Joe Torre and Rick Caruso aim for the Dodgers
Never mind all the battling for political position in frigid New Hampshire. Consider the bidding war about to erupt over balmy Chavez Ravine. Venerated former Dodgers and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre has quit his executive job with Major League Baseball and joined forces with real estate developer and shopping center impresario Rick Caruso to attempt to buy the Dodgers. Word that the two might team up surfaced in November.
They join a growing list of heavy-hitting potential buyers including billionaire hedge-fund executive Steven Cohen, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former Dodgers stars Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey, basketball legend and businessman Magic Johnson, and respected former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley. As the so-called bid book went out last month from owner Frank McCourt to provide prospective bidders with information on the team's worth, more people were announcing their interest in buying the iconic team.
We would expect nothing less than a flurry of interest from serious investors for one of baseball's most storied teams. But what's heartening is the way that potential bidders have been allying themselves. You need money to buy the Dodgers (like $800 million for starters,) but then you need passion and baseball savvy to know how to spend it and -- hopefully -- get the team to the playoffs and the World Series. Johnson vowed to make baseball the priority and says he's insisting that any money people he teams with believe the same. Cohen has teamed with an influential sports agent. Now come Torre and Caruso, a formidable duo when it comes to understanding Los Angeles from two different perspectives: Who knows baseball better than Torre? And who knows better how to make people feel amused enough to spend money in a crowded venue than Caruso? Just a word of caution: Much as we love the Grove, one of Caruso's most famous creations, we don't want Dodger Stadium to look like the Grove East. But we're guessing he knows that.
Top photo: Joe Torre. Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press. Bottom photo: The Grove. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times