Alan Casden is out, but Steven Cohen, Stan Kroenke, and Magic Johnson lead the way

Alan Casden will not be the next owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he had his ownership bid rejected by Major League Baseball.

Casden, a Beverly Hills real estate developer, was not invited to Monday’s meetings between Dodgers bidders and two committees of major league owners.

The six bidding groups at the meetings: hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and longtime agent Arn Tellem; St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler; Los Angeles civic leader and investor Stanley Gold; New York media executive Leo Hindery; and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten and Guggenheim Partners Chief Executive Mark Walter. Magic Johnson, who is a partner with Kasten and Guggenheim, was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.

So it’s down to six, but three clear favorites have emerged.

Cohen is widely considered one of three favorites to buy the team, along with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten.

Steven Cohen appears to clearly be in the lead, but why?

There are several bidders offering $1.5 billion for the Dodgers. But who has the cash? Remember when Rick Caruso bailed? That wasn’t about the parking lots not being included, as Caruso so meekly claimed (how many teams own their own parking lots?). It was about Caruso not having the cash. MLB kicked out Jared Kushner because he didn’t have the cash either. He wanted to buy the Dodgers with too much debt. Been there, done that.

As expected, all of this comes down to money. Not so much total money bid, but who can give Frank McCourt the most money right now. As such, it appears that the three with the most are Cohen, Stan Kroenke, and Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten.

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Now I was going to write about the ownership situation in further detail, but Mike Petriello has already said a lot of the things I wanted to say.

I’ve been pretty apprehensive about Cohen since the first time we talked about him, arguing that a hedge fund guy under investigation from the SEC who’s had his own nightmare divorce which stretched over two decades isn’t exactly the ideal owner to follow up Frank McCourt. Besides, while it doesn’t bother me so much, I know the idea of another East Coast import (a Mets fan and recent buyer of a minority share in the club, Cohen currently lives in Connecticut) who has reportedly never even been to Dodger Stadium won’t sit well with any of us.

Yup. Do not want.

Then there’s Kroenke, who has some appeal. He’s clearly got a ton of experience in sports ownership, having owned parts or all of the St. Louis Rams, English soccer club Arsenal, and basically every professional Colorado sports club that isn’t the Rockies or Broncos, including the Nuggets (NBA), Avalanche (NHL), Mammoth (NLL), Rapids (MLS), and Crush (AFL). Beyond the teams themselves, his groups own the Pepsi Center in Denver and launched Altitude (a regional sports network which carries his Colorado teams) & TicketHorse, a ticketing agency for all of his teams.

He wrote a lot more on Kroenke, including finding an article from 2010 which talks about Kroenke’s management style, most of which paints him in a positive light.

Of course, the primary worry with him is that the Dodgers might be secondary to getting an NFL team in Los Angeles, as I mentioned previously.

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So basically, Magic Johnson’s group is still my favorite, but I’m starting to realize that Stan Kroenke brings a ton to the table as well. The worry is Steven Cohen because of a few black marks on his personal record, because I’m not convinced he’s actually interested in the team, and because he resembles Dr. Evil from “Austin Powers“.

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