Judge to Dodgers fans: No more letters

WILMINGTON, Delaware Fri Jul 8, 2011 5:08pm EDT

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WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - The judge overseeing the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy has a message for fans of the team: save the trash talk for the ballpark.

Judge Kevin Gross of Delaware's bankruptcy court on Friday ordered that letters from fans had to be removed from the court's docket, or official documents, before it turned into an extension of sports talk radio.

Only four fan letters found their way to the court's docket, or official list of documents, but Gross ordered them removed, while noting the "court respects their passion."

Greg MacDonald from Ontario, California, kicked things off with his June 29 letter that set the tone for what followed with an opening description of team owner Frank McCourt as a "life-long snake-oil salesman."

The letters shared a general hatred of McCourt and his handling of the team, which is mired in last place in the National League West division.

One letter said 8,000 fans have joined a boycott of the team's games.

Michael Evans of Artesia, California, was a little more even-handed than others, pinning some of the team's problems on Major League Baseball, which approved McCourt's purchase of the team in 2004.

Evans told Reuters he wrote out of his love of the Dodgers, and that the letter prompted his 15 minutes of fame -- an interview on local television.

The vast of majority of bankrupt auto parts makers, retailers and manufacturers never inspire a letter beyond the odd missive from a small investor or retiree.

The Fort Worth court that handled the Texas Rangers bankruptcy said it received about a dozen fan letters, which were not put on the docket.

The Chicago Cubs bankruptcy prompted one docketed letter. Former Cub Shawon Dunston scribbled a handwritten note to object to the team's bankruptcy sale, at least until he received promised college scholarship money.

Dunston later withdrew his objection, and the sale proceeded.

The case is In re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-12010.

(Reporting by Tom Hals, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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