Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion – twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

Magic Johnson - Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion - twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

Magic Johnson - Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion - twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

As I posted a little while ago, the poor LA Dodgers have been driven into bankruptcy by the smarmy and incompetent Frank McCourt.

See:

https://pusz4frog.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/los-angeles-dodgers-file-for-bankruptcy-owner-frank-mccourt-has-obtained-150-million-in-interim-financing-in-order-to-save-the-club-from-a-take-over-by-major-league-baseball/

Today, it was revealed that a group called the Guggenheim Baseball Partners; that includes former basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, will acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion.

The price tag is almost 2 times that amount ever paid for a baseball franchise, and the most ever paid for a North American sports franchise, according to MLB.com.

THE GBP AND THE MBL
The Guggenheim Baseball Partners will officially acquire the team, one of baseball’s most storied franchises, after the deal is approved by the judge overseeing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy.

The Guggenheim Baseball Partners is controlled by Mark Walter who is the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago-based financial services company which formed GBP.

The Guggenheim Baseball Partners includes Magic Johnson, who guided the Lakers to five NBA championships during the 1980s, is a partner in the group along with movie executive Peter Guber and baseball executive Stan Kasten.

The Dodgers has won the World Series championship six times and, for decades, boasted an intensely loyal fan base.

UGLY
Under the ownership of real estate developer Frank McCourt, the Dodgers started it’s current downturn. The troubles really began when McCourt and his wife, Jamie, decided to get a vicious and expensive divorce, which was followed by a messy court battle.

Frank McCourt and ex-wife - Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion - twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

Frank McCourt and ex-wife - Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion - twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

The couple fought bitterly over ownership of the team and last April, Major League Baseball took charge of the beleaguered team. Two months later, the team filed for bankruptcy.

This October, McCourt and his wife had reached a settlement in which he is supposed to pay her $131 million, and the joke is that the attorneys’ fees alone could reach $35 million.

In an effort to hold on to the team, McCourt tried to score a $3 billion television deal with Fox, but the MLB decided they really didn’t want this loser to remain and owner, so the deal was rejected by Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Good move by the MLB, since they knew that could earn some serious bank by selling the team, which it did in the auction that Guggenheim Baseball Partners won for $2 billion.

A NEW FACE
Guggenheim Baseball Partners propped up it’s face – Magic Johnson, who said the sale will start a new chapter for the Dodgers.

“I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles,” said the former Los Angeles Lakers’ icon.

It is reported that some members of the group will also partner with McCourt to acquire Dodger Stadium and several other nearby properties for $150 million.

Legendary former Dodgers coach Tommy Lasorda applauded the sale, “I am happy for them. I just feel they are going to do everything they can to bring a championship to Los Angeles,” he told LA TV station KTLA.

The Dodgers finished in third place in the National League Western Division last season and did not make the playoffs.

Yes, $2 billion for a club has not won a World Series since 1988. Sounds like a deal.

Maybe hope is now on the horizon.

Hopefully after the sale, Guggenheim Baseball Partners will still have enough money to buy a famous Dodger Dog hot dog…

Dodger-Stadium - Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion - twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

Dodger-Stadium - Guggenheim Baseball Partners which includes Magic Johnson will buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion - twice the amount ever paid for a baseball franchise

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Well, it that time again. Lock up you small children and pets, go to Costco and buy a couple 55 gallon drums of Bud Light, several Shrimp platters and a shopping cart or two of chips and salsa – for on February 5th, 2012 the United States of America will celebrate Super Bowl XLII Day!

Ah yes, it’s Stupper Bowl time!! This year we will all get too drunk, overstuffed with Shrimp and Chips and have to get overly enthusiastic with friends we like but don’t really want too spend too much time with in our house – all the while watching the rematch between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

It doesn’t matter how the teams got in, they are in. It also doesn’t matter that everyone I know really wanted SF to play against the Giants, but …

I went on Sportbook.com to check out there odds and got this:

Open: New York Giants : Point Spread -3 1/2

Current: New York Giants : Point Spread -3

Over/Under 55

Even though they are not the odds on favorite, I think the PATRIOTS ARE GONNA WIN.

