Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Search: Power Ranking All 7 Finalists

Douglas MayberryContributor IIIMarch 1, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Search: Power Ranking All 7 Finalists

0 of 7

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a tumultuous past few years, last making a playoff appearance in 2009 when they advanced to the NLCS versus the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2010, they finished 80-82 and fourth in the NL West.

    Coincidentally, 2010 was the year that Frank McCourt officially separated from his wife, Jamie McCourt. The proceedings from the McCourt fallout have taken a toll on Dodgertown, affecting both on- and off-the-field performances. Joe Torre left for greener pastures and current manager Don Mattingly has had his fair share of issues to deal with. 

    Although the Dodger faithful are in distress right now, the franchise is looking up. In an article published by ESPN, the team should be sold within a matter of months now, but who are the real contenders? Seven groups of bidders have established themselves as frontrunners for the new ownership (in no particular order):

    1. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke

    2. Real-estate developer Alan Casden

    3. New York Observer publisher, real-estate mogul and Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner

    4. A group headed by Shamrock Holdings president and CEO Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney

    5. A group headed by hedge-fund manager and SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen, which also includes longtime sports agent Arn Tellem

    6. A group headed by former YES Network chairman and chief executive Leo Hindery and Colony Capital chairman Tom Barrack. (ESPN)."

    And, of course, Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partner's CEO, Mark Walters.

    However, only one group is going to have sole ownership of the group come May. In order to decipher who has the best shot at taking ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers, each group will be ranked from worst to best based on the following criteria:

    1. Availability of Funds

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale

    4. Motivation

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers franchise

    Each criterion will be given an integer value from 1-10 (1 being lowest and 10 being highest), and the total will give us a clear idea of who has the best chance of becoming the new suit at the top of the Dodger ownership chain. 

     

     

7. Real-Estate Developer Alan Casden

1 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 6

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 4

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 4

    4. Motivation: 7

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers franchise: 1

    Total Grade: 22

     

    In all honesty, the only part of the Dodgers franchise that Casden is interested in is the property that lies in Chavez Ravine. He had previously tried to bid for the Dodgers in 2003, but was not truly considered because he was said by the L.A. Times to "[have] proposed buying the Dodgers, moving them to a new downtown ballpark and tearing down Dodger Stadium to build housing on the site."

    Such an owner would be catestrophic for the franchise, especially after the Frank McCourt disaster.  

6. New York Observer Publisher Jared Kushner

2 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 3

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 6

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 6

    4. Motivation: 4

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers franchise: 5

    Total: 24

     

    Casden could very well be a good fit for the Dodgers, but financial uncertainty and age are working against him. If he had more experience in the managing world of sports, he could be a qualified bidder, but as of now, he just doesn't rank up to the rest of them. 

5. Colony Capital Chairman Tom Barrack and YES Network Founder Leo Hindery

3 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 6

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 5

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 5

    4. Motivation: 5

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers franchise: 6

    Total Grade: 27

     

    Barrack is a self-made billionaire out of the University of Southern California, who, in conjuction with Leo Hindery, seeks to own the Dodgers. These two pair up well—both have money and experience. Hindery established the YES Network, the Yankees' personal media mogul. With a baseball mind like his and the capital of Barrack, these two have a legitimate shot at owning the Dodgers. They do not grade highly on anything, but they are very consistent. It just so happens that there are better candidates for the job.

4. St. Louis Rams Owner Stan Kroenke

4 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 7

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 4

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 7

    4. Motivation: 8

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise: 5

    Total Grade: 31

     

    The main problem that Kroenke runs into is the fact that he may have too much experience. He literally owns a team in every major professional sport, ranging from the Colorado Mammoth (lacrosse) to Arsenal (soccer).

    However, under the rules of the NFL, owners cannot own another team in a competing market. While there is not currently an NFL team in Los Angeles, there have been talks of moving many teams to Los Angeles, such as the former L.A. Rams or Jacksonville Jaguars. While it is still possible that he could win the rights to the franchise, it is unlikely.

3. Shamrock Holdings CEO Stanley Gold and the Family of Roy Disney

5 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 6

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 6

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 4

    4. Motivation: 9

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise: 7

    Total Grade: 32

     

    The main problem with this group is that it is unclear how much money is actually free to invest in the franchise. They would be qualified candidates, and with Stanley Gold at the helm, the franchise could be restored to its former glory.

    One of the main problems that this group runs into is their age. Gold is pushing 70, and he may not be suitable to manage the Dodgers for 20 years. I'm sure Dodger fans would be pleased to see Gold win the rights to the franchise.

2. Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter

6 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 6

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 7

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 7

    4. Motivation: 6

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers franchise: 8

    Total Grade: 34

     

    The argument between Magic and Cohen is only the ability of funds. Magic might as well be the face of Los Angeles basketball and would be a wonderful addition to the Dodgers. Mark Walter would be perfect to manage the financial aspects of the game, with Magic acting as the PR side of the operations. 


1. SAC Capital Advisors Founder Steven Cohen and Sports Agent Arn Tellem

7 of 7

    How his group graded out:

    1. Availability of Funds: 9

    2. MLB's chance of approving the sale: 8

    3. Frank McCourt approving the sale: 7

    4. Motivation: 6

    5. Loyalty to Los Angeles Dodgers franchise: 8

    Total Grade: 40

     

    Cohen has my respect as of now. He is the only candidate to have come out publicly stating his plans. He has contacted almost every major aspect of the game, from his partner (who also happens to be an agent) to the architectural firms for the renovations. He should have the best shot at winning the rights.