Late Tuesday night Eastern time, reports came out that the Dodgers had reached an agreement to sell the team to a group fronted by Magic Johnson and former Nationals President Stan Kasten for a reported $2.15 billion. The controlling owner would be Mark Walter, CEO of Chicago-based financial company Guggenheim Partners, while Kasten would run the team on a day-to-day basis. The sale still has to be approved by the bankruptcy court handling the disposal of Frank and Jaime McCourt's assets.
CSN Washington's Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, who covered the team for the entirety of Kasten's term as President (Kasten left his position following the 2010 season) has this take on Kasten's Tinseltown return.
In the Walter-Magic-Kasten triumvirate, Selig got exactly what he wanted. Walter is the money man who will assume controlling interest of the Dodgers. Magic is perhaps the most beloved sports figure in Southern California, not to mention a pretty successful businessman in his post-basketball career. And Kasten is the guy with experience running professional sports franchises.
Sounds kind of familiar to those of us in Washington, doesn't it? When MLB was in the process of selling the Nationals in 2006, Selig liked the money and the local ties Ted Lerner could offer. But he insisted the Lerner group include an experienced baseball man to run the franchise on a day-to-day basis. Enter Kasten, who was trying to organize his own group to buy the Nationals but wound up merging with Lerner and ultimately winning the bidding war.
How will Kasten's shtick -- smart, sarcastic, bombastic -- go over in Hollywood? It may seem like a bit of a mismatch. But really it will only require a minor tweak on Kasten's part. Instead of telling reporters "No comment" every time they are seeking information on something, he'll just tell them: "No comment, dude."