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Revisiting the McCourt's 2004 Purchase of the Dodgers



Man.  Has it really been six and a half years since the Dodgers were sold?

Josh at Dodger Divorce talked about how Dennis Gilbert may be in line to buy the Dodgers if the McCourts (or just Frank or Jamie, depending on how the divorce shakes out) end up selling the team.

This got me thinking about the 2004 sale of the Dodgers.  I remember a lot, but have verified very little.  I seem to remember other offers were on the table (maybe including one that had Peter O'Malley involved?), but this one was chosen.

As I recall, field level tickets were $35 when the McCourts took over and they promised to keep them at that level.  They did for a year. A year and a NL West championship later, the prices doubled around the stadium, if I remember correctly.  The field level seats went for $60 the next season and have continuously risen since (they're now at $105). 

It's easy to forget, though, how awful that stadium was when the McCourts bought the team.  My regular seats were falling apart.  Like, literally.  There was a market for more expensive seats and instead of just jacking up those field prices even worse, new seats were created.  New boxes were put in and parking was aided.

The thing I remember the most, though, was how friendly Frank McCourt's face was.  Remember this? He seemed sweet.  I was a naive 19-year-old who thought it was nice to hear an owner--not some faceless corporation--talking about the World Series again.

So his first course of action was firing decent GM Dan Evans and hiring Paul Depodesta and I think we remember what happens from there.

But imagine this: McCourt never played the slotting game.  He never told the front office what to do, aside from money issues.  He made the team profitable again and the team was ultimately successful under his reign.  In hindsight, he was a pretty decent owner.

So if you were acting commissioner in 2004, would you accept McCourt's bid?

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