I think this, because I don’t think the Giants are going to be able to break Tom Brady, event though in the last two match-ups the Giants beat-up Brady, I think New England knows the Giants are going to try to stick it to Brady up the middle, and they are going to be prepaired for it.

Of course, I could be wrong, but that is half the fun of the Super Bowl.

Just thought I like would get this prediction out before the game or pre-game TV.

Patriots to win : 20 – 17

Let’s see what happens – hopefully I will remain conscious till the end of the game – GO SAN FRANSISCO, ah…sorry, I mean, ah…GO PATRIOTS!!!

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

 

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Super Bowl XLII Predictions for the the New York Giants and the New England Patriots matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky charged with 40 counts of child sex crimes.

Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky charged with 40 counts of child sex crimes.

Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky charged with 40 counts of child sex crimes.

Ah sports, the subject that can never be spoiled enough with crimes against children.

This is the shit that makes you want to give up on humanity, or at least organized sports.

Sandusky, legendary assistant coach and pillar of the community, has been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse to boys in a scandal that has also prompted Joe Paterno’s firing and rattled the state of Pennsylvania.

This is including at least one case of Sandusky anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State football team’s locker room. F-ing SICK!!!!

The issues that seem to be bothering people:

1) Who really knew about what Sandusky was doing?

2) Did Head Coach of Penn State football, Joe Paterno really know what Sandusky was doing and he didn’t report it?

3) How many kids did Sandusky sexually molest?

4) Why didn’t anyone do something when in 1998 the first accusations surfaced?

WHO?

No, this isn’t about 84-year-old Joe Paterno not taking more steps with Jerry Sandusky that might have stopped it. It’s about everybody not taking more steps that might have stopped it. Not parents, not teachers, not uncles, not friends, not counselors. It’s about everyone.

Nobody seems to be able to explain why the chain of command at the university failed at its duties, or why Joe Paterno appears to have fallen short of the moral standards he set for Penn State when he started there 44 years ago – when he devised a concept known as the Grand Experiment that would find a way to balance big-time athletics and academics.

Nobody can explain why a school that taught us all to believe that success and honor were inexorably intertwined could have apparently put its own interests above those of abused children. Why it took five days for a sane and reasonable voice of the university – John Surma, vice chairman of the board of trustees; who stoically weathered a nationally televised press conference – to show up and apologize in something more than a published statement.

There are a lot of people who still cannot believe that Joe Paterno would have condoned such actions, and I understand their denial. There is universal outrage on behalf of the victims of these crimes, and I share in that outrage above all else.

IT’S REALLY ABOUT THE VICTIMS

If these boys really were molested, groped and raped by a middle-aged ex-Penn State football coach, then whatever misjudgment Joe Paterno made will be a single lit match compared to the bonfire these boys will walk in for years to come.

Sexually molestation victims usually are never able to trust others. They usually have big emotional barriers that prevent them from being able to truly love themselves and others.

Don’t feel sorry for Paterno. He’s had his life. Feel sorry for these boys, because they may never get one.

One reported victim in the Penn State case, now 24, has been living with that kind of hole growing inside him since he made allegations against Sandusky in 1998 — 13 years ago. Those allegations never led to charges. That’s 13 years of not being believed, of knowing his alleged perpetrator was out there, volunteering at high schools and running his grisly camp “tours” of the shower room.

According to the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, one victim was often taken out of class by Sandusky to be further molested. He was just taken out of school by somebody who wasn’t his parent, with no questions asked until his mother finally called the principal and asked her to check into it. Later that day, the principal called back in tears. “You need to come down here right now.”

