By D Tursky aka bigpapi4153

While most of us were lost in deep sleep and hopeful dreaming of our favorite baseball team’s winning this year’s World Series last Tuesday night, (unless you stayed up to catch the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics game in Japan that began at 6:10 ET, 3:10 PT) Dodgers owner Frank McCourt picked his successor as the next official owner of the historically famous Los Angeles Dodgers. A group led by Magic Johnson is expected to cross the Ts and dot the Is to complete a $2 billion purchase, shattering the record for the most a sports franchise has ever sold for. The majority of Johnson’s investment in the team will be returned in television revenue but Magic and former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten made their goal for the team clear. They want to win. And they want to win now, not later.

 

Aside from starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s Cy Young award winning season, the most headlines the Dodgers received in 2011 came from the Dodger blue fan who beat a San Francisco Giants fan on opening day. That is certainly going to change. This new ownership group wants to win and finally has the available funds to spend on premium players. Not only do the new owners have money, but Los Angeles has only committed $41 million in salary for the year 2014. Most of that is going to Kershaw and superstar outfielder Matt Kemp’s wallets, two nice pieces to build around. The Dodgers are already expected to make a serious run at Phillies ace Cole Hamels this offseason. Magic has said he plans to be in touch with them at 12:01 on the day teams can negotiate with free agents. The possibilities are endless for a team that is expected to spend as much as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. It seems funny to already be talking about next year’s free agents, seeing as this year’s season has yet to begin but some other notable upcoming free agents this next fall are Josh Hamilton, Brandon Philips, Zack Greinke, Michael Bourn, and BJ Upton. It should not be difficult to recognize that the Dodgers may certainly be pursuing them. Dodger Blue is also expected to get back involved in the international market, an area they used to dominate but have backed off of the past couple of years under Frank McCourt.

 

Being from Boston, Frank McCourt never fully understood the Dodgers tradition in Los Angeles. Following a successful few years from 2006-2009 things quickly got bad when Frank and his wife Jamie divorced. Things worsened this offseason, when the Angels took advantage of an open market by signing mega star Albert Pujols in an attempt to win over the Los Angeles fan base. The move seemed to work well as the already expected World Champion contender Angels have been the hot topic in southern California. That is, until the Dodgers got some magic.

 

 

Magic Johnson is arguably the most popular sports figure in Los Angeles, along with Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully and former pitcher Sandy Koufax. His popularity is only expected to rise with his new role as part owner of LA’s beloved team. The history of the former Brooklyn and current Los Angeles Dodgers has been a huge part of baseball as a sport. Adding Magic Johnson to that equation only ensures that the Dodgers will be a team that is in the history books for years to come. Furthermore, Johnson has said he will not be involved in the handling of players, leaving that to his general manager and team manager but has said that he will be involved. Expect Magic to help recruit players to the big LA and also sell the Dodger brand. The new ownership group would also like to do something to help renovate Dodger Stadium once the sale is finalized. Everyone involved should be happy with this outcome. Dodger fans can expect to see improvements immediately with the new budget giving the team flexibility to help with mid season acquisitions. The Dodgers may even make a run at the playoffs this year in the arguably weak National League West. That is certainly an ambitious idea, but the season hasn’t officially started yet so aren’t we supposed to be optimistic? With a little bit of magic, the Dodgers should be pretty optimistic about their future as well.