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Dodgers web musings: It's the daily question

Frank3
The off-season for the Dodgers used to be spent wondering if the new pieces would fit, if they’d be any good, if they had a shot at the World Series.

That would normally be the first question asked by acquaintances, or those I was just meeting who discovered what I did for a living:

How are the Dodgers going to be this year?

Only, not this off-season. This winter it is seldom asked. Now the first question is always:

Who’s going to be the new Dodgers owner?

Like I had some remarkable insight into the curious cranium of Frank McCourt. I usually just reply, "The guy who bids the most." Not trying to be flip, it’s just that those of us follow the Dodgers professionally have no double-secret knowledge of what is really happening behind the scenes that we’re failing to share with the public.

Which doesn’t mean we don’t like to speculate as much as the next guy. Will it be all money for McCourt? If bids are close, does a guy with L.A. roots win out, the guy with a baseball background, the guy who took McCourt to lunch?

Jon Heyman, the veteran baseball writer now at CBS Sports, likes the chances of the Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten combo, particularly if local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong joins their group.

Heyman  said he heard the bidding is already up to $1.5-billion range, which is certainly believable since Larry King, who was in the Dennis Gilbert group that didn’t make the first cut, told ESPN’s Jim Bowden they bid $1.25 billion.

The Times’ Bill Shaikin reported that at least eight groups advanced into the next round. They’re all stupid rich, and still waiting in the wings are billionaires Soon-Shiong and Ron Burkle, who are still expected to join someone’s group. Or some groups may yet merge, or bring in a group that didn’t make the first cut.

Really, I would tell you exactly what’s going to happen, if I or anyone else, actually knew.

-- Peter O’Malley, who did make the first-round cut, told Ray McNulty of the Treasure Coast Palm if he does win the auction, he only expects to be directly involved in the team’s operation about a year.

"Things need to be stabilized, and I'd have a role in that," O'Malley said. "But beyond that, the key is to bring in good management people to run the day-to-day operation."

-- Mark Cuban told Access Hollywood he didn’t make it through the first round of bids because “I wanted to buy a baseball team; they were selling a media rights deal.”

-- Tuesday marked the final day of Jon Weisman’s blog at ESPN Los Angeles. Wiseman, one of the first and best of the Dodgers bloggers, will continue on at DodgerThoughts.com.

-- Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com profiles the Dodgers minor league player of the year, Scott Van Slyke. He is the son of former long-time major league player Andy Van Slyke.

Van Slyke, 25, on being a late bloomer: "I didn't take baseball seriously enough."

-- Baseball Prospectus (subscription required) looks at the Dodgers’ top 2012 prospects, and eight are pitchers.

-- The great Tom Hoffarth of the the Daily News, last of the Los Angeles media columnists, writes about being honored Monday by the Southern California Sports Broadcasters.

Said Hoffarth: “It's really, really nice to be recognized and appreciated. And even nicer to be employed.”

-- Gurnick has the details of Vin Scully, Rick Monday and Clayton Kershaw also being honored at the annual luncheon.

ALSO:

Stop the presses! Ronald Belisario spotted at Dodgers camp

Potential Dodgers owners already reaching out to Derrick Hall

Peter O'Malley's Dodgers bid backed by South Korean company

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Frank McCourt is questioned by the media while attending a Dodger Dreamfield dedication in Compton in November. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

 
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