Thursday, November 10, 2011

A new carpetbagger in the mix...

Hat tip to Craig Karmin and Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal for unearthing a new worm in the Dodgers mix.  Tom Golisano has expressed his interest in entering the Dodgers' auction process to The Blackstone Group (the "alternative asset management and financial services company" conducting this Orchestra of the Obsurd).

Here's a few key "nice to knows" about Mr. Golisano:
  • Net worth:  $1.4B
  • Age: 69 (turns 70 this Monday, November 14, 2011)
  • As of 2011, he's #312 on the Forbes 400.
  • Made his bones by founding Paychex, a payroll services alternative to ADP which could be doing things a bit better. 
  • Has used at least some of his powers for good, founding the Golisano Foundation which is "dedicated to providing opportunities for those with developmental disabilities and offering support to their families".  Sounds nice enough, but is that just a tax shelter I smell?
  • Former owner of the Buffalo Sabres, who bought them out of bankruptcy and sold them earlier this year to Terry Pegula.  Apparently did a decent job turning the franchise around, and his since expressed his interest in buying the Buffalo Bills time and time again.
  • Ran for governor of New York as a member of the Independence Party, before switching back to the GOP, while also giving over $1MM to the Democratic Party in 2008. Uhhh, indecisive much?
  • Bailed on his native People's Republic of New York in 2009 as a protest over increased income taxes on millionaires and others who earn well.
  • Dated Monica Seles back in 2009, and took some heat for dating someone 32 years his junior.
All-in: Doesn't seem to be a legit contender to the Dodgers throne, although McCourt could certainly express some preference for a fellow carpetbagger.  Given his lack of ties to LA, and with no apparent financial backing beyond his own resources, Golisano might well be the Jon Huntsman of this particular race...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A few brief updates...

... Just to keep things moving here, while I'm doing some prep work on deeper dives into some of the more relevant candidates and issues.
  • Tony Jackson of ESPN gives a good, albeit high-level description of the sale process for the Dodgers franchise - essentially, Selig will get to thin the herd of bidders before giving McCourt exclusive right to final approval of the purchasing party.
  • LA Times' Bill Shaikin answers Ron's question, noting that Peter Ueberroth isn't going to bite at the Dodgers' apple again this time. And yesterday, follows it up with a nice summary of potential bidders, featuring a lot of names that seem, frankly, more outlandish than McCourt somehow keeping the team for himself.
  • Dennis Gilbert's people leaked that he's building his team, only to have his two biggest alleged backers deny the story altogether.  Just goes to show that Gilbert is definitely interested, which has to make ChiSox fans a bit grumpy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Let's start the bidding at...

Welcome to True Blue Auction, and a very pleasant good day to you, wherever you may be.  Here's hoping you'll visit every once in a while to discuss, analyze and join in the collective observation of the upcoming auction and inevitable (let's hope) sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to a new ownership group.

In coming weeks, we'll take a deeper look at each of the parties which emerges as a potential bidder for the greatest franchise in the history of Major League Baseball (or at least, the best one currently for sale).  One persistent feature of this blog* will be a weekly poll of who you think is leading the race for the Azul.  We'll trace these results over time to get an idea of how public sentiment, based on what's reported or otherwise disclosed publicly during this process, changes over time.

So relax, pull up a chair and  join us, won't you?  The ride is going to be long, at times bumpy, but most certainly interesting.  And if the payoff is new ownership committed to restoring the lusterous history to the Dodger franchise, it's a journey we'll all benefit from in the end, don't you agree?  Great.  Now let's see who's ready to play ball...

* Unless a better idea comes along, that is.