LEGACY

Well, I personally hope that if Jerry Sandusky is found guilty, that he spends the rest of his life in jail. The same if it is discovered that Joe Paterno knew about Sandusky evil and did nothing about it.

The real losers are the victims, who damage may never heal, and Penn State whose legacy now includes this scandal.

Jerry Sandusky - Joe Paterno

Jerry Sandusky - Joe Paterno

Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky charged with 40 counts of child sex crimes.

Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky charged with 40 counts of child sex crimes.

Camaro and Corvette Concepts by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Well, if you are a car fan then you know the beginning of November means that the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) car show in Las Vegas is about to unleash a bunch of customized show cars for 2012!!

This show is not for small customizers anymore, the big boys have been here for sometime now, and 2011 SEMA is no exception.

The raw SEMA photo feed is here (no photos till Nov. 1):

http://www.semadigital.com/

GM’s HOT

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

This year has been a good year for GM, and this has been especially true for the new Camaro. To celibrate, Chevrolet is coming to this year’s SEMA show with six hot concept Camaros and Corvette models.

They are designed to show off exactly what the owners can do with their vehicles with a little time, money, hot chicks and imagination.

There will be a number of GM concepts wearing special visual upgrades, including the Camaro Convertible Red Zone Concept, Camaro Synergy Series Concept and the Camaro 1LE Concept.

CAMARO
The Camaro 1LE Concept is oh so hot!! Die-hard Chevy fans will likely recognize the 1LE package code as a road-racing designation, and the concept isn’t a disappointment.

Along with a new rocker panels outside and a new spliter, the Camaro has a magnetic ride control suspension, special chassis bracing, a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, Brembo brakes and a host of bits lifted from the meaner ZL1. Those include a dual-mode exhaust, shifter and flat-bottom steering wheel, which are a welcome interior upgrade.

Speaking of the ZL1, fans of that machine will enjoy a new Camaro ZL1 Carbon Concept packed with trimmings made from the lightweight weave.

CORVETTE

Corvette Concepts by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Corvette Concepts by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Corvette fans will also get a chance to take a peek at two special concepts, including a Grand Sport designed to pay tribute to 50 years of the Corvette nameplate at Carlisle and a Corvette Z06 Ron Fellows Hall of Fame tribute car.

I would love to see the Ron Fellow car raced in a NASCAR race, with big Coke logos on the side and Costco plastered all over the front.

Yeah, the Coke Costco Ron Fellows Corvette raced in NASCAR would be a dream made complete with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the flat bottom wheel!!    😉

Ron Fellow Corvette Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Ron Fellow Corvette Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Los Angeles Dodgers file for bankruptcy – Owner Frank McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing in order to save the club from a take over by Major League Baseball

Los Angeles Dodgers file for bankruptcy - Owner Frank McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing in order to save the club from a take over by Major League Baseball
More drama for the biggest travisty in Major League Baseball history – The Frank McCourt mismanagement of the world famous Los Angeles Dodgers.

If you have not been following this… basically Frank McCourt made his money in the Boston real estate market specializing in the development of major commercial real estate projects, particularly parking lots.

I guess he loved parking lots so much, that he first tried to buy the Chicago Red Sox which has a large one, and then the Anaheim Angels and Tampa Bay Buccaneers; before finally succeeding in 2004 and bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for $430 million from NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch’s flagship enterprise.

OPPS
McCourt’s purchase of the Dodgers was financed mostly by debt, with McCourt’s South Boston parking lot property was used as collateral for some of the financing to acquire the Dodgers from News Corp.

The Dodgers assets acquired by McCourt included significant real estate assets related to the stadium in Chavez Ravine, including stadium parking lot land. Plans have been announced for new real estate developments at Dodger Stadium. Hmm… Condos? Parking garages? A hospital for the elderly?

