Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:11 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:51 pm
Assuming Joe Torre liked the job at MLB he just left, he is taking quite a gamble quitting it to join a partnership in hopes of buying the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although, if Torre's group does win, it would be quite the victory for him, as he'd be the one to run the team.
Current Dodgers owner Frank McCourt looks like he's in for a victory himself. McCourt ran down the stories franchise. But somewhow, the value hasn't been hurt. He paid $400 million or so for the Dodgers seven years ago, and baseball people say there will be bids in excess of $1 billion this time around.
And it's no wonder with the great lineup of potential buyers McCourt has. Besides Torre's group, which also includes Los Ageles real estate magnate Rick Caruso, also seeking the Dodgers are former superagent Dennis Gilbert, a group with basketball superstar Magic Jonson and longtime sports executive Stan Kasten, supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, a group with ex-Dodgers stars Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey, Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano and Connecticuty hedge fund guy Stevie Cohen.
Since the way the new owner will be picked is through an auction with McCourt making the call, presumably the highest bidder will win, provided it has approval from MLB. While Torre's group is sure to receive MLB's approval, that's probably also true of the Gilbert group, the Johnson)Kasten group and some other groups.
Torre was well-liked in his 10-month tenure as MLB's exeutive vice president for baseball opertaions, but it's only right that he abandon the job as he seeks to run the Dodgers. He did the expected superb job serving as an MLB spokesman, and also hired well, with execs Joe Garagiola Jr., Kim Ng ad Peter Woodfork serving as his able assistants. Andy MacPhail, the longtime baseball executive, is one logical candidate to replace Torrre. MLB said a permament replacement for Torre will be announced at a later date.
While Torre is no sure thing to win the Dodgers, one thing's certain: he has a fan in Don Mattingly, his longtime protege managing the team who'd be sure to keep his job if Torre became the Dodgers next managing partner.