Fortune magazine is profiling Guggenheim Partners in its March 18 print edition, and you can read the article online here. It’s worth the 20 minutes.
There’s quite a bit of background on Guggenheim and very little of it has to do with baseball. Mark Walter and Todd Boehly are not baseball men — they’re money men — and Fortune paints a broad picture of how they’ve gone about their business. The company (and by extension, the entity that owns the Dodgers) is connected to the original Guggenheim family and its eponymous museum in a real way; Fortune explains how Walter and Boehly expanded their empire with some shrewd purchases during the 2008 recession and afterward.
The Dodgers and Time Warner Cable officially announced the creation of a new channel, SportsNet LA, this morning.
In effect, the Dodgers will be televised on their own regional sports network beginning in the 2014 season. The next challenge will be to secure distribution among the local carriers. TWC has already agreed to be the charter distributor throughout Southern California and Hawaii.
Here’s the full text of the press release from TWC:
It’s only a number, maybe only a guess, but it’s a big one.
Forbes estimates the Dodgers’ TV rights could fetch the team as much as $8.5 billion.
Read the story online here and when you read the headline, just remember: Team Chairman Mark Walter doesn’t think he’s going on a spending spree.
During his daily pregame press briefing, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked for his best James Loney story.
“Oh God,” he sighed. Sounded like there were a few to choose from.
Mattingly picked one from a couple years back, when Larry Bowa was the Dodgers’ third-base coach, and James did “something on the field” that prompted Bowa to pull Loney aside in a tunnel leading into the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“I know I’ve told you a hundred times…” Bowa said, in Mattingly’s words.
Loney’s response: “Well, I guess one-hundred and one.”
It was an appropriate anecdote for a player whose sense of humor was at times his best asset this season. Like on Friday, when Loney was asked why he was scratched from the lineup, as trade rumors swirled and Adrian Gonzalez was being scratched from the lineup in Boston.
“I don’t have good numbers against (Nate) Eovaldi,” Loney said. “I’m 0-for-0.”
Dodgers chairman Mark Walter blew away the other bidders when his Guggenheim Baseball Management submitted a billion-dollar bid to buy the team out of bankruptcy in March.
From his seat in the owners’ box at Dodger Stadium, where he is among the team’s most vociferous cheerleaders most nights, Walter continues to blow everyone away with cash. The latest strike: The most expensive trade in the history of Major League Baseball, which brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers on Saturday.
As Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com wrote today: “The Dodgers are trying to money-slap the opposition en route to the World Series.”
Asked if there’s a ceiling to how much the Dodgers can spend, Walter replied, smiling: “Somewhere, I suppose.”
MLB commissioner Bud Selig issued the following statement Wednesday, posted on MLB.com:
“It is extraordinarily exciting for Major League Baseball that Magic Johnson, a beloved figure in Los Angeles and around the world, has entered into an agreement, along with Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten, that would make them a part of our national pastime.
“I believe that a man of Magic’s remarkable stature and experience can play an integral role for one of the game’s most historic franchises, in a city where he is revered. Major League Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities, and Magic Johnson is a living embodiment of so many of the ideals that are vital to our game and its future.
“The interest in this franchise and its historic sale price are profound illustrations of the great overall health of our industry. This has been a long, difficult process, and I once again want to thank the great Dodger fans for their loyalty and patience.”