To offset the purchase, McCourt has raised ticket and concession prices every year. By 2010, the Dodger team and its related assets, in which McCourt had invested heavily in improvements, had increased in value to $727 million according to Forbes. Yeah, value gotten from the high ticket prices that the fans had to endure in order to go see a game.

What started it all, was that Frank McCourt decided to divorce his wife of 30 years – mega-businesswoman, Jamie “First Female CEO of a Baseball Team” McCourt. This bloody court fight exposed a lot of problems with the Dodgers finances, but it also threatened to saddle the team with the burden of a family feud in the owner box. In the end, they settled out of court.

Unfortunately it was contingent on Major League Baseball approving a 17-year television contract between the Dodgers and FOX Television. However, this month the MLB rejected the television deal and the settlement agreement fell apart.

Later last year it was revealed that the California Attorney General was opening an investigation into the team’s charitable foundation – the Dodgers’ Dream Foundation. It seem that according to tax returns, the charity’s chief executive Howard Sunkin, earned a salary of nearly $400,000 per year!! This is almost a quarter of the foundation’s entire budget. Sunkin is a close associate of McCourt and has worked with him during his divorce proceedings. The California courts awarded the funds to be repaid. McCourt personally repaid $100,000 – but, seriously!! What a scumbag!!!

HERE AND NOW
Today, Los Angeles Dodgers issued a statement that owner Frank McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing, and if the Delaware bankruptcy court approves the financing at a hearing on June 28, 2011.

It seems that McCourt could meet payroll and remain in charge of the team, but Major League Baseball is expected to challenge McCourt’s move. McCourt said the financing would stabilize the financial future of the team. The move also could extend the battle for ownership of the Dodgers well beyond this season, making it a long slow torture for us all.

“The action taken today by Mr. McCourt does nothing but inflict further harm to this historic franchise,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.

Under the MLB constitution, the act of filing for bankruptcy enables the commissioner to strip McCourt of ownership. But bankruptcy court proceedings generally override MLB rules. If McCourt secures a favorable decision, he could keep the team and attempt to secure a lucrative, long-term television contract that would allow him to pay his bills.

Manny Ramirez is the Dodgers’ largest creditor, according to the bankruptcy filing. The Dodgers owe their former left fielder $21 million, followed by New York Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones ($11 million), Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda ($4.5 million) and shortstop Rafael Furcal ($3.7 million), and the Chicago White Sox ($3.5 million, for outfielder Juan Pierre).

The list of creditors also includes much of the current Dodgers roster, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully ($152,778), the city of Los Angeles ($240,563 in tax debt), and two players yet to play for the Dodgers (prospects Zach Lee at $3.4 million and Alexander Santana at $499,500).

In their bankruptcy filing, the Dodgers said they owed almost $40 million this week alone, including $20 million in current and deferred salaries and $18.7 million to fund future deferred payments, in accordance with baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

In his statement, Selig said the Dodgers’ financial woes were “caused by Mr. McCourt’s excessive debt and his diversion of club assets for his own personal needs. We have consistently communicated to Mr. McCourt that any potential solution to his problems that contemplates mortgaging the future of the Dodgers franchise to the long-term detriment of the club, its loyal fans and the game of baseball would not be acceptable.”
So, what will happen with the Los Angeles Dodgers? I don’t know which will be better, McCourt keeping the team, or the MLB Corporate machine getting control of the team.

All the fans want is a good schedule, great play and wins. Something McCourt hasn’t done, even though he raised ticket prices.

Magic Johnson sells his stake in the Lakers and 103 Starbucks for rumored $100 million.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson sells his share in the Lakers and 103 Starbucks

Earvin "Magic" Johnson sells his share in the Lakers and 103 Starbucks

Looks like Magic Johnson has some need for quick cash, about $100 million to be as exact as a rumor can be.

So what would the famous basketball player need the money for? Various sources close to Johnson also quickly quelled any connection between selling his share of the Lakers and aggressively pursuing ownership of another NBA team.

