Organize the rallies, kiss the babies, beat the drums -- Magic Johnson for Dodgers owner [Updated]
How do you start a campaign? As Jamie McCourt could tell you, it ain’t so easy.
This, though, is different. No campaign funds required. No cheesy TV ads needed. Could even be devoid of partisanship.
Magic Johnson for Dodgers owner!
OK, might require a catchier slogan. "Put the Magic back in the Dodgers," or maybe "To be Frank, Magic would do a better job."
Of course, there are times when it seems two rocks and a bat donut could do a better job.
Perhaps you heard, but Magic is suddenly flush with cash. Like more than $100 million, which is approximately $100 million more than Frank and Jamie McCourt used to purchase the team in 2004.
Magic just sold his 4.5% interest in the Lakers and 105 Starbucks. A source told The Times’ Brad Turner that Magic was not necessarily looking to purchase an NBA franchise, but was positioning himself to purchase something ``in sports.’’
Like a baseball team? One Los Angeles sporting icon buying another? Positively dreamy.
The initial problem here is, regrettably, that the Dodgers are not for sale. Not yet, anyway. And very possibly they won’t be, but should the judge who is mulling over whether to declare the divorcing McCourts co-owners decide to go the Solomon route, all bets are off.
Now I am talking the Lakers’ retired No.32 buying the team, and not the Dodgers’ retired No.32, Sandy Koufax. So maybe you think Magic doesn’t know baseball.
But he does know winning. He didn’t know diddly about coffee or development or movie theaters or hamburger joints or urban funds either. How’d that turn out?
He knows how to organize, educate, delegate and inspire. Sounds like a breath of fresh air to me.
Magic not only has cash, he has stinking wealthy friends. If it takes $800 million or a billion, he could get it done.
Magic loves a challenge, and right now, the Dodgers are the Mt. Everest of L.A. sporting challenges. Check that; guess that would still be the Clippers.
Whether they recognize it or not, the McCourts have a miserable image problem that hiring their 27th public relations guru is not going to vanquish.
They could sell, split the proceeds, take their millions in equity and run. Go buy another villa or private plane. Just go.
And with Magic, the Dodgers would gain instant prestige and needed credibility. Somebody get this campaign rolling.
[Updated at 5:45 p.m.] Ah, now Magic tells The Times' Broderick Turner -- guess he gave up on Brad Turner -- he doesn't want to buy the Dodgers but would be interested in bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles.
That's OK, the campaign is early. First job: win over Magic.
-- Steve Dilbeck