Record-setting Dodgers sale will change economics of NL West


Record-setting Dodgers sale will change economics of NL West

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Giants wont be the biggest spenderin the NL West for long.

Their archrivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are about to beflush with cash after a group with Magic Johnson as its public face agreed topurchase the club for 2.15 billion on Tuesday night.

Yep, 2.15 billion. All cash, no contingencies. Andstunningly, almost triple the previous record sale price for a major leaguefranchise.

The announcement is being heralded in SoCal as the rebirthof one of baseballs jewel franchises, which had been run into the ground (andbankruptcy court) by conniving East Coast parking lot baron Frank McCourt.

Now McCourt, who bought the team in 2004 in essence with agiant Countrywide home loan, and then borrowed more to fund a wildly lavish, Gatsbyesquelifestyle, will walk away with an estimated 700-800 million in pure profit.And thats after buying out his lovely, equally conniving ex-wife.

What a country.

So how should Giants fans feel about this? How is the Giantsfront office reacting to it?

I called CEO Larry Baer for that reason on Wednesday. And hetermed the sale a good thing for everyone including the Dodgers archrival.

We are going to compete our brains out against L.A. andevery other team, said Baer, who participated in the 30-0 approval vote. Butoff the field, we want the other 29 clubs to do well and be in good, stablehands. We want them to get good TV deals. We want them to sell tickets. We wantthem to excel in every area, except we want to beat them on the field.

The Dodgers new ownership group includes Golden StateWarriors co-owner Peter Guber, is fronted by Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter andwill be run by longtime major league executive Stan Kasten. Magic Johnson addsmagnetism and a heroic local presence. He will have an office at the stadium asthe Dodgers seek to win back legions of disaffected fans.

Baer called the group a committed ownership that seems tobe well financed with local personalities that will put a lot of energy intothe team. I think that will speak well for the Dodger-Giant rivalry.

Were partners off the field. You dont want teams inbankruptcy. You want the industry to be strong from top to bottom and thatincludes all 30 teams.

There is already a current of thought that the Dodgers willlook to make huge splashes in free agency this winter. Theres speculation thatother teams will spend more, too, now that their franchise values just shot upmillions.

RELATED: Dodgers sale adds drama to Cain talks

That may not be true, however. Theres usually one teamevery winter that wants to make a huge splash. Look at the Miami Marlins a fewmonths ago. They impacted the market to a degree, but they couldnt buy upeveryone they want. They didnt get Albert Pujols, after all.

Theres alsothis to consider: Suppose, and this is a wild guess, that the Giants franchisevalue went from 600 million to 800 million based on the Dodgers sale. Thatsnot equity that can be used to boost payroll without cash calls to owners whomay not be so swift to liquidate other personal assets.

The Giants, like every other team, must balance costs withactual revenues.

As for those revenues? Yes, they are substantial. But maybenot substantial enough to spend with the Guggenheims of the baseball world.

Barry Bonds back in left field at AT&T Park


Barry Bonds back in left field at AT&T Park

Barry Bonds was back in left field Friday at AT&T Park. Calm down, he was in blue jeans not a Giants jersey. 

Before the Giants take on the Phillies, Bonds casual caught fly balls back at the spot he used to roam for San Francisco. On Twitter he wrote, "I think I still got it. What do you guys think?"

Known for his legendary power as baseball's all-time home runs leader, Bonds is also one of the best defensive outfielders the game has ever seen. Bonds won eight Gold Glove awards in his career, five of them coming with the Giants.

Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente are the all-time leaders of Gold Glove awards among outfielders with 12 each. 

The Giants have used 13 players in left field this season. Perhaps they could use one more in Bonds.

Giants lineup: After beating Phillies to start series, no changes for Game 2


Giants lineup: After beating Phillies to start series, no changes for Game 2

The Giants scored early and hung on to beat the Phillies on Thursday night. One night later, Bruce Bochy is going with the same eight.

Philadelphia Phillies (43-76)

1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Nick Williams (L) CF
4. Rhys Hoskins (R) LF
5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
6. Tommy Joseph (R) 1B
7. Jorge Alfaro (R) C
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Zach Eflin (R) P

San Francisco Giants (49-74)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Matt Moore (L) P