The one thing that was predictable about potential bidders for the Dodgers is that they weren’t going to be predictable. And so out of the blue and into the ownership marathon steps former Los Angeles Marathon topper Bill Burke with $1.2 billion, backed by a consortium of folk from here and abroad:
… A letter to McCourt outlining the offer was disclosed to The Los Angeles Times by sources close to the situation. The letter states that the offer would be funded in part by Chinese investors.
“I have no comment at this time,” Burke told the newspaper.
The sales price would be a record for a major league franchise.
The bid would expire in 21 days and would be subject to approval by the court overseeing the Dodgers bankruptcy case and Major League Baseball, the letter states. The letter does not specify if McCourt’s ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, would have to approve the deal. But she has already asked courts for an immediate sale of the team.
Specifics weren’t given on the foreign investors except to characterize them as “certain state-owned investment institutions of the People’s Republic of China,” the newspaper reports.
In 2004, Burke and his partner sold the L.A. Marathon, which was subsequently bought from Devine Racing in 2008 by none other than Frank McCourt.
The Times also reported Thursday that court filings show that the McCourts recently sold one of the two homes they own near the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles for $6.525 million. The McCourts are disputing how the proceeds should be used, according to the report.
A dollar figure that high is nothing to dismiss out of hand, but without knowing any more details, a healthy skepticism about this would seem appropriate. I do find it funny, though, that this news came mere hours after I wrote the following paragraph for ESPN’s Sweet Spot about the Dodgers’ September hopes:
Though a .500 record and a second-place finish in the NL West have suddenly become realistic goals, their fans will be most interested in how Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp do in the home stretches of their Cy Young and MVP campaigns (and for Kemp, pursuit of a 40/40 season and the Triple Crown). If we’re wishing on a star, however, it would be for a long-awaited breakthrough toward resolving the McCourt ownership crisis.