The mood across the Dodgers-loving world: elated. Ecstatic. It's a mixture of disbelief and pure joy. The man who ruined the Dodgers is gone. A group of extraordinarily rich people -- the kind that spend the extra $1 for avocado on their sandwiches and don't even care -- rode up on white horses, and now the Dodgers are fixed.
They're going to go out and buy every player in the world. Albert Pujols will be a Dodger soon. Against the rules, Selig? Here's a couple hundred million to make you rethink that. Buy yourself something nice.
The excitement is understandable. But Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk says that we should just hollllld on there for a second:
I think it’s possible to blow this up a bit too much…
… this is a huge amount of money being invested in the Dodgers. So much so that, no matter how optimistic the projections are regarding a TV deal and future revenues are, there are likely to be some financial restraints in play, aren’t there? I mean, you can’t spend $2 billion on a team and then expect to have no limit on payroll, can you? The current Yankees ownership group invested something like $10 million originally, they have higher revenues and even they have a budget.
But they probably won't be the Yankees just yet, pushing payroll past the $200 million mark every year and not worrying about the luxury tax (until recently). The people who paid that money are going to want to turn a profit. Year-to-year profits and losses can be deceiving because the real value is in the franchise itself, but it's going to take a while for the Dodgers to be worth more than $2.15 billion dollars.
There will be changes -- no more fancy organic raccoon farms to make them Dodger Dogs, people -- but Calcaterra phrases it well in his headline: Magic Johnson is no panacea. Not yet. The only thing we know for sure is that he'll be a million billion million times better than Frank and Jamie McCourt.