SAN DIEGO, CA: Basketball hall-of-famer and Michigan State Spartans alum Earvin 'Magic' Johnson talks with members of the media before the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Spartans in the NCAA men's college basketball Carrier Classic aboard the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are just about officially up for sale, and one of the groups interested in buying them includes the locally beloved Magic Johnson.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are up for sale. Or, the Los Angeles Dodgers are almost up for sale. Pretty soon, their financial details will be released to interested buyers, and shortly after that, the team will be put up for auction. The winner of the auction will be the new owner of the team. It works like an auction.
We don't yet know who all is going to get involved in the bidding. We know that Mark Cuban will probably be among them. And now we know that there is another group in contention - a group with an awful lot of name power. And financial power. A lot of financial power, too. Via the LA Times:
[Magic] Johnson announced Friday that he had joined forces with Guggenheim Baseball Management, an arm of a financial services firm that controls more than $125 billion in assets, in hopes of buying the Dodgers.
The group includes Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and Mark Walter. Johnson is known for all of his basketballness. Kasten is the former president of both the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves. Walter is the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, which supports Guggenheim Baseball Management. Walter is the guy with all of the money. Johnson and Kasten both have money, but they do not have money like Walter has money.
If this group were to win the bid, here's how things would work:
- Walter would quietly provide money like a bottomless wallet equipped with a malfunctioning digital voice box
- Kasten would oversee the baseball things
- Johnson would be involved too
The LA Times reports that Johnson could help with free agent recruiting, like he used to with the Los Angeles Lakers. Maybe that could work, but I dunno, basketball isn't baseball and time has passed.
Johnson: And that's why I think you should sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers!
Pujols: I have a very limited understanding of who you are.
Pujols: Did you ever play baseball or do anything with baseball?
Pujols: Are you really just allowed to go by 'Magic'?
That's the snark, and here's where I point out that Johnson has been a tremendously successful businessman since retiring from the NBA. He could conceivably do a lot of good for the Dodgers, and, obviously, he's impossibly popular in the area, which couldn't hurt. The Dodgers have a wounded image in Los Angeles, thanks in large part to Frank McCourt and the Bryan Stow incident, and the presence of Magic Johnson might help to repair what was once a more devoted, passionate bond.
Major League Baseball, certainly, wouldn't be opposed to having an icon like Johnson involved, and beyond him, Kasten has a proven record of knowing what he's doing, and Walter has a proven record of having a lot of money, so much money. This looks like something of a dream team swimming in the beclouded pool of potential bidders.
But of course, this isn't up to Major League Baseball. The Dodgers will be up for auction, meaning the Dodgers will presumably be sold to whichever individual or group makes the highest bid. That could end up being Guggenheim Baseball Management, but it could also easily not, so there are no guarantees here. Magic Johnson and the Dodgers? Maybe. Possibly even probably. But definitely not definitely. That was an annoying sequence of words to write and probably read.