Dodgers’ new front office has ‘Magic’ effects on organization

The purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers (not of Anaheim) by a group headed by ex-NBA star Magic Johnson has the Dodger organization revamped with a whole new swagger. The $2.15 billion purchase marks the most expensive sports franchise ever sold. Although Johnson owns only a small percentage of the team, he’s become the voice of the team. Alongside with star outfielder Matt Kemp, he’s also slowly becoming the face of the franchise.

The real genius behind the new ownership is Stan Kasten. Kasten is a familiar face in Atlanta where until 2003 he was the owner of the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL, Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and Atlanta Braves of the MLB. Kasten won a world series in 1995 with the Braves. To date, it is his only championship ring in a major sport.

The move to replace Frank McCourt has the organization excited to bounce back from a disappointing 82-79 season last year on a team loaded with sluggers. The move has the team eager to perform for new management that has a great amount of potential.

Johnson described the experience of sitting in the box for the Dodgers 5-3 opening day win against the San Diego Padres as “thrilling”. Johnson went on to talk about taking in the whole experience: “Man, it was fun,” he said. “I was

like a kid at a candy store.”

Johnson and his team of investors seem to be just as excited at the new change of management as the players and majority of fans are. A large part of the off season for the Dodgers was spent dealing with lawsuits and the bankruptcy of the organization. It’s a relief for Major League Baseball and the Dodgers to move on with the finalization of the deal on March 27. The embarrassment of the fall of one of the most popular sports organizations in the world looks really bad for baseball. Bud Selig and the Dodger’s players did a great job of handling what has been a sticky situation. Kemp ran into Johnson after the season opener and said that it was really encouraging to see Johnson hanging around the organization. Although I’m not a Dodger fan by any means I can say that I’m interested to see how this works out for the Dodgers. I’m confident in their front office and their abilities to a run a playoff-caliber team.

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