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Mark Cuban out of the running for Dodgers; Joe Torre and Magic Johnson among those still in

Jan 28, 2012, 12:52 PM EDT

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UPDATE: The Steve Garvey-Orel Hershiser group was not selected to advance in the bidding process, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

As for the actual bid amounts, well, let’s just say that Frank McCourt is going to walk away from this process filthy, stinkin’ rich. Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that bidding on the Dodgers is now north of $1.2 billion and counting. Meanwhile, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that McCourt already has one bid in the range of $1.5 billion and speculates that the bidding may jump to $2 billion before this is all over. Either way, the final price tag is expected to blow away the previous record of $845 million when the Ricketts family bought the Cubs from the Tribune Company in 2009.

10:44 PM, Friday: Well, we can cross two big names off the list. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has learned that the groups led by Mark Cuban and former agent Dennis Gilbert didn’t make it to the second round of the bidding process. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is still in.

Meanwhile, Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com hears that Peter O’Malley’s group and the group led by Stanley Gold (who runs the investment firm for the family of the late Roy Disney) have also advanced. O’Malley has reportedly discussed joining forces with Gold’s group.

9:30 PM, Friday: We learned earlier this week that the Dodgers received more than 10 opening bids in advance of Monday’s deadline from those interested in buying the team from Frank McCourt. The opening bids aren’t binding and new bidders could still emerge in the days to come, but we have some early word on who made it through to the next round.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that at least eight groups have advanced, including the Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten group, the Joe Torre/Rick Caruso group and the group headed by hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. No word on any others, but it’s safe to say most of the big names are sticking around.

The Dodgers released a statement a little while ago confirming that “the round of preliminary bidding has been completed successfully.” However, they didn’t say who advanced or provide a timeline for the next step.

The embattled McCourt faces an April 30 deadline to sell the team and has agreed to identify the winning bidder by April 1. The sale is expected to fetch an MLB record price tag in excess of $1 billion.

  1. andrebeingandre16 - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    I feel one day Cuban will own a major league team but a second tier franchise. Something where he isnt paying 1.5 billion

  2. raftershostmom - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    “…groups led by Mark Cuban …did not make it to the second round of the bidding process.”

    Good news for Met fans?

  3. nothimagain - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Mets fans or M’s fans.

  4. mrznyc - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Great news for Mets fans – Hell – The ghost of Osama Bin Laden is great news for Mets fans – Exactly how is it that Bud can force McCourt to sell the Dodgers because he’s a jerk and he can’t force the Wilpons to sell when they’re criminals. What do you figure Fred has on Bud? I bet Bud was in on the sly with Bernie and Fred’s covering his butt.

    • crisisjunky - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:55 AM

      what McCourt has done IS criminal……a a a and he is a jerk too, yeah….

      • Old Gator - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        How, precisely, are the Wilpons “criminals”? Of what have they been convicted? Indicted? Jerks, yeah, I third that. But “criminals” is a pretty irresponsible accusation. It’s not like they lied to us and took us into a war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people like someone else who used to run a baseball team, is it?

  5. jkaflagg - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    My respect for Cuban continues to grow – he correctly states the team is not worth anywhere near 1.5 billion, and leaves some other sucker to dramatically overpay McCourt ……whomever “wins” this auction may find out that the anticipated goodwill for the purchase may be tempered by the disgust in presenting McCourt with this windfall…..particularly if they do not insist that he yield the parking lots as part of the deal.

  6. yettyskills - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Stan Kroenke is going to be the next owner of the Dodgers, take it to the bank

  7. Charles Gates - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I will immediately become a fan of whatever team Cuban buys, unless it’s the Red Sox. The only good things to come out of Boston is Sam Adams beer and Will Gordon.

    • askabutcher - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      I’m not sure the owners will let Cuban buy in. I think Cuban could make the MLB interesting again, ala Veeck (sp) Sr ;)

    • askabutcher - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Let’s not forget Boston Butts and Boston Baked Beans.

    • steelersfan1983 - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      John F Kennedy?

  8. natsattack - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Bidding is north of 1.2 MILLION?
    I thought it was billion.

    • Jeff M. - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      I.2 Million?! That seems pretty low. Maybe I should get in on this!

  9. Alohamrhand - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    how cool would it be if Magic Johnson becomes owned of the Dodgers?Showtime in Chavez Ravine?

    • jwbiii - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      Doesn’t matter who the owner is. The offense is still going to be Matt, Andre & The Out Machines.

  10. chmba - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Bud Selig and his ilk want nothing of Cuban in baseball..Why it might actually get interesting again but Bud the Dud wants to be sure we keep the same boring out of touch excuse for a game we now have. Oh well, I quit watching a few years ago.

  11. lostsok - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Okay, where do I sign up to make hundreds of millions of dollars for being a total douche? Frank McCourt is disgraceful. How this guy can even look himself in the mirror is beyond me…

  12. brucewaynewins - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    As much I despise Frank McCourt and feel he deserves the lowest bid possible…As a Reds fan I hope the bid exceeds 2 million and causes the owner to be unable to bid on Joey Votto in a few seasons.

  13. sdb74 - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    No reason Bud shouldn’t be putting pressure on Wilpons to sell Mets as he did w/McCourt & Dodgers other than the fact Bud is friends w/Fred Wilpon & hates McCourt.

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