Report: Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly could leave Guggenheim group.

Todd Boehly

Todd Boehly reportedly contributed $100 million to the purchase of the Dodgers in 2012. (Getty Images)

The New York Post is reporting that Todd Boehly, one of the six Guggenheim Baseball Management partners that owns the Dodgers, “is looking to strike out on his own.”

Writes Claire Atkinson:

Boehly — who helped pull together the complicated deal for the MLB franchise as the No. 2 executive at Guggenheim Partners — is considering leaving the investment firm and running his own shop, according to sources.

“Todd is exploring the possibility of owning his own firm, which would be focused on acquiring and owning private businesses and real estate,” said one source familiar with Boehly’s thinking.

Another source said the discussions were at an advanced stage.

“Todd is out, and they’re working on a way for him to exit,” the source said.

The news comes two months after Korean-language website JoongAng Daily reported that a consortium of South Korean investors were seeking to purchase a 20 percent stake in the Dodgers. Forbes reported March 13 that a potential deal with the group was still on the table. Based solely on the timing of the news, it makes sense if Boehly’s share of the team was the portion going up for sale.

Boehly helped get Time Warner Cable to bankroll the largest payroll in baseball history — a deal that was good for the Dodgers’ bottom line but so far bad for most fans, who cannot watch the team on SportsNet LA. Boehly reportedly contributed $100 million to the purchase of the club in 2012.

Forbes: Dodgers are bleeding money onto the field.

Stan Kasten

Stan Kasten (Getty Images)


Dodgers president Stan Kasten had a great quote about Forbes Magazine at the 2013 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “We will never give any credence to Forbes’s valuations of franchises,” he said. “Here’s the problem with Forbes. I don’t know their methodology. I don’t know what hand they throw their dart with.”

C’mon, Stan. Don’t sell yourself short.

According to Forbes’ latest rankings released Wednesday, the Dodgers are one of five Major League Baseball franchises with a negative operating income. Yet only the New York Yankees are a more valuable franchise, and can claim a higher revenue than the Dodgers.
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Daily Distractions: Imagining a world in which the Dodgers and Clippers are owned by the same group.

Magic Johnson

Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson is reportedly interested in buying the Clippers if Donald Sterling is forced to sell the team. (Getty Images)

Baseball’s Detroit Tigers and hockey’s Detroit Red Wings have been owned by the same man, Mike Ilitch, since 1992. There is little overlap between the MLB and NHL seasons, so it’s not hard to share the same core group of fans. There are no other MLB or NHL teams in town. For his part, Ilitch quickly turned the Red Wings from a loser into one of hockey’s most valuable brands. By the time he bought the Tigers, he had built up enough goodwill in the city to be welcomed by local baseball fans with open arms.

For those who question if it’s possible to own two teams in the same market, look no further than Detroit.

Los Angeles is not Detroit, of course, and it might be time to start asking questions in Southern California. Magic Johnson has reportedly expressed interest in buying the NBA’s Clippers from disgraced owner Donald Sterling. What would it look like if the Dodgers and Clippers were owned by the same group?

Fans already boo Clippers star Chris Paul whenever he’s shown on the video board at Dodger Stadium. Pau Gasol and other Lakers are cheered like the hometown team. Clearly, Dodger Stadium is a Laker stadium. This might get weird.

Or will it? If Johnson is the face of Dodger ownership, he’s also the face of the WNBA’s Sparks and Magic Johnson Theaters. His name is not synonymous with the Dodgers; it’s synonymous with “multiple business interests.” In theory, it should be easy to put the Clippers in the context of Another Magic Johnson Business Interest. Same goes for the other Guggenheim investors; it’s yet to be seen how many of them want in on the Clippers.

In practice, how weird this gets might depend on why Dodger fans boo Clipper players. Is it a knee-jerk reaction to the Clipper brand from Laker fans? Is it because of Sterling? Is it just a Chris Paul thing?

Sterling might be replaceable; we’ll find out soon enough. Paul’s time as a Clipper is inherently temporary. But if it’s a knee-jerk reaction from Laker fans, this might not go over well.

Johnson was a minority owner of the Lakers until 2010, when he sold his shares to Patrick Soon-Shiong, but that didn’t really change his status as a face of (and a mouthpiece for) the Lakers franchise. A world in which Magic Johnson owns the Clippers could be an uncomfortable one for Laker fans. This could be perceived as heel turn worse than Phil Jackson joining the Knicks’ front office.

Johnson said last October in Atlanta that Los Angeles can be both a Lakers town and a Dodgers town. Selling Dodger fans on the idea that this can be a Clipper town too might be beyond even Johnson’s long reach.

Some bullet points for an International Astronomy Day:
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