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Stupid Deal of the Decade? Magic Johnson Group Buys LA Dodgers for $2 billion…

There are good investments…and bad.  Paying out $2 billion for a Sports Franchise in a sport which is on the way down – is definitely one of those “bad” investment ideas. Seems to me $2 b could be better spent buying a NFL Franchise (Several of which are actually worth $2 B or more) or investing in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), which is about the fastest growing professional sport out there right now. The list of the Top 50 Professional Sports Franchises in the World looks like this.

So… Why but the Dodgers?

I hope Magic hasn’t lost his business “magic”!

Group Led by Magic Johnson Wins Auction to Buy Dodgers for $2.15 Billion

In a quick, dramatic end to the year-long financial crisis of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team’s owner, Frank McCourt, agreed to sell the team Tuesday night for $2.15 billion to a group headed by Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ Hall of Famer.

The Johnson group’s deal, financed largely by Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago-based financial services firm, includes $2 billion for the team (minus $412 million in debt) and $150 million to create a joint venture with McCourt on the parking lots and land surrounding Dodger Stadium. The deal is valued at $2.3 billion.

If the all-cash deal is approved by the judge overseeing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy, the price will be the most ever paid for a professional sports team.

The most ever paid for a franchise is at least $1.4 billion for Manchester United. The Miami Dolphins were sold for $1.15 billion and the Chicago Cubs were acquired for $845 million. McCourt, who bought the team in 2004 for $421 million, had resisted selling the real estate, preferring to rent the lots for $14 million a year to the team’s new owner. But the Johnson group suggested the joint venture on the land, said a person briefed on the sale but not authorized to speak publicly.

The deal will let McCourt repay a $150 million loan made to the team last year by Major League Baseball and his $130 million divorce settlement to his ex-wife, Jamie.

The winning bid defeated one by Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the St. Louis Rams, Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, and a second from two other billionaires: Steven A. Cohen, the hedge-fund manager who recently bought a small share of the Mets, and Patrick Soon-Shiong, who made his money in pharmaceuticals.

The final steps in the process came rapidly. McCourt’s investment banker, Blackstone, asked each bidder to raise their offers Monday night.

Baseball owners approved all three bidders Tuesday afternoon and later in the evening McCourt selected on the Johnson group. An announcement was made shortly after 11 p.m. eastern.

In addition to Johnson and Guggenheim Partners, the winning group includes Stan Kasten, the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, and Peter Guber, the film producer and head of Mandalay Entertainment.

The agreement to sell the Dodgers to Johnson’s group appears to end an extraordinary year for the team. It filed for bankruptcy last June after Selig blocked a new, long-term billion-dollar cable TV deal between the Dodgers and Fox Sports. Selig had sharply criticized McCourt’s management of the team — in particular his use of team money for his and his ex-wife’s personal use — and installed a monitor to oversee the team’s operations. McCourt called that a hostile takeover.

 
 

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Washington Nationals Catcher Rescued

A collective sigh from local sports fans…

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos found safely, reports say

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was found safely after he was kidnapped earlier this week in Venezuela.

Venezuelan police rescued Ramos on Friday, two days after he was kidnapped, officials announced.

Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said on state television that Ramos was “safe and sound” and that he was rescued by police. He said the circumstances weren’t immediately clear.

Information Minister Andres Izarra initially announced the news on Twitter, saying: “The baseball player Ramos found alive by security forces in mountainous zone.”

Ramos was found in the mountains near where he was abducted, according to NBC sports.

Adam Kilgore, a Nationals beat write for the Washington Post, also wrote on the social networking site that Ramos agent, Gustavo Mercado, confirmed Ramos was found safe. Mercado was with Ramos family, Kilgore said. Ramos was “on his way back home,” he wrote on the Washington Post website.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in General

 

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Washington Nationals Baseball Player Kidnapped in Venezuela

One of the things you have to deal with when working in certain parts of the world is kidnapping. This is particularly prevalent in Central and South America, and has even begun happening in Mexico and several Caribbean countries. There actually is “kidnapping insurance”, but that is little consolation as the kidnappers may or may not return the victim alive even if paid off.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos kidnapped from home in Venezuela

WashingFILE - This 2011 file photo shows player Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals baseball team. According to Kathe Vilera, a spokeswoman for Ramos' Venezuelan League team, the Aragua Tigers, four armed men kidnapped Ramos Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 from his home in central Venezuela. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)ton Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was abducted by gunmen Wednesday from his home in his native Venezuela.

Ramos, 24, was taken away in an SUV by four armed men in Santa Ines in central Carabobo state, Kathe Vilera, spokeswoman for the catcher’s Venezuelan League team, said through her official Twitter account.

“This is sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped,” she said. Ramos was playing winter ball with the Aragua Tigers.

She said the rising Major League Baseball star was kidnapped at 6:45 p.m. local time (2315 GMT) and that police have been notified. Santa Ines lies about 150 kilometers (95 miles) west of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.

A person close to Ramos’ family, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, said the catcher was at home with his father and brothers when several men “entered the house and took him away.”

“As of this hour, there has been no contact” between the kidnapper and Ramos’ family, the person said.

Ramos is considered one of the Nationals’ young building blocks as they try to become a contender in the National League East. As a rookie in 2011, he hit .267 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs in 113 games. He also threw out 19 of 67 runners attempting to steal a base, a 28 percent success rate that ranked third among qualifying catchers in the National League.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Domestic terrorism, General

 

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