A mediator has restored Los Angeles investor Stanley Gold and the family of Roy Disney to the pool of bidders from which Frank McCourt can choose a buyer, Bill Shaikin reports. That means the pool is back to five groups, including the Steven Cohen group that has added Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong — by most accounts the city's richest man — to its roster of participants. Soon-Shiong had been dancing previously with the Magic Johnson group. From the Los Angeles Times website:
The Gold/Disney bid had been rejected last week by a committee of Major League Baseball owners, amid concerns over the structure of an offer that included private equity financing to back the launch of a regional sports network.
MLB rejected four bidders presented by Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' outgoing owner. The court-appointed mediator, retired judge Joseph Farnan, upheld the MLB dismissal of Beverly Hills developer Alan Casden and overturned the rejection of Gold....
The entire body of major league owners is expected to vote within the next week on the five remaining bidders.
It was Shakin who also reported the Soon-Shiong development, citing sources, which seems to strengthen Cohen's bid both with a major local presence and actual money. Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa confirmed the involvement, without taking a side. "Patrick is one of our city's leaders in both business and sports, so it is good to see that he's now involved, with Steve Cohen, in the Dodgers bidding process," Villaraigosa said in a statement.
On the field: In spring training developments, former Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo was released by the Seattle Mariners. His career may be over a year after he got a second case of the yips and could no longer throw with accuracy. Also, when this season begins in April, ex-Dodgers pitcher Octavio Dotel will set the record for the most major league teams played for in his career: 13. He laughs about it all in a nice interview at ESPN.com.