In case you missed it, a group led by Magic Johnson was selected as the next owner of the Dodgers tonight. Here are the preliminary details.
There are some good questions that remain to be answered as of this moment.Why did the deal go down so soon after Major League Baseball owners approved the final three groups of bidders? What were Frank McCourt’s sticking points? What will the team’s next television package look like, and does the incoming ownership group already know?
If these questions haven’t been answered by the time McCourt and the Guggenheim Group sit down for a press conference later this week in Los Angeles (the exact date and location are TBA), they will be asked with Magic Johnson and his cohorts on the dais.
Here are some things we do know:
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has spoken to Magic Johnson twice since Johnson threw his name in the bidding pool in December. The first was at a charity event last Christmas. “We chatted for a couple minutes there,” Colletti said. The second was when a handful of potential ownership groups toured Dodger Stadium during the team’s winter development program.
Colletti said he’s known Stan Kasten for several years. “I had dinner with Stan a couple weeks ago here in Glendale, spent a few hours with him. I’ve known him for a long time. We’ve never worked together but I’ve known him for a long time. A year ago we spent time in Toronto on a committee that (Toronto Maple Leafs general manager) Brian Burke, who’s friends of both of ours, had put together.”
Kasten’s resume is ridiculous.
At the top of the GM’s wish list? “I think we, generally speaking, we need to upgrade our presence in Latin America from a signing standpoint and get re-involved there in a larger way. That’s the key thing, and bring some of the top players in Latin America.”
Colletti believes Kasten and Johnson will be visibly present owners. He refrained from speaking for the other members of the group — Mark Walter, Peter Guber, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly.
Walter, the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, released the following statement through a spokesperson: “I am truly honored to have partnered with such talented individuals and to be associated with the Dodgers organization. We look forward to building upon the legacy of the Dodgers and providing long-term stability to one of the most revered franchises in baseball.”
Colletti didn’t know how involved the new owners can and will be between now and April 30, the deadline for the transfer of ownership to close.
Kobe Bryant is stoked, too. “Magic’s got his hands everywhere. I’m happy for him,” the Lakers star said. “Obviously everybody knows how well-loved he is in Los Angeles. He’s starting another chapter in his life and a chapter in his post-NBA career, rebuilding the Dodgers franchise.”