When the official statement came over at 10:48 a.m., it was simple and to the point:
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) and Frank McCourt today announced the completion of the sale of the Dodgers to GBM for $2 billion. As previously reported, the Dodgers’ new ownership includes Mark Walter as control person, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Stan Kasten as CEO of the organization.
The Los Angeles Dodgers stated, “The Dodgers emerge from the Chapter 11 reorganization process having achieved its objective of maximizing the value of the Dodgers through a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all claims will be paid. The Dodgers move forward with confidence – in a strong financial position; as a premier Major League Baseball franchise; and as an integral part of and representative of the Los Angeles community.”
Later, Frank released a letter directed to team employees (from the LA Times):
“To my colleagues at the Los Angeles Dodgers,
“I am pleased to inform you that the Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged successfully from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The sale to Guggenheim Baseball Partners has been completed, and the Dodgers move forward as a well capitalized organization, strong both on and off the field.
“This is how it should be for the Dodgers – one of the truly storied and best known franchises in not just baseball, but all of sports.
“I am grateful to have been part of the Dodger organization and to have had the pleasure of working with you. Despite the difficult environment of the last few years, we together can be proud of what we have achieved. We enjoyed tremendous success on the field. In 2004, we won our first playoff game since 1988. We went to the playoffs four times over the next six years, including back-to-back National League Championship Series – a first for the Los Angeles Dodgers in over 30 years. And we are off to one of the best starts in baseball in 2012.
“Off the field, we returned the organization to profitability. We grew the value of the franchise well beyond what anyone thought was possible. We made it a Dodger ongoing practice to give back to the Los Angeles community. Your hard work has been essential to all of this.
“I am confident that the new ownership, which will be introduced to you this morning at 10:30 a.m. in the Stadium Club, will carry forward the Dodger tradition, the Dodger commitment to community and the effort to make the team once again World Champions of baseball. I thank you all for working with me and for your dedication to and support of the Dodgers.
“With respect and affection, Frank”
Sure, there are opportunities to poke holes at Frank’s view of things – “we returned the team to profitability” and “we went to the playoffs four times in six years” (he actually owned the team for eight) – but I say it’s time to move on and put McCourt far in the rear view mirror.
It’s time for a new beginning, Dodger fans. Time to put the past behind us and welcome in a new ownership group with open arms. It’s time for Dodger baseball and I personally can’t wait for the celebration at 10 a.m. tomorrow when Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson hold that news conference to introduce the next era of Los Angeles Dodgers history. You deserve it, Dodger fans. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Carlos Delgado