Joe Torre adds to the best show the Dodgers have going
In a winter when the bankrupt Dodgers’ new acquisitions have been about as exciting as watching water freeze, the organization has nonetheless managed to add stirring intrigue and anticipation to its off-season.
The next three months -- or so we like to hope -- are shaping up as some of the best drama in town.
To the list of former baseball players, agents, owners, batboys, team presidents and general managers who want to buy the Dodgers, we can now add former managers! Not to mention current bloggers.
Toss in your random billionaire hedge-fund kings, developers, former talk show hosts, bankers, supermarket moguls, superstar NBA players and NBA owners, and I am left with only one observation:
Where the hell were all these people in 2004 when cash-strapped Bostonians Frank and Jamie McCourt purchased the team for $421 million?
The latest official foray into the new ownership bid comes from no less than former Dodgers manager Joe Torre. He officially resigned from his job as a Major League Baseball executive, a post he held for less than a year, to align himself with Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso.
You might think something suspicious was afoot for Torre to leave his new MLB job with Commissioner Bud Selig to join the long queue wanting in on the Dodgers, except Selig isn’t going to pick the new owner.
Under its bankruptcy agreement with Frank McCourt, MLB has agreed to approve 10 bidders. Then McCourt gets to choose the next Dodgers owner. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports said insiders expect at least 30 bids for the team.
Thirty? And all MLB could come up with last time was an out-of-town owner who purchased the team on heaps of credit?
Bids are due Jan. 23, and even if Torre had an understanding that his group would make the cut, that still leaves him as just one of 10 in an auction in which McCourt selects the winner. An auction in which, I’m thinking, the winner is going to be the highest bidder.
It’s a curious move by Torre, unless MLB told him he could have his old job back should his bid fail. And there is no indication of that. By the April 1 deadline for McCourt to pick the new owner, Torre could be professionally adrift.
Of course with McCourt, deadlines are typically a moving target. Like the world would be stunned if he should somehow get an extension. You know, stretching out the intrigue and all.
Bids aren't officially due for almost three weeks, so who knows what new applicants might show up? Maybe Ton Jones and Allen Haff of Spike’s "Auction Hunters" will drop by the Dodgers' storage unit. Oh, the off-season suspense.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Joe Torre. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images