Frank McCourt purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in January of 2004 for $430 million in a deal leveraged by debt. With the change in ownership came hope and promise of restoring the team to its successful and historic standing as one of MLB’s greatest franchises.
In McCourt’s first season as owner, the Dodgers won 93 games en route to a National League West division title. The Dodgers also won division titles in 2008 and 2009, however never got further than the National League Championship Series.
McCourt’s tenure as owner can to an unceremonious end as a divorce and bankruptcy case hovered over the franchise. During an appearance at Dodger Stadium Friday, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig revealed he was concerned during the turbulent days, via the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett:
I’m always a diplomat but let me say to you I worried a lot about this franchise,” Selig said of McCourt’s stewardship, which landed the team in bankruptcy. “And I’m damn proud of where it is today. It is really remarkably good, given all that we went through.
Selig went on to call the matter one that was difficult for him, but he’s pleased with the current state:
The Los Angeles situation for me was a very, very difficult one. But all’s well that ends well and this one has really turned out well.”
Under Guggenheim’s control, Dodger Stadium has been upgraded, record payroll has been added and a lucrative TV rights deal with Time Warner Cable was struck. The deal led to the Dodgers receiving their own network and a significant revenue stream.
One downside to the launching of SportsNet LA has been DirecTV’s and other cable providers’ inability to come to terms for carriage rights with TWC. Aside from some of the frustration that’s come with the TV impasse, Guggenheim has taken a franchise that was marred by controversy and dark days.
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