In what has to be the most welcome news for Dodgers fans since the 2008 Manny Ramirez trade, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has finally tapped out, reaching an agreement with Major League Baseball to put the beleaguered franchise up for sale, and signaling the end to one of the most embarrassing eras in baseball history. For Dodgers fans like myself, it’s as if Christmas arrived six weeks early!
McCourt’s very public and very messy divorce from his wife Jamie has served as a major black eye for a sport who prides itself on having conservative, low-key owners who are largely anonymous figureheads that never distract from the on-field product. That aside, McCourt’s irresponsible handling of the Dodgers from a purely business related perspective, has absolutely crippled the teams ability to make the type of moves that would allow the team to remain competitive. For that reason, the announcement of the sale could not come at a better time as the Dodgers prepare to discuss potential contract extension for start players Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, who were both announced as 2011 National League Gold Glove winners, with Kemp being the presumed front runner for the NL MVP award.
There are many potential buyers out there, but a majority of Dodgers fans are undoubtedly rooting for Mark Cuban to jump in and save the day. While he does not fit the aforementioned MLB ownership profile – potentially problematic as evidenced by his recent failed attempts to purchase the Cubs and the Rangers – Cuban is a proven winner who knows how to build and maintain a successful sports franchise, has deep pockets, and a genuine interest in the game; exactly the type of owner that Bud Selig should welcome with open arms.
This saga is a long way from being complete, but at the very least, one of baseballs most storied franchises has hope for the immediate future.