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Larry King aligns with Dennis Gilbert in Dodgers bidding

November 29, 2011 |  9:16 pm

Larry3Larry King, the longtime talk-show host who in September said that Frank McCourt "does not belong as an owner of a baseball team," might try to do a better job himself.

King has agreed to participate as a minority investor in Dennis Gilbert's bid to buy the Dodgers, a person familiar with the bidding process confirmed Tuesday.

King and Gilbert each hold season tickets in the dugout club at Dodger Stadium, although King had said he would not renew because McCourt charged hundreds of dollars per ticket and "instead of bidding on any free agent, spent the money on himself." McCourt since has agreed to sell the Dodgers.

Gilbert leads the bid group and would be the Dodgers' managing partner if his group won the bidding. His primary financial backers are Jason Reese and Randy Wooster, the chairman and president, respectively, of Imperial Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment bank.

Gilbert pursued the Texas Rangers last year, when a group led by Nolan Ryan won the team in a Bankruptcy Court auction for $593 million. The runner-up was a partnership of Jim Crane, who just bought the Houston Astros, and Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.

Cuban has expressed interest in the Dodgers but told The Times this month: "I don't think the Dodgers franchise is worth twice what the Rangers are worth."

King's involvement was first reported by ESPN.


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-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Larry King. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press