I need a new face. Though friends have been telling me that for years, I’ve finally come to that belated realization. Truth is, the Dilbeck Investment Group (DIG) bid to purchase the Dodgers is flagging.
Despite our enormous wealth, I’m certain it’s because our feisty group lacks an identifiable Dodgers/baseball face.
Everybody else has one.
Maybe Frank McCourt ultimately does select the next Dodgers owner from a pure bottom-line perspective. But if the bids are close –- and keep donating those 10-speeds to Dilbeck Investment Group -– perhaps McCourt’s farewell gift and last attempt at mollifying his shattered legacy is to select a local owner with ties to the Dodgers.
Which sadly, the Dilbeck Investment Group lacks. Although Petros Papakakis was kind enough to offer his services when I spoke with him and Matt Smith about the Dodgers ownership situation on the "Petros and Money Show" at KLAC-AM (570), I fear his Dodger connect could fall a tad short of what the competing groups are putting together.
Now clearly, if you’re Peter O’Malley, your own face is just swell. Ditto with Fred Claire, though he also has former Dodgers bat boy Ben Hwang and A’s ex-president Andy Dolich. Dennis Gilbert is a former superstar baseball agent, minor league player and current White Sox executive.
Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser have the reverse problem. Plenty of face, gathering investors.
Every other would-be owner is adding someone with an established baseball pedigree.
Joe Torre is Rick Caruso’s guy. He’s the calming face that adds legitimacy to a developer who otherwise has no baseball background. But add Torre, and it’s instance credibility.
Magic Johnson is beloved in Los Angeles and has the kind of name recognition the other groups can’t even dream about, but zero baseball background. So he’s hooked up with former Braves and Nationals executive Stan Kasten.
Hedge fund guru Steven Cohen is stupid rich, but lives on the East Coast, and as far as we know, has never seen Dodger Stadium. Which would be just like the last couple to buy it. Cohen is reportedly adding Steve Greenberg, the former assistant MLB commissioner, and influential sports agent (and L.A. resident) Arn Tellum.
Mark Cuban remains on his own planet, as best serves him.
Other groups will emerge, and will probably have nice face. O’Malley, of course, could probably add anyone he wants with a simple phone call. Which means I need to strike quickly. Hmm, let’s see, Vin Scully or Sandy Koufax? What the heck, maybe I’ll reach out to both.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Magic Johnson. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times.