Dodgers owner Frank McCourt blamed an extravagant lifestyle for his divorce from Jamie McCourt, said he did not use team funds to pay for that lifestyle and expressed a desire to regain the fans' trust in a television interview that aired Thursday.
"Too much so, I think," McCourt said when reporter Abbie Boudreau of ABC's "Good Morning America" asked if he had been leading a too-lavish lifestyle that included a mansion and a private jet. "I think that was part of the problem, and I'll take my share of the blame. I became a caricature of myself, and became a caricature of somebody that was uncaring, unfeeling, excessively living, a bad guy, and that's just not who I am."
The finances of the Dodgers and the McCourts drew attention following the couple's divorce filing in 2009, five years after they purchased the team. Commissioner Bud Selig last week appointed former Rangers president and U.S. ambassador Tom Schieffer to investigate and monitor the team's finances, and the Los Angeles Times reported this week that the team does not have the money to meet payroll at the end of this month, which could result in Major League Baseball taking control of the franchise.
McCourt said no when he was asked if team money was used to pay for the couple's expenses.
"That's not my lifestyle, just so we're really, really clear about that," he said. "No, not at all."
He described the past two years as "really tough."
"It's emotionally wrenching, particularly when you thought that was never going to be you," he said. "I never really thought that I was going to be divorced. I really thought it was for the duration. I have so much respect now for people who go through divorce or experience a loss."
McCourt has said that if MLB would approve a $3 billion television deal with FOX that includes a $285 million advance payment, it would solve the Dodgers' financial problems. MLB officials told McCourt that the deal would not be approved until Schieffer's investigation was complete.
The investigation is ongoing, but MLB wants more thorough access to the Dodgers' financial documents, a source told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The Dodgers said Wednesday that the documents MLB requested were available in a "virtual data room" at Dodger Stadium, but MLB officials decided that was insufficient because they cannot remove CD-ROMs to analyze files and might not be able to print documents without the Dodgers having a record of the printings.
Selig, Schieffer and MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred met in Milwaukee on Thursday, according to the source, and determined to continue its investigation of the team's finances dating back to the 2004 purchase of the team.
MLB officials have not commented on the AP report.
The embattled McCourt said he wants to have the opportunity to make amends with Dodgers fans.
"Nothing is more important to me than winning back their trust and their confidence," he said.
Bobbie Dittmeier is a reporter and editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.