In news that Los Angeles Dodgers fans have been longing to hear for years Frank McCourt, fresh off a divorce settlement that would allow him full ownership of the team, agreed Tuesday to sell the franchise, per this report from the LA Times. Here are some details:
McCourt and Major League Baseball have agreed to seek approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for an auction of the Dodgers. The sale is expected to include the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots, a package bought by McCourt for $421 million in 2004 and likely to sell for two to three times as much now.
The league hopes a new Dodgers owner can be in place by opening day.
The new owner would be the third since Peter O’Malley sold the team to News Corp. in 1998. The Dodgers had remained in the O’Malley family since its patriarch, Walter, moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.
Despite suffering through a slow stat, the McCourt’s messy divorce and spotty attendance in 2011, the Dodgers managed to finish the season with a modest record of 82-79. The Dodgers have an attractive nucleus for potentials owners and to contend for years, as center fielder Matt Kemp (.324/39/126) emerged as one of the best players in the Majors and is in contention for the NL MVP award. Also, starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (2.28/21-5/248k’s) won the NL triple crown and is the front runner for the Cy Young.
Hopefully the Dodgers, one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, end up with ownership that is more concerned about fielding a championship caliber ball club than about their own personal financial gain.