Embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt took the dramatic step of filing his franchise for bankruptcy Monday, setting up a showdown with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Mr. McCourt filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in Delaware in a last ditch effort to save his team from being seized by Major League Baseball, which took over day-to-day operations of the Los Angeles club in April amid concerns over team finances and security at Dodger Stadium.

Mr. McCourt will ask the bankruptcy court to approve a new long-term media rights deal that he says will save his team from its liquidity crisis. The Dodgers’ assets still outweigh their liabilities, but the team doesn’t have enough cash to meet the June 30 payroll.

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