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More questions about Magic Johnson and Dodgers sale

Euphoria over the $2.15-billion sale that pried the Dodgers from Frank McCourt's clutches will fade. Once that happens, concerns are bound to arise, for which fans will want answers. Here are a few.

March 30, 2012|T.J. Simers
  • Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has become the face of the new Dodgers ownership group.
Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has become the face of the new Dodgers… (Nick Ut / Associated Press )

Some random thoughts about the sale of the Dodgers, wondering just how gaga everyone might have gone had Magic Johnson actually bought the team.

And by the way, folks used to make fun of the Parking Lot Attendant and Screaming Meanie for the ridiculous things they would say. So why does Magic catch a break?

He releases a statement the night the Dodgers are bought, which means he has time to study what he's going to say.

And yet Magic says in this statement: "I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles."

"Drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section?" Does that mean Magic wants to avoid Page 2?

Then he best not say ridiculous things like "build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt."

If Magic can't speak the truth about Frank McCourt, how do we believe anything else said?

Everyone, of course, wants this to be a home run for everyone. But the same could've been said when McCourt bought the Dodgers.

As for this $2.15-billion sales price, that's roughly 30% more than the other two bidders submitted.

Would you want to invest your money with a firm that overbids so badly?

Now I'm only guessing and will leave it to our extraordinary watchdog, Bill Shaikin, to dig out the details.

But I think I know why there wasn't a final auction — Guggen-whatever taking care of Frank by making him a business partner and giving him $400 million to repay his debt.

Do you realize you would have had to win the Mega Millions jackpot three times over Friday night to be in the running to buy the Dodgers?

Guggen-whatever was willing to go overboard, sweetening the pot for McCourt's personal welfare. The other two groups apparently thought they were buying a baseball team, leaving Frank to repay the money Frank owed.

I know a little something about spin, having been spun by so many Dodgers image makers over the years. And that's what it feels like now — the word is McCourt will not get any of the parking-lot money and can do nothing with the property unless Guggen-whatever agrees.

Do you really believe the conniver has left himself impotent when it comes to those lots? The nice thing about turning a $1-billion profit is, Frank can keep his lawsuit attorneys on retainer.

Speaking of lawyers, how do you think that conversation went between Jamie McCourt and her divorce lawyers when the sales price was announced?

I'm guessing that nickname, the Screaming Meanie, never fit so well.

As nightmares go, do you think Magic Johnson has woken up in a cold sweat realizing he replaced Jamie as the face of the Dodgers? At least he won't have to pay so much for a hairstylist.

Magic says he will be working every day with the Dodgers. Why didn't he do that with the Lakers?

He paid $10 million to buy 4.5% of the Lakers and then sold his interest. He probably doesn't own much more of the Dodgers, although he's now being described on radio, TV and across the country as the owner of the Dodgers.

It would probably be more accurate to describe him as the Dodgers' new PR guy.

Consider the euphoria today; is Magic still working every day at Dodger Stadium two, three, four years from now?

There is no question there is probably no one out there who could have done more for the Dodgers in the short term than Magic. It's just what this franchise needed.

Now what's the over-under on the number of times Magic is shown on TV during the Dodgers' opener? Does Tom Lasorda get jealous?

The new ownership group, building on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt, will probably do everything it can to warm the hearts of local fans. What happens the first time it does not? What happens when folks stop buying the double talk?

No one wants to address the possibility of a new Dodger Stadium, NFL interest or an L.A. Live-like mall, but who spends $2.15 billion without having those plans already well thought out?

The team better win. And if it does, there is probably no limit to what it will cost local fans. I'm not complaining; I've got a press pass. So far.

I still don't understand this investment firm's arrangement in owning the Dodgers. Can the firm fire Mark Walter? Or does the firm have to disappear before Walter disappears?

Is any of this actually Walter's money? Will the firm be pressuring him to get a return on its investment?

There are reports he just bought a home in a Chicago suburb for a couple of million and now wants to buy a home here. Is he working to catch up to the McCourts?

Good question: What if someone told you that your name would be mud, your reputation scum, but as a result you would get $1 billion to buy all the friends you need? Would you consider yourself a winner?

Does Frank call Jamie to say "ha ha," or just spend the rest of his life thinking it?

Does he get to sit in the owner's box at Dodger Stadium because he remains a part of the Guggen-whatever family as a business partner? Or does he ask for a luxury box so he can hide upstairs from the fans?

Whatever, I'm guessing he pays whatever it takes to make sure he has enough security for himself.

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