Dennis Gilbert, long a fan favorite to purchase the Dodgers, gave that quote to ESPN Los Angeles' Tony Jackson yesterday. He offered it with the proviso, "As far as I know." And he's right in that regard. The team is no more for sale today than it has been at any point since Frank (and, depending on which side you take, perhaps Jamie) McCourt purchased it several years ago. Gilbert, unlike the McCourts, would have one key advantage in the hearts of Angelenos. Jackson:
In addition to running his high-end insurance firm, Gilbert also presently serves as a special assistant to Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Gilbert is a regular presence at Dodger Stadium, as he holds season tickets in the front row of the Dugout Club, directly behind home plate. Gilbert and a group of investors he organized recently failed in their bid to purchase the Texas Rangers.
If Gilbert was to end up with the Dodgers, the symmetry would be simply delightful. Frank McCourt fails to acquire his desired team, ends up three thousand miles away in a completely alien culture. What if the end game is Dennis Gilbert fails to acquire second-choice team, ends up owning his first choice all along? I have little doubt he'd have the fans' support; first, he's a local, and second, he's not a McCourt.
But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let's watch how this Rangers auction plays out. It features former California/Anaheim Angel Nolan Ryan bidding against another fan favorite for Dodgers ownership, Mark Cuban. The significance is that the court seems to be allowing a sale to Cuban without subjecting him to Major League Baseball's approval process. It's entirely possible the McCourt litigation ends up in a forced sale of some manner. The issue will be the degree to which the sale would be under judicial control; Judge Gordon could order a sale outside the court, or facilitate one within it.
I'll be on ESPN Radio 710 out of Los Angeles at 2:42 with Steve Mason and John Ireland to talk Dodgers. Hope you can tune in!