February 15th, 2012
The Dodgers pretty much since their inception in the borough of Brooklyn and the city of New York have been a gold standard as far as Major League Baseball franchises go. This is why it is especially sad to see what their fans, players, and coaches are being put through right now. All parties except for the McCourt’s are unwilling participants and by all accounts are an unmitigated disaster of a franchise. The commissioner absolutely did the right thing in basically forcing Frank and Jaime McCourt to sell the team, but where is that process at now? When will there be a light at the end of the tunnel that Dodgers personnel and fans can see?
It seems as though every day you hear about some other ownership group led by a big Hollywood type or investor being in the mix to buy the Dodgers. We know this is probably impossible, but would it possible to may provide the fans with a least a short list of five potential groups that are being heavily considered to buy the team. Considering what they have been through giving them something like that s not to much to ask. Dodgers’ fans can only wonder at where were all of these bidders in 2004 when Selig was pretty much forced to sell the team to the heavily leveraged McCourt’s because there were no other serious bidders?
The team on the field has no doubt been hurt by these off the field transgressions, but has been kept afloat by a core of young players, led by Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp. In today’s MLB landscape though and especially in a city like Los Angeles you cannot expect to win when you are not participating in free agency in any significant way. The Dodgers need look no further than their neighbors in Anaheim who are under stable ownership and are able to pull off moves for guys like Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson.
We are not in any way insinuating an Angels takeover of the L.A. market, but just simply pointing out how the Dodgers off the field woes have contributed directly to the product on the field. From a fan’s point of view they do not see their ticket prices decreasing or their hot dog and beer going down in price so they have every right to be upset about how long it is taking for a conclusion to the cancer that has become the McCourt era in Dodgers history.
At this point Dodgers fans would welcome any owner that would bring life and most importantly money into the ball club. At the risk of starting rumors there is a guy who owns the Dallas Mavericks who would be perfect and he is in the market for a baseball team right now. Just sayin’. Heck who cares if it starts a rumor it will only be one of about ten fresh ones that we hear about the franchise today, right?
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January 24th, 2012
As I write this article, today marks the last day that any eligible bidders can post opening bids for ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The list of eligible names include NBA great Magic Johnson, Joe Torre and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. As we know, Mark Cuban unsuccessfully bid for the Chicago Cubs a few years back. Joe Torre bounced from his MLB front-office gig in order to pursue the Dodgers. It is sad to see the franchise associated with names such as Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela and Tommy Lasorda in such limbo. This is mostly in part due to a nasty public divorce between former owners Frank and Jamie Mccourt. It was so nasty that it required two settlements. The first divorce settlement was effectively rejected by of all people, commissioner Bud Selig. This was due to the fact that the first settlement depended on an agreement of a TV contract between Fox Sports and the Dodgers. A settlement was ultimately reached four months later in October 17th 2011. Until the Dodgers are effectively sold to the highest bidder, unpredictiablity will remain the order of the day.
The bidder that is victiorious in this real-life version of a showcase showdown will have to build around Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. Matt Kemp finished 2nd to the now beleaguered Ryan Braun in NL MVP voting. He led the NL in HRs and RBIs and was even flirting with Triple Crown possibilities as well as the 40-40 club last year. If Bud Selig wanted to solidify any credibility on the issue of steroids, Matt Kemp would eventually be given the NL MVP award eventually via Ryan Braun’s recent troubles.
Clayton Kershaw was able to snatch a Triple Crown and positioned himself as the unquestionable ace of the Dodgers pitching staff at the age of 23. Aaron Harang posted a 14-7 record and could have the potential to be a #2 starter. Other than that, the Dodgers pitching staff is not a scary staff at all.
Here is the biggest rumor, hope and question that the Dodgers might have going into the regular season besides which bidder will win this real life version of “The Price is Right”.
Can the Dodgers land Prince Fielder?
