Frank McCourt Agrees to Sell Dodgers

Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the Dodgers, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. It's not known if the announcement set off church bells in the Los Angeles area but it certainly did in the hearts of every Dodgers aficionado across the country. About the same time, it was announced that Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw earned Gold Gloves.

McCourt and Major League Baseball will seek approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for an auction of the Dodgers, according to a joint statement issued late Tuesday night. The sale is expected to include the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots, a package bought by McCourt for $421 million in 2004 and likely to sell now for two to three times as much -- perhaps exceeding $1 billion.

"The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that they have agreed today to a court-supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designed to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner, Frank McCourt. The Blackstone Group LP will manage the sale process," the statement read in its entirety.

An informal rally has been scheduled by at 6 p.m. at Dodger Stadium to celebrate.

It is hoped that the new Dodgers owner can be in place by opening day next year. McCourt, who was in New York for the negotiations, is expected to meet with reporters in Los Angeles at a later date.

The new owner would be the third since Peter O'Malley sold the team to News Corp. in 1998. The Dodgers had remained in the O'Malley family since its patriarch, Walter, moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.

The Dodgers played before a half-empty stadium, with McCourt saying the league had spooked fans by raising unwarranted concerns about stadium security and the league saying fans had refused to support McCourt's ownership.

McCourt declared bankruptcy in June. McCourt and Commissioner Bud Selig had been scheduled to testify at a trial this week, but the court postponed the proceedings to allow settlement talks to proceed.

McCourt's attorneys said a "cloud of uncertainty" had settled over the Dodgers during the legal battle for ownership of the team but McCourt had insisted he would not sell the club.

In a divisive divorce, McCourt's ex-wife, Jamie, claimed half-ownership of the Dodgers. In Bankruptcy Court, MLB asked the judge to order the team sold. McCourt now has reached a settlement in both cases, within three weeks of one another.

McCourt might need $1 billion at auction in order for him to break even after paying off debts and taxes, according to court records in California and Delaware. He has agreed to pay his ex-wife $130 million in the divorce settlement, which is set for court approval Nov. 14.

Bidders will now pop up like dandelions in June.

Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser have expressed interest in putting together an investment group to bid on the team. Southern California businessmen Ron Burkle, Alec Gores and Alan Casden also could be bidders. Other potential suitors include Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, each of whom live in Los Angeles, Mark Cuban, owner of the champion Dallas Mavericks, White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert, the former player agent who also bid on the Rangers, is expected to assemble a group to bid on the Dodgers.

Allegations have been made of combined salaries of $7 million a year for Frank and Jamie, plus $46 million to buy side-by-side oceanfront estates in Malibu, $27 million to buy side-by-side homes near the Playboy Mansion, additional properties in Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Mexico, $400 dinners and $1,000-a-night hotels, private jet travel around the world, even $10,000 house calls from hairdressers and makeup artists, which lead to a cash flow problem and eventually the bankruptcy.

Kemp and Hudson Win Gold Gloves
(This ordinarily be the story of the day but the report of the sale of the club pushed this down a notch.)

Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier became the first trio of Los Angeles Dodgers to win NL Gold Gloves in the same year. Kershaw became a first-time winner at pitcher. Ethier earned his first Gold Glove in the outfield and Kemp regained the NL award he also earned in 2009.

Ethier benefited from a change in rules this year that stipulated each outfield position would have its own Gold Glove winner. In the past, all outfielders were lumped together in balloting, resulting in an overwhelming number of center fielders being recognized.

Kemp and second baseman Orlando Hudson won in 2009. Pitcher Greg Maddux was the lone Dodger winner in 2008. The Dodgers had never had more than two Gold Glove winners in a season before 2011.

The Dodgers have now won 41 Gold Glove Awards in their history, led by Wes Parker's six consecutive awards at first base from 1967-72.

The rest of the 2011 team includes the St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina who became the first NL catcher to win in four straight years since Charles Johnson from 1995-98. Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips also won along with Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Philadelphia third baseman Placido Polanco and Arizona left fielder Gerardo Parra. Phillips and Tulowitzki joined Molina as the NL holdovers, with Phillips winning for the third time in four years.

