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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who Is Steve Soboroff? Why Is He Publicly Kissing Frank's Ass?

I don't know the answer to either question, but his open letter excerpted in the Times looks like an apologia from a man who wants to get paid for his trouble; perhaps a piece of the Dodgers at a fire sale price?


The Times reported this month that the Dodgers are $433 million in debt and that at least three parties had rebuffed McCourt last year in efforts for additional financing. In 2004, Fox sold the Dodgers to McCourt for $430 million, in a deal into which he put "not a penny of cash in," according to his lawyer, Steve Susman.

"He is far from broke," the letter read. "Despite what some may say, the Dodgers are worth at least $300 million more than all the debt everyone seems so excited about. …

"The naysayers are spreading rumors, lining up to snatch the team at some fire sale. Fox had the fire sale. McCourt has the equity and created real value."

The letter saluted McCourt for the Dodgers' on-field performance — four playoff berths in seven seasons of ownership — for spending $150 million on Dodger Stadium renovations, for his decision to move spring training "closer to home," to the new Camelback Ranch facility in Glendale, Ariz., and for his "continued commitment to spend among the highest amounts in baseball to field a competitive team."

So oily only another MLB owner — or maybe a prospective one — would publish it. It reopens the question, of course: if not Frank, who? We could be dealing with somebody even greasier and more venal than Frank here. Recall also that Walter O'Malley was a late addition to the team's ownership structure, but eventually successfully forced out all others.

Update: Soboroff's Wikipedia page: mover and shaker, perhaps second only to Eli Broad as the "greatest [living] Angeleno".

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