It would be a huge way for the potential winning bidder to boost the morale of the Dodger fanbase. Not to mention a boost to ticket sales, TV ratings. There has been word that bids for the Dodgers are set to reach as high as 2 billion dollars. Dodgers fans should hope that the bidder could infuse some dough to this cash-strapped franchise. A line-up with a duo of Prince Fielder and Matt Kemp would be a major boost to this franchise. As it stands, they have a first baseman of the name of James Loney who has only hit 12 HRS in 158 games last season.
Right now, it’s a game of wait and see for Dodgers fans. Wait and see if the potential owner is a big or conservative spender. Wait and see what the owner wants in terms of organizational structure.
Wait and see if the potential owner would be interested in making a run for Prince Fielder.
November 11th, 2011
The long Dodgers ordeal is finally over! Dodgers fans rejoice as Frank McCourt finally agrees to sell the team. A Los Angeles Times columnist wrote, “This is a swell day for Los Angeles. I don’t know who will step up and buy this team, but whoever it is can’t do worse. You could grab anyone off the street and get better results.”
The names of potential suitors are now sprouting for this mottled franchise some of which include the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban who tried to buy the Texas Rangers last year; a former player agent Dennis Gilbert, who was an early bidder for the Rangers; and Alan Casden, a real estate investor who lost the bidding in 2003 to McCourt.
Frank McCourt, a land developer, bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for $430 million with his wife, Jamie in late 2003, after failed attempts to buy his hometown Boston Red Sox and the Anaheim Angels.
McCourt turned out to be a troublesome owner who took the team on an odd odyssey and tested the loyalty of its fans. Commissioner Bud Selig, who was enraged by McCourt, invoked the “best interests of baseball” in an attempt to get McCourt to sell. The team was bought completely with debt and some help by Fox; still more debt was added to it by McCourt as the years passed.
At present with an angry battle with Major League Baseball and angry divorce in his list of follies, McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers during a meeting in his lawyer’s offices in Manhattan. The process will be supervised by a federal bankruptcy court judge.
There have been federal investigations against McCourt, suggesting that his troubles may have extended beyond baseball. The investigators have been interviewing Dodger employees and have subpoenaed financial records from both the team and Major League baseball as part of an inquiry into McCourt’s financial dealings. What exactly the authorities are seeking to determine is not certain, but during the McCourt’s’ divorce case it emerged that the couple had not paid taxes for a number of years, probably leading to their marital struggles and the impending bankruptcy of McCourt.
September 29th, 2011
Uncertainty is plaguing the Los Angeles Dodgers now. MLB is now looking for the team to be on sale. This is a cumulative effect of many problems that the team owner Frank McCourt has been having on the financial front. The Major League Baseball’s attorneys asked the Delaware bankruptcy judge to make way for the teams sale. The League has put the blame on McCourts destructive tactics.
Team vs League
As everyone and their uncle know, Frank McCourt has encountered some financial problems and has taken some decisions without a consultation with the League. This could have serious effects on the team’s future and existence in the League.
It is alleged that he has used the team’s Chapter 11 case to lighten the burden of his financial problems. He has stripped the team of its revenue sources. The last nail on the coffin was when he sought to auction off the team’s television rights without the league’s approval. If this has gone ahead the team’s finances would have reached a dead-end. It would be topped off by a sure expulsion from the League.
The league’s Attorneys however put an end to the sale of television rights and came up with the solution of selling the team as this could solve many issues without affecting the team’s existence. Frank McCourt could get a part of the sale and the team will have some benefits also.
However, the proposed sale could bring other problems in its wake. For instance, the contract between the Dodgers and Fox sports will be breached if the sale happens.
Now it has also become a clash between the Dodgers and the League regarding the television rights auction. The questions that need to be answered is whether is it possible to change the League’s constitution to deal with bankruptcy issues. Anyway, let us wait until Oct 12 for the hearing that is the crucial decider.
