According to a tweet by ESPN’s Buster Olney, the bidding on the Los Angeles Dodgers is now north of $1.2-billion and climbing. $1.2-BILLION!
Personally, I’ve avoided even thinking or talking much about the whole Frank McCourt fiasco in LA because I so despise multi-billionaires controlling the game I love that not thinking about it is the alternative to abandoning the game altogether; something that is simply not an option. This, however, is insanity. Yes, most experts were surmising that the Dodgers would be sold for more than $1-billion, but given that the bids are already at $1.2-billion and climbing, there’s a good chance the Dodgers will end up being sold for close to $2-billion.
To me this screams of corruption of the highest decree. Let’s consider for a second that McCourt bought the Dodgers for a mere $430-million just eight years ago and proceeded to run one of the most storied franchises in the game into the ground by pocketing profits from the team, running up an insurmountable debt, and generally behaving with such unabashed recklessness that even the rest of the billionaire club that is the owners of MLB demanded he sell the team.
And what does he get for all of this? Potentially about half a billion dollars in profit, after he pays back his reported $900-million debt.
If you’re wondering why the eminently wealthy make me angry, this is but one example.
NBC Hardball Talk has a nice roundup of the latest news regarding the Dodgers ownership and bidding process. Mark Cuban’s group as well as the Steve Garvey-Orel Hershiser group appear to be out of the running, while the Joe Torre-Magic Johnson group are still in.
And the rest…
The Roy Oswalt sweepstakes are getting interesting. In the wee hours of the morning, Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston tweeted that Oswalt was headed to St. Louis according to a source. He later semi-retracted the report and it has since come out that no deal for Oswalt is in place.
The Rangers, Astros and Red Sox appear to be in on Oswalt as well. Earlier this week, Oswalt turned down a reported $10-million deal from the Detroit Tigers saying that he wanted to pitch closer to his home in Mississippi. It’s unlikely that Oswalt will get that kind of money from any other team, so he appears to be serious. If the Red Sox are unable to sign Oswalt, I would assume that they would turn their attention more thoroughly toward acquiring White Sox righthander Gavin Floyd or free agent Edwin Jackson. It seems unlikely that the Red Sox would go to all the trouble of dumping starting shortstop Marco Scutaro and then not use the money saved on a starting pitcher.
Speaking of Jackson, Ken Rosenthal reports that he has “multiple three-year offers” on the table. Rosenthal also says that Jackson could take a one-year deal and hit the market again next winter. If Jackson decides his best course of action is to take a one-year deal, that could make the number of viable teams skyrocket. Jackson on a one-year deal, no matter the money, would be an excellent pickup for anyone needing pitching help.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig believes the extra playoff spots will be added this season. I still don’t like the idea of adding an extra wildcard spot, especially considering the current division alignment.
Steve Slowinski of FanGraphs looks at Brandon Morrow’s left on base blues and asks whether or not it’s a problem of pitch selection and lack of effective third pitch.