The public face of the Dodgers now rests with Stan Kasten as their president and co-owner. On Monday we caught up with him at the Winter Meetings and asked him about his new position in LA; how the ownership group was assembled; what Magic Johnson brings to the table, and; how that massive TV deal factors into what the Dodgers do, not only now, but years to come.
Few recent club sales have altered the landscape in Major League Baseball as quickly as that of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether it was the unprecedented purchase price of $2.15 billion, the flurry of trades that including taking on over $163 million in contract dollars as part of the blockbuster trade with the Red Sox that included Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, or the media rights deal that the club is on the cusp of completing that is reported to be between $6-$7 billion, the Dodgers have become a juggernaut. The public face of the Dodgers now rests with Stan Kasten as their president and co-owner. On Monday we caught up with him at the Winter Meetings and asked him about his new position in LA; how the ownership group was assembled; what Magic Johnson brings to the table, and; how that massive TV deal factors into what the Dodgers do, not only now, but years to come.
A look at whether the Dodgers' new regional sports network will help them avoid revenue-sharing duties.
It went under the mainstream radar, but an article by Bloomberg News this past week raised the debate about economic parity within the league. The story centers on the lucrative television rights deal that the Dodgers are nearing as part of a potential regional sports network (RSN) and a “secret agreement” that would allow them to “cap income subject to revenue-sharing.” The article’s thrust is that somehow the Dodgers one-upped MLB and have figured out a way to get an advantage over all the other clubs as part of the sale that brought them out of bankruptcy.
It took a day longer than expected, but shortly after 10 AM PT on May 1, the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) for $2 billion took place. The Dodgers’ new ownership includes Mark Walter as control person, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Stan Kasten as CEO of the organization.
The Los Angeles Dodgers stated, “The Dodgers emerge from the Chapter 11 reorganization process having achieved its objective of maximizing the value of the Dodgers through a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all claims will be paid. The Dodgers move forward with confidence - in a strong financial position; as a premier Major League Baseball franchise; and as an integral part of and representative of the Los Angeles community.”
A look at the final contenders in the mix to buy the Dodgers and the chances of each succeeding
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Who knows how many fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers prescribe to Nietzsche’s well-worn quote, but it’s a fervent prayer for baseball and certainly for many who are watching the bankruptcy sale of the club. The Dodgers are more than just some random club; they are a cornerstone of the league’s history.
A look at how the sale of the Dodgers could get complicated and how it could have a multi-sport impact
I know this is “Baseball” Prospectus, but sports business is a funny thing. There are such a myriad of intersecting factors—sponsorships, television rights, stadium development, digital platforms, and such—that, in a way, it’s like looking at art—you have to stand back from it to get the full picture.
So, while this piece is about baseball, it’s really about something larger. And, if matters land a particular way, it can change the face of not only one market but create a synergy between two sports leagues.
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
A California judge's ruling on the Dodgers owners' divorce case has significant implications for the future of the club.
Who owns the Dodgers? That question has hung like a storm cloud over the franchise for more than a year, ever since news of the separation between Frank and Jamie McCourt, respectively the Dodgers' chairman and chief executive officer, became public in mid-October 2009. On Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that both of the now-divorced parties do, throwing out a 2004 post-nuptial marital property agreement (MPA) which placed the team in Frank's name and the couple's seven luxury homes in Jamie's. Far from ending what's been a surreal 14-month saga, the decision threatens to prolong the agony for the Dodgers and their fans.
The Dodgers' payroll-related missteps place an even heavier burden on the current crew to stand and deliver.
"Arbitration" is a word that has caused Dodgers fans to wince this winter, for understandable reasons. Back in December, the team failed to offer it to Type-A free agents Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson, thus forfeiting the right to compensation picks in this year's amateur draft. Amid fears about finances in the wake of divorce proceedings between owner Frank McCourt and wife Jamie, the Dodgers have eschewed the free agent market almost entirely due to the impending salary increases of eight key arbitration-eligible players. Utility infielder Jamey Carroll is their marquee signing to date; no wonder season-ticket sales are sluggish.
Milton Bradley was among the best CFs in the league this season, despite persistent rumors about his bad attitude. The Dodgers finally are let loose from coporate ownership. And the Mariners are just beginning their search for a new GM. All this and much more news from Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Seattle in your Tuesday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
Exeunt: With their season done, the Indians can now focus on more esoteric matters, such as the status of coaches Eddie Murray and Buddy Bell. Both will likely be candidates or at least short-listers for the managerial openings in Baltimore and Chicago. Murray will, of course, be a strong contender in Baltimore, where Peter Angelos is attempting to rebuild the 1982 Orioles, this time in the front office. Ultimately, as much as no one wants to say this out loud, it doesn't really matter to the Indians if either one stays. That's an odd thing about the syndrome that causes bad teams to latch on to recent retirees for public relations or "feel good" reasons. If it turns out that the addition of these guys is either harmful or ineffectual, you can end up with a bit of an albatross. In this case, the Indians don't have that problem, and are largely tangential to the story line that'll become extant when Bell or Murray is hired to manage.
Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' predictions for 1998. We'll go division by
division and each of our staff members will tell you what they think about the
races. Remember, there's a reason we don't print this stuff in the book; there
is no good way we know of to predict what a team will do before the season
begins. Consider these teamwide WFGs, take them with a grain of salt, and