August 11th, 2011
Should the Dodgers go up for sale, Magic Johnson would like to be its new owner, as the legendary basketball player admitted to a Loyola Marymount University audience. Johnson was all praise about the Dodgers brand and said that the organization already has an owner. He said that the Dodgers brand is amazing.
Magic Johnson had sold his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers about a year ago and has been trying to get the NFL back to Los Angeles. As such, having Magic Johnson as the owner of Dodgers, if it ever happens, may not be such a bad thing for the team because Johnson is known for his business savvy.
He will be a lot better than Frank McCourt who has made Dodgers just an asset that must be fought over a divorce custody battle. Baseball fans are not sympathetic to Frank McCourt, not at all. Mismanagement of the team has put it in such a perilous position that it is difficult to meet players’ payroll this season. Even with Matt Kemp putting up some brilliant performances, attendance is down.
There is an expectation that McCourt will soon be out and the Dodgers will need a new owner. Someone who is passionate and committed to bringing Dodgers back to the days of glory. Could Magic Johnson be the man? Some magic will do the Dodgers no harm. Johnson could very well be the touch of magic that the Dodgers seem to so desperately need.
July 5th, 2011
The Los Angeles Dodgers have always been one of the most celebrated sports franchises of all times. They have won 21 national League pennants and six World Series, but of late, the Dodgers have been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
After McCourt filed for bankruptcy last week, Dodgers have become just about whether McCourt will be able to retain his ownership over the team in his divorce settlement. Seriously! What has come of the game, and the fantastic team? Now they are in the midst of a divorce settlement battle, and for sports fans the world over, this is sacrilege.
The McCourts have been making headlines this past year ever since they have been laundering their dirty linen in public. Almost every detail of their 30 year old marriage is now public knowledge. Jamie McCourt, the ex-wife of Frank McCourt, wants their homes as well as Dodgers. But Frank is willing to let go of the homes and not the Dodgers.
The Dodgers do not deserve this turn of affairs. They have had an amazing history. Think back to the time when Kirk Gibson, the 1988 MVP entered the game against Dennis Eckersley, the future Hall of Famer. Gibson had injured both of his legs, but hit a home run that gave Dodgers an early advantage. The Dodgers did not have to look back after that.
And yet, this is the very same team that is looking for MLB’s assistance to help make payroll.
Matt Kemp is playing so well this season that he could be MVP if he keeps this up. Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier are also both having a solid season. But their achievements are not being highlighted due to the divorce battle trouble that Dodgers have found themselves in. Kemp, Kershaw and Ethier are going to be very expensive in the future.
Mismanagement by McCourt has cost the Dodgers dearly.
June 28th, 2011
So yes, the Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has filed for bankruptcy. What does this mean for the Dodgers and how will MLB react to this?
Franck McCourt will be asking the judge to allow for interim financing to pay immediate bills including the payroll. McCourt has managed to procure a $150 million loan at 10% interest and a hefty fee. Out of this, he will ask the court to approve $60 million. What the MLB can do is to provide alternative financing at terms that are favorable. If the judge feels that the terms proposed by MLB are favorable for the creditors, McCourt will lose control of the team.
Commissioner Bud Selig has the right to revoke the ownership if the owner files for bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy judge’s hearing, Selig may take that step which means that McCourt will lose ownership.
The court will try and ensure that the creditors are paid. The MLB says that it is up to them to decide who should own the teams and approve television contract approvals. The main point that McCourt is likely to raise during the hearing is that the reason why the Dodgers is in a spot now is because Selig had not approved a television contract with Fox.
If McCourt persuades the judge to auction the television rights for Dodgers, Fox will either end up opposing MLB because they had not approved the contract in the first place, or lose the contract to someone else.
Had McCourt not filed for bankruptcy now, Selig could have seized control of the team and also sold it. Let us also not forget Jamie McCourt’s contention that she owns half of Dodgers. Will the divorce court decide in her favor about an asset whose ownership is currently in question?
There are many questions for which the answers will be revealed in the coming days.