Jay is back, and he still hates the teams you root for. Yes, even the Dodgers.
Six weeks ago, when I accepted an offer to start a new blog at Sports Illustrated's website, I was delighted to find that my new employers were willing to allow me to retain some involvement with Baseball Prospectus. Not only did I wish to continue working with this fine staff and its readers in some capacity, but I also really wanted to finish something I'd started—namely, my multi-installment Hate List.
Bryce Harper's presence and early contributions gives the Nationals a happy glimpse into the future.
The Weekend Takeaway
During a weekend series highlighted by Matt Kemp’s 10th-inning walk-off homer in Saturday’s 4-3 Dodgers victory, the Nationals got a glimpse into their future—a future that likely will not include many more sweeps at the hands of the Dodgers.
Top prospect Bryce Harper arrived with a bang on Saturday, and while Kemp ultimately stole the show, the 19-year-old phenom immediately displayed the tools that will soon make him a superstar. Harper rocketed a high Chad Billingsley fastball over Kemp’s head to straightaway center for a double, fired an 80-grade bullet home from left field, and drove in the go-ahead run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly that would have won the game if not for a Henry Rodriguez meltdown in the bottom half of the frame.
The Frank McCourt era blissfully comes to an end in Los Angeles, as a group led by Magic Johnson agrees to purchase the Dodgers for a whopping $2.15 billion.
It wasn’t the most cash in the deal that won the day, but rather a whopping total, and maybe—just maybe—some goodwill for Frank McCourt.
Late Tuesday night, the Dodgers and Frank McCourt announced they had reached an agreement under which Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) will acquire the Dodgers for $2 billion upon completion of the closing process. The purchasing group includes Mark R. Walter, who is the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services firm with more than $125 billion in assets under management , as its controlling partner. However, it’s former Los Angeles Laker great Earvin “Magic” Johnson who will likely be the face of the Dodgers. The group also includes Peter Guber (the Golden State Warriors co-owner who is also the chairman and chief executive of Mandalay Entertainment, which is invested in the successful Dayton Dragons minor-league team); Stan Kasten (former Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves president), Bobby Patton (oil and gas investor), and Todd Boehly (president of Guggenheim Partners ) as other key investors.
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 rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.