Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Joe Torre, Time Warner interested in buying Dodgers

Former Dodger and Yankee manager Joe Torre, who signed on as MLB Vice President of Operations less than one year ago, resigned from said position earlier today. He's joining real estate developer Rick Caruso in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wow. This is really unexpected and a little curious.

First, who knew Torre even had aspirations of buying a Major League team, let alone a team set to sell for somewhere in the area of $1 to $1.5 billion? He obviously doesn't have that much money, just as Magic Johnson doesn't.

But why would Torre resign from his job for such an uncertain future? There's no guarantee the Torre/Caruso group will outbid the likes of Magic and Stan Kanter, Dennis Gilbert, Mark Cuban or the group led by Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser -- all of whom have received bid books. Billionaire Steve Cohen has also thrown his hat into the proverbial ring.

It's curious. What does Torre do if he and Caruso don't win the bid? I obviously don't have an inner working of Torre's mind, but it seems a little foolish to give up a gig such as VP of Baseball Operations for a chance to spend a billion bucks on a baseball team. I know he couldn't very well stay in the position and bid on the team (conflict of interest), but it still makes you go "hmm."

Mike Petriello chimed in with his thoughts on the situation.

And now comes word Time Warner is interested in buying the Dodgers, as opposed to paying the potential $4 billion price tag for the TV rights to the team.

It's a smart business move on Time Warner's part, but the whole thing sounds horrible. It has a real chance to be the News Corp ownership (FOX) all over again -- and we all know how that ended (traded Mike Piazza, sold to McCourt). I'm not saying they'd come in and trade Clayton Kershaw, but the organization needs a face to lead this franchise, not a company. The media conglomerate should stick to what it knows best -- television.

Chad Moriyama has a quick blurb on his thoughts regarding Time Warner.

With the opening bids pushed back to Jan. 23, it's anyone's guess who's going to end up owning the team. There is no frontrunner right now. Obviously, fans want Cuban for his passion, desire and seemingly limitless bank account. Gilbert is also an attractive option. Kanter has the front office experience (most recently with Washington, but he was with the Braves' in their historic mid-1900s run) and Magic has the name recognition to re-energize the fanbase. I'm not so sure the Torre-Caruso duo have as much potential as the others.

It's going to be an interesting few months until this thing is finally settled.

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