan Chase hedge fund during the bankruptcy, which he filed June 27. Gross agreed last week to allow the use of those funds on an interim basis so the Dodgers could meet payroll and continue operations.

MLB has offered to extend credit at an interest rate three percent lower and without as much as $9.75 million in fees that are attached to the hedge fund loan.

McCourt had asked the court to compel MLB to turn over 31 categories of documents that would support his contention that MLB forced him into bankruptcy by refusing to approve a $3 billion television rights deal, which Selig determined to be not in the best interests of baseball, the Dodgers or their fans. McCourt has charged that the Dodgers have been treated unfairly by MLB compared to other clubs with cash-flow constraints.

The judge ruled that deposing Selig was not "relevant" to the issue of the loan and he would not turn the July 20 hearing into a trial of Selig. However, Gross allowed a request by MLB to depose McCourt because it was focused on the loan.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.