Boston real estate and construction magnate Frank McCourt’s relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers remains in limbo after Major League Baseball assumed day-to-day and financial operations on April 20. McCourt has owned the team since 2004. Dodger employees such as General Manager Ned Colletti are uncertain who they work for at this point, reports ESPN. Publicly, MLB spokesmen say they’re uncertain where the next twist in the Dodgers’ soap opera will lead.
Frank McCourt staying in the loop
As MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to appoint an interim trustee for the L.A. Dodgers, high-ranking employees within the organization like General Manager Ned Colletti are uncertain whether they’ll be able to do their jobs. Colletti told ESPN that so far, he has kept in touch with Frank McCourt via text regarding roster moves and player health updates. He will continue to do so until MLB tells him who is his boss.
Speculation is MLB wants McCourt out
While the MLB has not openly stated that Frank McCourt will not be returning to run the Los Angeles Dodgers, media speculation is that Bug Selig’s office is so thoroughly disgusted with the way in which Frank and Jamie McCourt borrowed against the franchise to fund their lavish lifestyles that the commission wants Frank McCourt out of baseball for good. McCourt has insinuated that a legal battle will follow if he is not allowed to resume his position as club owner.
Is Magic waiting in the wings?
If Frank McCourt is indeed out as Los Angeles Dodgers owner, a replacement must be found. According to USA Today, there are a handful of viable, probable candidates. Los Angeles Lakers Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his AEG development group contacts have been referenced by numerous members of the Los Angeles media, and it wouldn’t be a stretch. Johnson sold his shares of the Los Angeles Lakers and Starbucks last fall, so according to numerous sources, he has a great deal of cash at his disposal.
Last month, Forbes magazine valued the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise at $800 million, a sum Magic Johnson could easily secure, considering his personal reserves plus his business, sport and Hollywood connections. Thanks to Frank McCourt, however, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ debt load is locked in at a staggering 54 percent of the franchise’s overall worth, per Forbes’ estimate.
Other L.A. Dodgers ownership candidates include current Milwaukee Brewers baseball club owner Mark Attanasio and outspoken Dallas Mavericks NBA club owner Mark Cuban, who tried to buy the Texas Rangers baseball team in 2010, reports USA Today.
Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles connections
Considering Johnson’s strong ties to the Los Angeles Lakers, a move to baseball with the L.A. Dodgers makes sense in the minds of the sports media. Magic is a sports icon whose star power could help repair much of the PR damage Frank McCourt has reportedly done to the franchise. Not only that, but Johnson would become the first black owner in the history of the MLB, a franchise that gave Jackie Robinson – the first black player in MLB history – a chance to shine.
USA Today: http://usat.ly/fQU1tP
Jamie McCourt interviewed in Israel, 2009
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