Steve Lopez: The shame of being a Dodgers fan is over
But stop for a moment and ask yourself why everyone loves the former Lakers hero.
Because he's a sharp dresser?
Because of the 10,000-watt smile?
No, because he was a winner, once.
If it's August and the Dodgers are nine games under .500 and 17 games out, are you still going to be turning flips over Johnson being part of a team of new owners?
For all the talk of Johnson knowing how to build community, the best way in this case will be to build a team. And for that, of course, he'll have a true baseball man -- Stan Kasten, the former Atlanta Braves architect.
Yo Magic and Stan, can Loney hit at first? Does Uribe fit the bill at third, even though he walks as if he's my age? Is that crybaby Ethier ever going to get out of his own head in right?
And after putting up an astronomical $2 billion, will the Chicago-based Guggenheim Partners -- the new controlling owners -- have enough left over to go after some talent?
Are they going to earn back that $2 billion by gouging us at the concession stands?
What are tickets going to cost the first time they get a chance to play with that?
Time will tell. For now, at least, I can go to Dodger Stadium without a bag over my head. Just a couple of lingering concerns:
First, trust me, it doesn't always work out so well when big guns from Chicago come in and buy an L.A. institution. A smart-looking investor could turn out to be nothing but a hatchet man. So let's not be too quick to roll out the red carpet before we get a good look at these guys.
Second, on the dark side of this deal, McCourt is part of a joint venture to buy some Chavez Ravine property for future development.
That's right. The man who sullied a franchise and drained it into bankruptcy while buying enough mansions to house everyone in the left-field bleachers is still in the game.
And I'm ready to take batting practice.
-- Steve Lopez
Photo: Magic Johnson knows how to build community, and now he'll have to build a team. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times