In the last year, Johnson has been rumored to be interested in buying the Golden State Warriors and Detroit Pistons. The Warriors were subsequently sold this year for $450 million.

Magic also said recently: “I’m hoping (there will be an NFL team in Los Angeles) soon, but we’ve got to get a stadium built, and it’s going to take a couple of years to do that,” said Johnson, 51. “Now when you think about a stadium in L.A., it’s going to be about a billion dollars just to build a stadium. L.A. deserves and needs a team, and the NFL would be better with a team in L.A., and I hope that I can — with others — try to make that happen.”

Johnson also indicated Sunday that he would be interested in an ownership position with the Miami Dolphins, reports CBS Sports. NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora said Magic “praised GM Jeff Ireland, [owner Stephen Ross] Ross, Bill Parcells and the [Dolphins] organization,” and expressed a definite interest in becoming a minority owner.

So, maybe he is buying another basketball team, or maybe he wants to bring football back to LA?

I guess time will tell.

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

On Sunday, March 15th, 2010, Katie Spotz completed her goal of becoming the youngest person to row an entire ocean solo, and the first American to row a boat without help from mainland to mainland.

It only took her 70 days 5 hours 22 minutes to row from Dakar Senegal, Africa to Georgetown, Guyana, in South America.

Her 2,817-mile journey raised more than $70,000 for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, which finances drinking water projects around the world.

She was actually trying to land in Cayenne, French Guiana, but the wind and currents grew so strong that she would have needed a tow for the last few miles, which is not what she wanted. So, she pushed on another 8 days so she could row herself to Georgetown.

“You’re in a situation that you can’t escape, so you really have to dig deep,” said Spotz

The 19-foot yellow wooden rowboat was broadsided by 20-foot waves as she initially approached Caynne. It was a frightening ride, even though the boat was built to withstand hurricanes and 50-foot waves, said Phil Morrison, the British yacht builder who designed it.

Spotz had enough food to last 110 days. I can just imaging what the diet of mostly freeze-dried meals, granola and dried fruit, did to her figure. Her crossing took much less time because she had help from the trade currents, and was fortunate not to face any major weather or technical problems, so she ended with food and water to spare.

This is not to say she didn’t have problems. Early on in the trip, she broke the cable that allowed her to steer with her foot as she rowed, forcing her to use a cumbersome hand steering system.

Also, day before her landfall, she started smelling smoke – and discovered that her GPS tracker decided to light itself on fire. Spotz extinguished it, and by some miracle her GPS device for navigation was not damaged. Fortunatly her GPS tracker was only used to update her position on her blog, so it was not a big loss.

The little yellow boat’s solar panels, batteries, water desalination machine and the iPod she used to play audio books on Zen meditation remained functional.

Fact Check: Her accomplishment is truly significant and a great milestone for all athletes. But, she is not the first to row across the Atlantic. Actually the first ocean rowers were the, the Norwegian immigrants George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelson, who traveled from New York to France in 1896 in an open boat. But Spotz was solo, and a women, which had never been done before.

From 2000 to 2010, 110 rowboats have successfully crossed an ocean, according to the Ocean Rowing Society. Nearly as many rowboat crews, 102, tried and failed. One American, Nenad Belic, attempted to row solo across the Atlantic in 2001. He was lost at sea.

It took Spotz two years to plan the trip and to raise $100,000 to pay for it. Before leaving for Senegal, her biggest boating experience consisted of a 40-mile practice row on Lake Erie that ended with her boat being pinned against a cliff by wind and waves. Many people asked Spotz how she could row across the Atlantic if she could not even row on Lake Erie. Her response was that the biggest danger in ocean rowing besides hurricanes is coming too close to shore, where the current can overwhelm the rower and push the boat into the rocks.

Well, congratulations to Katie Spotz, this is a great accomplishment!!!

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Katie Spotz : Seeing Spotz after solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.