TJ Simers of The LA Times is just getting around to writing what I have been saying for two years: “Be careful of wanting a new owner, because the next one might be worse!” Yeah, I’ve said that over and over again.
Nearly every Dodger fan wanted Frank McCourt gone, and many really believed that Mark Cuban would be the next owner. Dodger fans even bought websites and had T-Shirts made to encourage Cuban. I told them it wasn’t happening and now you know it really isn’t. I also told you that the next owner could be worse than McCourt and you laughed.
I PRAY TO GOD THAT I AM WRONG ABOUT THAT! But the truth is: we don’t know.
The prospective owners all scare me. Rich people often think differently than you and I. That could trash the team in a heartbeat. The person who buys the team needs to be prepared to either spend about a half billion on Dodger Stadium or (more likely) seek to have the city build a new stadium downtown. Frank McCourt may end up with all the land around Dodger Stadium and ultimately, Dodger Stadium itself, which could be demolished and a new NFL Stadium erected. I know to some of you, that is heresy, but it’s the truth!
The new TV deal will be huge, but a well-healed owner might elect to start his own network. The truth is we don’t know. Frank McCourt is going to chose whoever will pay him the most money and if MLB doesn’t approve that person, Frank will sue Bug Selig and MLB, prolonging the process. I think it’s likely that Fox or Time Warner will back the eventual winner and they will likely pick a local owner like O’Malley, Disney/Gold, Caruso, Magic Johnson or even Alan Casden. Then you have Ron Burkle and Patrick Soon-Shiong waiting in the giggly weeds.
I predicted that the Dodgers would bring $1.5 Billion before anyone else was making those predictions, but now I have reason to believe that may be low. I can actually see $1.5 Billion WITHOUT the land and closer to $2.0 billion with the land. As the process continues, there will likely be some consolidation between bidders, driving the price up even more and the prospect of a partnership with one of the Cable Companies.
I still say that Frank McCourt is leaving the Dodgers in better shape than the last two owners did when they sold the team. Be careful what you wish for – let’s hope we don’t pine for Frank McCourt someday. Isn’t it ironic that the person who is regarded as the worst owner ever will end up making the biggest profit ever and getting the highest price by double or triple what other teams have sold for?
Frank McCourt did some really stupid things, but he wasn’t as bad as many of you thought. Let’s hope we get a really, really good new owner – but the truth is: WE JUST DON’T KNOW! This is uncharted territory.