Rawlings established the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 1957 as the top measure of fielding excellence. The award is presented annually to 18 players – one for each position – in both the American and National Leagues. Winners are selected by Major League coaches and managers prior to the conclusion of the regular season. Managers and coaches may not vote for players from their own club and only vote for players in their own league.

Hodges First Dodgers Winner
In 1957, the award's initial season, Gil Hodges won the first of his three Gold Gloves. He also won in 1958 and 1959. Hodges started a trend of Dodger first base Gold Glove winners, including six straight for Wes Parker 1967-72 and four straight awards for Garvey 1974-77.

Center fielder Willie Davis was a three-time award winner. Shortstop Maury Wills won twice as did Roseboro, pitcher Andy Messersmith and right fielder Raul Mondesi plus, of course, Maddux.

No Dodgers third baseman has never won a Gold Glove despite the sustained brilliance of Adrian Beltré during his 1998-2004 tour of duty with the Dodgers. He won his first award in 2007, won again in 2008 and earned his third award in 2011.s

The complete of Dodger winners:
2011 - Matt Kemp OF
2011 - Andre Ethier OF
2011 - Clayton Kershaw P
2009 - Matt Kemp OF
2009 - Orlando Hudson 2B
2008 - Greg Maddux p
2007 - Russell Martin, C
2006 - Greg Maddux, P
2004 - Steve Finley, OF
2004 - Cesar Izturis, SS
1998 - Charles Johnson, C
1997 - Raul Mondesi, OF
1995 - Raul Mondesi, OF
1988 - Orel Hershiser, P
1986 - Fernando Valenzuela, P
1981 - Dusty Baker, OF
1978 - Davey Lopes, 2B
1977 - Steve Garvey, 1B
1976 - Steve Garvey, 1B
1975 - Andy Messersmith, P
1975- -Steve Garvey, 1B
1974 - Andy Messersmith, P
1974 - Steve Garvey, 1B
1973 - Willie Davis, OF
1972 - Wes Parker, 1B
1972 - Willie Davis, OF
1971 - Willie Davis, OF
1971 - Wes Parker, 1B
1970 - Wes Parker, 1B
1969 - Wes Parker, 1B
1968 - Wes Parker, 1B
1967 - Wes Parker, 1B
1966 - John Roseboro, C
1962 - Maury Wills, SS
1961 - Maury Wills, SS
1961 - John Roseboro, C
1960 - Wally Moon, OF
1959 - Charlie Neal, 2B
1959 - Gil Hodges, 1B
1958 - Gil Hodges, 1B
1957 - Gil Hodges, 1B
Dodgers' Assistant Farm Director Leaving
Chris Haydock, the team's assistant farm director, is leaving to join MLB to work on international projects, The Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez reports.

Haydock had been with the Dodgers his entire career since graduating from Indiana in 1996. The Dodgers' farm director, De Jon Watson, recently for the General Manager's post with the Orioles. >br>
Haydock had a good working relationship with Kim Ng, the Dodgers' former assistant general manager, who joined MLB as an assistant vice president to operations under ex-Dodgers Manager Joe Torre.

Close to a Deal With Juan Rivera
Juan Rivera and the Dodgers are closing in on a one-year contract that would include a team option for 2013, according to baseball sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been finalized. The deal could be completed later this week.?

?Rivera, 33, was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in mid-July, Rivera hit .274 with five home runs and 46 runs batted in for the Dodgers over 62 games. With Rivera starting in left field and protecting Matt Kemp in the lineup, the Dodgers went 45-28 over their last 73 games.?

?By re-signing Rivera, the Dodgers would be closing the door on the idea of moving first baseman James Loney to left field. Loney has offered to switch positions in the unlikely case the Dodgers land free agent Prince Fielder this winter. Loney is in the final year of salary arbitration and in line for a raise from the $4.875 million he earned this year. The Dodgers have until Dec. 12 to decide whether to tender him a contract.