Dodgers ownership candidates down to 3 + MLB, Fox Sports, Jamie McCourt object

The amount of bidders in the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership saga was recently cut to three, setting up a showdown that is set to be resolved on April 1st.

The three finalists: a group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong; a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten; and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

The parties eliminated: a partnership between Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler; and a bid by Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney.

Major league owners are set to vote on the three remaining bidders early next week. Final negotiations will then take place with McCourt and Blackstone Advisory Partners, the investment bank brokering the sale.

So what was that? Three days after they were reinstated in the bidding, the two groups were eliminated yet again.

Of course, that news doesn’t change much, as now we’re left with the same trio everybody pegged as favorites long ago, but the owners voting on candidates could reveal a lot about how the potential groups are viewed.

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While the fact that this mess is finally coming to a close is a relief to almost every observer, Major League Baseball, Fox Sports, and Jamie McCourt aren’t so thrilled with the way things are going.

With the sale of the Dodgers in its final stages, three key parties lodged objections Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Major League Baseball, Fox Sports and Jamie McCourt each raised concerns that they asked the court to consider on or before April 13, the day of the scheduled hearing to approve the Dodgers’ sale. The concerns appear unlikely to derail the sale.

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers’ outgoing owner, has agreed to provide the court with a sale agreement by April 6.

In its filing, MLB claimed that the Dodgers used overly broad and legally inconsistent language in phrasing how the league and the team would release each other from future liability.

Fox Sports, which waged a successful legal battle to prevent Frank McCourt from marketing the Dodgers’ television rights as part of the sale, asserted the right to review the sale documents through April 28.

Jamie McCourt, the ex-wife of Frank McCourt, asked for assurances that the $131 million she is owed in a divorce settlement would be promptly disbursed from the sale proceeds. The Dodgers on Thursday asked the court to dismiss Jamie McCourt’s bankruptcy claim, saying she would be paid not by the Dodgers but by Frank McCourt personally.

As long as it doesn’t affect the sale, they could take every penny from Frank McCourt and I couldn’t care less.

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Joe Torre got his job back from Bud Selig after his failed attempt at buying the team.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig restored Torre as executive vice president of baseball operations, the position Torre vacated Jan. 4 to join Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso in bidding for the Dodgers.

As long as he’s away from the Dodgers.

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