Ownership Notes: Dodgers, Astros, Selig

Two of the least stable ownership situations in baseball can be found in Los Angeles and Houston. Here's the latest on bids for the Dodgers and Astros…

  • MLB's delay with Jim Crane's bid had nothing to do with switching leagues and "everything to do with his background," according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter links).
  • There won't be enough time to realign the leagues by 2012, so we aren't likely to see expanded playoffs next year, according to Nightengale.
  • An attorney for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt called Bill Burke's $1.2 billion bid for the Dodgers a "publicity stunt" in documents filed in court this week, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. McCourt remains intent on keeping the Dodgers, Shaikin reports.
  • Incoming Astros owner Jim Crane told Joe Holley of the Houston Chronicle that he's becoming frustrated with the slow pace of the ownership transfer and the public speculation about the reasons for the holdup. Crane also pointed out that his contract with Drayton McLane goes through November 30th, which means a deal has to be finalized by then unless the sides agree to extend the window.
  • However, as Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle points out, there are a thousand reasons to question the character of an incoming owner, so commissioner Bud Selig probably won't look kindly on Crane's comments.


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14 Comments on "Ownership Notes: Dodgers, Astros, Selig"


3 years 11 months ago

Wow, McCourt’s own lawyers are turning on him, have they been paid?

John
3 years 11 months ago

They’re not turning on him…

chico65
3 years 11 months ago

Yeah, if I were an attorney there would be no way I would run away from all those billable hours.  Hell, the man’s name even contains the word court.  Frank just can’t help himself- it’s part of the very fiber of his being. 

monkeyspanked
3 years 11 months ago

Bud doesn’t want to end up with another POS owner like McCourt.  Take your time Bud.

Gumby65
3 years 11 months ago

McCourt Lawyers: Dodgers offer a “publicity stunt”.  What McCourt lawyers forgot to tell you: Most likely at least partially engineered by McCourt.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 11 months ago

For what purpose?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
3 years 11 months ago

If he has an offer for 1.2 billion, then he can go to others he has discussed selling the team to and say “someone is going to give me 1.2 billion, how much are you gonna give me”? He picks a big number, with no one to back it up, and then can turn it into millions more than he should get. Or he can even say he was able to get this offer so he must be able to run the team, and Bud should let him stay the owner.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 11 months ago

Ah, I see. So you’re saying that McCourt thinks that people with billions of dollars to spend on a sports franchise got that kind of money by being total chumps.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
3 years 11 months ago

thats true. But if someone if offering 1.1billion, then hears that someone is offering 1.2, well, he’s gone this far, he raises it to 1.3billion, and McCourt just made an extra 200 million, and the guy who is paying him thinks he raised his bid just to get his property. It was a good try by McCourt if its what he was trying to do, but too many people called BS

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 11 months ago

Only if he’s a fool. A pro sports team is valued like any other business, based on the profits it can return to its owners. In any event the idea that McCourt could benefit somehow by fabricating an offer is absurd. The commissioner is trying to make case to the bankruptcy court judge that the best way to settle the team’s debts is a sale to new ownership. A big offer doesn’t help McCourt retain ownership, which is what he says he wants. So no matter how you look at it, it doesn’t make sense.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
3 years 11 months ago

First, sorry this is really long. Wasn’t my intention when I started typing

You don’t seem to be understanding the thought process behind this, so Ill try to come from a different angle. When a person sells a house, they choose a price that they think fits in the market. Then that price is either met, raised or lowered depending on how the market plays the house. If many like the house, then the price goes up, if no one calls the owner has to lower the price.
Maybe what is confusing is the large numbers and that a .1 billion dollar raise=100M. These numbers are impossible for most to fathom. So Ill try to use easier numbers. A guy is selling a house for $50,000. A person is interested, very interested in fact, in the house at 50,000. However, someone hears that another person is interested and offers 60,000. The owner takes that 60,000 offer back to the first buyer and says, this is the offer I have in hand. Do you want to raise it or not. That first guy loves this house, and then offers 70,000, in order to get his asset that he likes. The house is the same house that was valued at 50,000, but the market rose the price to 70,000. An extra 20,000 in the pocket of the original owner because he had two people interested in his asset. 

McCourt wanted the same thing. Lets say he had someone offer 1.1B for the Dodgers. If he says he has an offer for 1.2B, then he can take it back to the first person and say it’ll cost 1.3B to buy the team. There you go, an extra 200M.

As with your 2nd part, McCourt has been trying to prove he can run this team well and doesnt need MLB to run it. If he can say he is getting good offers for the team, he could try to get permission to run the sale of the team at least. He would therefore get to pick the deal he likes and also any part where he can get power back from Selig is a win.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 11 months ago

If a person puts a home up for sale for twice its market value, he generally gets no offers, not higher offers than market value. And I say twice, because recent valuations of the Dodgers have been in the neighborhood of $750m. Also, buying a sports franchise isn’t about love, it’s about return on investment. Weighing down the return on investment calculation is the fact that the team is currently operating in the red — mainly due to excess leverage. Yet, that situation, among others, still has to be corrected for the team to return to profitability. No, the Dodgers don’t suddenly become worth more than a billion because someone, and only supposedly, makes an offer of that size. We will see what the team is worth when it actually goes up for sale. The price can be expected to inflate beyond recent appraisals only if multiple bidders are involved.

As for the sale, owners never get to pick who buys a team. Even under more normal circumstances, sales are subject to the approval of the commissioner. It’s not clear that the bankruptcy judge is interested in curtailing MLB’s authority in this area. His main interest is in making the creditors whole.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
3 years 11 months ago

Ugh i was done with my response and it deleted itself :/

Basically, the team is worth 750M, but the team, stadium, tv rights etc are valued at closer to over 900M. 

And when i say love in this context, I don’t mean love as in “I love the Dodgers, they are my favorite team”, but rather “I love the potential this team has to be productive and make money in the next 5, 10, or 20 years”. 

As with the debt, the reason they are being sold is the incredible debt McCourt cant pay. McCourt will be forced to use the money from the trial to pay off Jaime and the debts. Its the point of the sale.

And with your comment of multiple bidders… THATS WHAT IVE BEEN SAYING! there are multiple people interested in the team and they are raising the price. 

Finally, the sale part. If a owner controls the team, while he cannot pick the deal AND get it approved, he can choose which offer he likes, which he brings to Selig. Selig then takes the offer and him and the other owners have to approve it. 

Gumby65
3 years 11 months ago

Dodgers new owners in 2012?

A bunch (like, three busloads) of former McCourt law firms.