Kasten joins Magic Johnson in bid for Dodgers

Kasten joins Magic Johnson in bid for Dodgers
December 2, 2011, 6:40 pm
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When he announced in Sept. 2010 he was leaving his post as Nationals president, Stan Kasten made it clear he wasn't about to enter the retirement phase of his life.

"I don't feel like retiring," he said on Sept. 23, 2010. "I'm going to do something. I think it will be a while before I do."

Turns out "a while" was a little more than one year, because today, Kasten's name surfaced as a potential bidder for the soon-to-be-sold Los Angeles Dodgers. As part of an ownership group headlined by ... wait for it ... Magic Johnson.

Magic? Really? See, I would've pegged Stan as more of a Larry Bird guy.

But seriously, folks, this has the makings of a powerhouse ownership group, one that would have to be considered a frontrunner -- if not THE frontrunner -- to buy the Dodgers from the embattled Frank McCourt.

Johnson, the former Lakers great and L.A. sports icon, revealed his intention to bid on the Dodgers today in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The ex-basketball star will be joined by Mark Walter, chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, who would be footing the majority of the financial investment in the franchise.

But Johnson also knew he'd need an experienced baseball man to run the operation. Enter Kasten.

"Stan Kasten is my man," Johnson told the Times. "He's a winner, he's built two incredible organizations, and he's well respected. That is what was important to me. I had to get with a winner, a guy who understands baseball inside and out."

If all this has a somewhat familiar ring to it, it should. Kasten, you'll remember, was looking to put together a team of investors to purchase the Nationals from Major League Baseball in 2005-06 but ultimately joined up with Ted Lerner and family to attach his franchise-running expertise to their deep pockets.

Kasten, of course, also served as president of three different teams in Atlanta (the Braves, Hawks and Thrashers) prior to his stint in Washington.

Oh, and by the way, he'll be at the Winter Meetings in Dallas next week, serving as a guest analyst on MLB Network. Have to figure he's going to get a few questions about the Dodgers. And knowing Stan, you also have to figure he'll find a way to talk his way around the subject without actually revealing anything of substance.