November 23, 2011
During his three years as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, did Joe Torre ever sneak into Frank McCourt's office, sit in his chair and imagine what it might be like to own the place?
Probably not, but there are some very rich people who would like Torre to return to Chavez Ravine and get the opportunity. Torre told The New York Times on Tuesday that several prospective ownership groups interested in buying the Dodgers have asked him if he would like to join them and lend some serious baseball credibility to their bid.
Obviously, if Torre were to join any ownership group, his days as the executive vice president of baseball operations with MLB would be over. Someone else would have to give us updates on weather and rainout situations during the postseason. But if Torre's group wasn't able to purchase the Dodgers, it's possible he could return to an executive job with baseball.
Rick Caruso, a prominent Los Angeles real estate developer who is also contemplating a run for mayor, is one of the potential owners who has approached Torre. According to the Los Angeles Times, Caruso has expressed interest in developing a community of shops and restaurants on the land surrounding Dodger Stadium.
However, the competition to buy the Dodgers is expected to be fierce, with many interested candidates. Among them are reportedly Peter O'Malley, whose family once owned the team, and Fred Claire, a former Dodgers general manager. Magic Johnson is another who's been mentioned as a potential buyer in recent years.
Much like free agents now testing the market and seeking the best offer, Torre is playing coy and not tipping what his preferences might be. That includes expressing contentment with his current gig in MLB's executive offices, something he hasn't done.
So to those interested in making Torre a part-owner, all lines appear to be open and operators are standing by.