Taking a really hard look at Dodgers’ potential buyers
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Really, the celebration should last a while. Be so giddy it borders on obnoxious. Battle that hallelujah hangover.
Only, it’s hard to think about Frank McCourt packing up without thinking of who’s moving in. Yeah, I’m way early on this one, but then Major League Baseball did talk about having a new owner in place by opening day. Pretty ambitious, but it indicates things will move quickly.
Plenty have been mentioned as possible buyers of the Dodgers over the last year, but it will be interesting to see who now steps forward when it actually matters.
Forbes estimates the team is worth $800 million, though filings by McCourt claim the team is worth more than a billion. Chump change for those of us with team pockets.
Here’s an overview of potential buyers:
-- The Dilbeck Investment Group: The people’s favorite. To my 2006 Accord, two banana-yellow refurbished Schwinn 10-speeds and my mother’s reverse mortgage, add my kids’ booming lemonade stand and I don’t see how we’re stopped.
-- Steve Garvey: Yeah, he has an investment group too. Never has said who’s actually in it, other than Orel Hershiser. Garvey was fired by McCourt for continually talking about buying the team while in the employ of McCourt. I’m thinking not.
-- Larry King: A Dodgers fan from his Brooklyn days. Thinking he knows enough people. Also, I understand he has some free time on his hands these days.
-- Mark Cuban: Owner of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and a bunch of Internet-type companies I don’t understand. I do understand he’s now a proven winner. He’s also controversial, so you have to wonder if Commissioner Bud Selig would ever approve him. Said he’s not going to pay $1.2 billion.
-- Dennis Gilbert: Once the king for sports agents, now a White Sox executive and big-time insurance salesman. A Los Angeles native and former minor league player, he’s a major Dodgers fan. He’s the guy sitting right behind home plate every game. Doesn’t own an Accord, though.
-- Ron Burkle: I’m always partial to former box boys. He has the moola, is part owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and is also a Southern California native, but he’s more private than Garbo, and we already have a guy like that who owns the Kings. Apparently not with Garvey group.
-- Eli Broad: He could add some nifty art around Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are a civic treasure. History, however, says he won’t feign any interest until it’s too late.
-- Time Warner: As The Times’ Bill Shaikin noted, why spend more than $3 billion for media rights when the team can be had for a fraction of that? Although if memory serves, the Dodgers have already been down this cable-ownership road.
-- Alan Casden: The apartment developer was briefly a player back in 2003. Wanted to raze Dodger Stadium and build a new ballpark near Staples Center. Something about that idea appealed to Tim Leiweke.
-- Alec Gores: Made his fortune in leveraged buyouts. Has not been seen at Occupy L.A. His brother owns the Detroit Pistons.
-- Current MLB owners Mark Attanasio (Brewers) and Tom Werner (Red Sox), who both live in L.A. Would require some kind of franchise swap. Think Carroll Rosenbloom and the Rams, hopefully minus the ocean swim.
-- Chinese mafia: No, not really. Anyway, I don’t think so. There was an unsolicited bid with Chinese financing back in September that supposedly offered McCourt $1.2 billion. Thinking he likes that number.
-- Peter O’Malley: For the nostalgic out there. Called for McCourt to sell the team more than a year ago. Said he wasn’t interested in returning as owner, but then he sold them for only $311 million in 1998. Would probably need a cash supplement from the Dilbeck Investment Group.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Left photo: Larry King. Credit: Emilio Flores / Getty Images
Center photo: Mark Cuban. Credit: David Santiago / MCT
Right photo: Steve Garvey: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times