Soon-Shiong tilts Dodger bidding process toward Cohen

Check (n)

1) a piece of paper that can represent big bucks with which to buy a baseball team
2) a position in chess indicating imminent victory

OK, so it’s not exactly Webster’s. Nevertheless, “check” seems to be the operative word now that, according to Bill Shaikin of the Times, Los Angeles multibillionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has joined the ownership group of the richest man in the running for the Dodgers, Steven Cohen.

From Shaikin:

… Soon-Shiong would be the owner of an undetermined minority share of the Dodgers, the people said. Cohen had submitted a bid under which he would own 100% of the team.

The new bid, if successful, would put the Dodgers in the hands of primary investors worth more than $15 billion.

Soon-Shiong, 60, is a doctor, biotech investor and philanthropist. Forbes this month estimated the net worth of Cohen at $8.3 billion and Soon-Shiong at $7.2 billion.

Cohen last fall retained Populous, a prominent sports architecture firm, to recommend improvements to Dodger Stadium. Cohen is prepared to commit close to $2 billion to buy the Dodgers and renovate their stadium without financing any of that amount, according to a person familiar with the sale process.

Tim Leiweke, the president and chief executive of AEG, said he has met with Cohen to discuss the Dodgers. Leiweke is familiar with Soon-Shiong because of his investment in the Lakers.

“We both agree Steve would be a great owner,” Leiweke said. “He has the resources. He certainly has the passion to do it.

“He certainly gets the commitment it’s going to take with the team and the stadium.”

Leiweke said AEG has rejected overtures to join a Dodgers bidding group but would be willing to cooperate on stadium rehabilitation. …

With under two weeks to go until we’re supposed to hear a decision, it seems more and more likely that we’ll need to get to knowin’ Mr. Cohen.

  • Anonymous

    If this happens, the Dodgers might have an owner who can just shrug off Steinbrenner-magnitude mistakes.

  • Anonymous

    ” If he (Cohen) buys the Dodgers, he would be expected to install prominent Los Angeles agent Arn Tellem as team president.”

    I hope Rosenthal’s story about LaRussa was just his usual hooey.

    • Greg Hao

      Exactly! This, IMO, is the only major downside to a Cohen-Soon-Shiong bid. So I pray against hope that this is just another rumour that won’t pan out.

      • Anonymous

        I would think that because Patrick Soon-Shiong is big in L.A. (VERY big, in fact) that
        he might try to talk Cohen out of this La Russa thing. However, he might try to talk him into a Joe Torre thing. I’m not a big Joe Torre fan but he is pretty well connected with the city of L.A. and with Bud Selig and MLB. Just thinking out loud.

        • Greg Hao

          Ugh, they’re both horrible and I would speculate that Torre, more than La Russa, would mean that Colletti comes back.  At that point, Dodgers fans might as well all go and have a drink.

          • Anonymous

            Hey – Maybe Colletti would be a good GM with money to spend……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….NOT!

          • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

            I would bet you about… well, I don’t have much money so maybe just a round of drinks, that Colletti is a goner under new ownership before the next off season gets under way. Maybe, just maybe, they’d wait and maybe if the Dodgers actually won the division this year they’d keep him around, but I doubt all of those things. 

            Not a fan of the LaRussa idea, mostly because I don’t like the idea that his presence could, as pointed out here before, make other very good GM candidates not want to come to LA. But this is honestly a lot of conjecture, ownership still not decided, if it is Cohen it’s no guarantee about TLR, etc. 

          • Greg Hao

            Hey, this would be a bet that I would happily lose!

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    When did the miserable Times go to a paywall? It’s not worth the $0.99 4-week introductory offer, much less more than that!

    • Anonymous

      Just open up the L.A. Times in a different browser.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Vashkan Anthony Forkush

         Genius. never thought of that.

