Magic Johnson is about to learn $2 billion only buys you so much. Now he'll need to bring the Los Angeles Dodgers the same success he brought the Lakers.
News that Johnson and his partners agreed to purchase the team sparked a groundswell of excited chatter and optimism Wednesday that the man who ran "Showtime" could restore luster to the once-proud franchise.
The amount Johnson and his partners are paying would be mind-blowing if it was just for the team itself. But it also gives Johnson's group the right to reel in future riches from TV and real estate associated with the Dodgers.
"A big part of the purchase price is all those other things," said David Carter, executive director of USC Sports Business Institute. "You've got a great piece of property you can develop and make a game-day experience around Chavez Ravine. A likely billion-dollar cable (television) rights deal that will come out of it makes it a very unique sale."
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Current owner Frank McCourt hand-picked Johnson's group to buy the Dodgers on Tuesday, just five hours after Major League Baseball approved three finalists in a bankruptcy auction. The deal is one of several steps toward a sale of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval by a federal bankruptcy judge.
Johnson is seemingly a perfect fit. He lives locally, he already knows what it takes to win championships, and he's proven he can succeed in real estate, retail and entertainment — keys to helping the team bolster its coffers in pursuit of big-money free agents.
Around the league
Red Sox: Reliever Chris Carpenter, who was obtained from the Cubs as partial compensation for General Manager Theo Epstein, said on Twitter that he will have surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow.
Blue Jays: A month before his 45th birthday, Omar Vizquel was told he'd made the team in spring training and would be added to Toronto's roster. The 11-time Gold Glove winner signed a minor- league contract on Jan. 23.
Astros: Former Lexington Legend Wandy Rodriguez will be Houston's first left-handed pitcher in 38 years to start on opening day when he faces the Rockies on April 6. Manager Brad Mills announced the starter a day after the 33-year-old Rodriguez pitched six innings against Detroit.
Nationals: Closer Drew Storen will start the season on the disabled list because of trouble in his right elbow. Storen, who had 43 saves last season, has soreness in his biceps and triceps. An MRI showed no structural damage and just inflammation in the joint.
Padres 13, White Sox (ss) 2: Edinson Volquez allowed two runs in seven innings and Yonder Alonso hit one of San Diego's three home runs on a good day for the two ex- Reds in Glendale, Ariz. Volquez allowed both runs in the first inning but held the White Sox to no runs and three hits the rest of the way. "It was a great outing after the first 20 pitches," Padres Manager Bud Black said.
Rockies 8, White Sox (ss) 5: Jamie Moyer threw 92 pitches over four innings, the latest step in his comeback bid, and Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer for Colorado in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 49-year-old Moyer, who sat out last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, gave up three runs and seven hits. The soft-tossing lefty, who is 267-204 in 24 major-league seasons, has a 2.77 ERA this spring and appears to be a strong candidate for the fifth spot in Colorado's starting rotation.
Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 1: Zack Greinke struck out eight in a spring-high seven innings and also drove in a run to lead Milwaukee over Arizona in Phoenix.