What are the Los Angeles Dodgers doing on a hockey blog? Is my head still spinning from Game Six of the World Series in St. Louis? Nope. It's because there's a big connection between the bankrupt and for-sale Dodgers and the Sabres.
Guess who wants in as Dodgers owner? Yep. Tom Golisano.
You may remember he knows a thing or two about getting teams out of bankruptcy. He did that in 2003 with the Sabres, buying them for $92 million (and getting $25 million in loans eventually forgiven) -- and selling them to Terry Pegula in February for a whopping $189 million.
The Dodgers are being sold by Frank McCourt after they spun into chaos and divorce court as McCourt and his wife, Jamie, spent most of this season wrangling over control. Frank McCourt finally won that but he is selling.
The New York Times reported yesterday that Peter O'Malley would like to buy back the team he sold 13 years ago. As for Golisano, he told the paper in the same story, "I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. I played it for 44 years. Mickey Mantle was my hero. I went to several of [the Yankees'} World Series."
Golisano also spoke briefly this evening to the Wall Street Journal about the Dodgers and pointed out a high payroll isn't necessarily required in baseball given the fact neither the Rangers or Cardinals were in the top 10 this season. The Dodgers were actually 12th this season at $104 million -- more than double what Golisano ever had to pay in most seasons he owned the Sabres.
Therein lies the rub. Golisano insists he has enough wealth, even though some speculation has the Dodgers' purchase price pushing $1 billion. But sustaining those kind of payrolls every year? His history shows that would be a longshot.
Other rumored candidates include former Dodgers GM Fred Claire, a group that includes ex-players such as Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (who has already said the $1 billion price is too high) and perhaps Magic Johnson.