    • Greg Hao

      I think you get 15 free articles per month?  I don’t know if it’s a porous wall like NYT where you can just search the title of the article and go through a search engine.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      I follow Shaikin on twitter where he tweets links to all of these stories and I have never had a problem accessing them through his links. I believe this is a way to work around the paywall, as it also works for the NY Times.

      • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

         There’s a thought. Thanks.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518159501 Joseph Servantez

          Disable Javascript for http://www.latimes.com, latimes.com, and latimesblogs.latimes.com

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if Earvin Johnson’s group now throws support toward Stan Kroenke, or vice versa.

  • Anonymous

    Is this the Magic Johnson group?

    • Greg Hao

      No.  Magic’s group is Stan Kasten and Mark Walter (local, baseball, and money).  Steve Cohen’s original bid was 100% Cohen ($900MM cash + $500MM debt).

  • Greg Hao

    Quick rehash of my comment from MSTI’s blog:

    Frankly, the biggest drawback about Cohen is the rumour that Tony La Russa is going to be part of his executive team which increases the odds that crap Ned Colletti sticks around as a figurehead GM.To all those who want a local owner, for me, the thing about local owners is largely a canard IMO, the key factor is whether that person is passionate about baseball or sees the Dodgers as leverage for NFL stadium – Kroenke; leverage for media rights, e.g. RSN – Hindry and probably Heisley.Again, like Mike (MSTI), I’m trying to focus on the positives here but unlike McCourt’s divorce, Cohen’s “divorce” has gone on for over a decade and the ex-wife has gone slightly into looney territory. This is not to paper over this period in his life, but just that there are no real bombs left.The only thing that can potentially still spring up is the fact that Cohen has long been known to be liked by the SEC/FBI for insider trading. They’ve been after him for well over a decade, it’s a roll of the dice whether anybody will turn up anything at this point. (This of course is the positive spin.)Bottom line – God I despise Ned Colletti.

  • Anonymous

    RIP, Furman Bisher, who wrote one of the first baseball books I ever read “Strange, but True Baseball Stories.”

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Same for me.

  • Anonymous

    to ctdodger56, (from previous thread)
    I am an east coast Dodger fan; I get to DS about as often as Supreme Court nominations. I have always stayed in BandB’s within walking distance of DS. This has worked out quite nicely.
    The art museums in LA should be seen if you have any interest. Best wishes for continued health.

  • Anonymous

    If this has already been posted sorry:

    MLB Channel (with everyone’s buddy Larry Bowa) projects the NL West to finish:
    1. SF
    2. AZ
    3. CO
    4. SD
    5. LA

    • Greg Hao

      lulz@mlb slide further into irrelevance.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      I don’t mean any offense to anyone, but.. who cares? What matters is what happens at the end of the year. Last year BP picked them to finish under .500.   Also, SD and CO have more issues than the Dodgers do, ALL the teams in the NL West have flaws. Really, no order of finish would surprise me. Except SD finishing ahead of LA.

    • Anonymous

      While I think the Dodgers don’t have the best chance to win, I would almost say it was a slighly bigger long shot that they finish last. I would say most reasonable projections have them 3rd which at this point I would agree, of course I hope for first which means Ethier is on fire, Loney is Jim Loney and Uribe and others do just enough to be decent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vashkan Anthony Forkush

    As a long time Frank McCourt supporter, of which you all have heard from me ad naseum, I am positively qvelling about this news. Not even Ned Colletti can derail such a financial juggernaut. Finally, the Dodgers will have graduated to what they should have been from day one, one of the top two to three large market teams in the world. I cannot be more stunned and excited. What a remarkable day approaching.

    • Greg Hao

      No sarcasm at all but I wish I had as much optimism.  

    • Anonymous

      Ha you meant as the “only” Frank McCourt supporter….:)

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    The MLB Network Dodgers season preview is on right now on the HD version, at 11 (PST) on the non HD version. 

  • Anonymous

    A poster at another site had this to say on the LA Times:
    Clearing your browser cache should reset that. The LA Times is reading a cookie from your machine to determine how many views.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT