Potential buyers for the Dodgers emerge

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Frank McCourt’s official line is that the Dodgers are not for sale. But whether they’re ultimately sold is kind of out of his hands. If the latest court ruling is upheld, Jamie McCourt is going to be owed a ton of money for her share of the team, Frank doesn’t have it handy, and the only way for him to get it would be to sell the Dodgers.

Against that backdrop, BusinessWeek reports that a couple of people are indicating that they’d be interested: private equity dude Alec Gores and real estate mogul Alan Casden.*

I don’t read much business press so I’ve never heard of either of them. But that’s what Google is for. Here’s a recent writeup on Gores:

Sometimes spotted courtside at Lakers games with pal Sylvester Stallone, Gores is looking to enter the movie industry. Bidding in partnership with billionaire brother Tom for Walt Disney’s Miramax film division against financial heavyweights including Ron Burkle and Ron Tutor.

Kind of sounds like a baseball owner. Likes sports. Likes media. Does business with his family. Hangs out with weird celebrities. I also heard that Ron Burkle was interested in buying the Pirates once upon a time, so maybe Gores want the Dodgers as a way to figuratively flip the bird at a business rival! Oh, and Gores was raised in Flint, Michigan. I was in part, so I’m going to make him my favorite for no other reason than that.

As for Casden:

Taciturn and tenacious Casden won approval in February for West Hollywood mixed-use development that could be worth more than $300 million when completed. Another mixed-use development next to planned West L.A. light-rail station could be worth upwards of $750 million, if built.

Mixed-use development guy? Hey, that also sounds like a baseball owner!  Ever been to Dodger Stadium? Seen how big that parking lot is?  It could easily fit a Home Depot and a couple of condos! And if he’s into the light rail scene, maybe Dodger Stadium will finally get some friggin’ mass transit.  It’s brutal getting in and out of there.

Eh, rich people. I don’t really pretend that I understand them, so I’m just snarking here. I just hope that when they take over baseball teams they do the right thing and plow an insane amount of money into players, try to keep a lid on beer prices, make sure the team’s announcers aren’t awful and at least pretend to be happy when the team wins.

*Mark Cuban is given quick lip service too, but it’s based on old, old news. And frankly, I’m kind of bored talking about Cuban.

UPDATE: WEEI denies it will change Red Sox broadcasts to a talk show format

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UPDATE: WEEI is pushing back on this report, denying that it is true. Finn’s source for the story was the agency posting job listings which said that, yes, WEEI was looking to do the talk show format. WEEI is now saying that the agency was merely speculating and that it will still be a traditional broadcast.

Both WEEI and Finn say they will have full reports soon, so I guess we’ll see.

9:47 AM: WEEI carries Boston Red Sox games on the radio in the northeast. For the past three seasons, Tim Neverett and Joe Castiglione have been the broadcast team. Following what was reportedly a difficult relationship with the station, Neverett has allowed his contract with WEEI to end, however, meaning that the station needs to do something else with their broadcast.

It seems that they’re going to do something radical. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe:

There were industry rumors about possible changes all season long. One, which multiple sources have said was a genuine consideration, had WEEI dropping the concept of a conventional radio baseball broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.

That was yesterday. Just now, Finn confirmed it:

I have no idea how that will work in practice but I can’t imagine this turning out well. At all.

Hiring talk show hots to call games — adding opinion and humor and stuff while still doing a more or less straightforward broadcast — would probably be fine. It might even be fun. But this is not saying that’s what is happening. It says it’s changing it to a talk show “format.” I have no idea how that would work. A few well-done exceptions aside, there is nothing more annoying than sports talk radio. It tends to be constant, empty chatter about controversies real or imagined and overheated either way. It usually puts the host in the center of everything, forcing listeners — often willingly — to adopt his point of view. It’s almost always boorish narcissism masquerading as “analysis.”

But even if it was the former idea — talk show hosts doing a conventional broadcast — it’d still be hard to pull off given how bad so many talk show hosts are. There are a couple of sports talk hosts I like personally and I think do a good job, most are pretty bad, including the ones WEEI has historically preferred.

Which is to stay that this is bound to be awful. And that’s if they even remember to pay attention to the game. Imagine them taking a few calls while the Red Sox mount a rally, get sidetracked arguing over whether some player is “overrated” or whatever and listeners get completely lost.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Red Sox fans who listen to the games on the radio.