SBD/January 23, 2013/Franchises

Dodgers Welcome Sandy Koufax Back To The Franchise With Role As Special Advisor

Koufax “separated himself” from the team while it was owned by News Corp.
Baseball HOFer Sandy Koufax will “officially join” the Dodgers this season “as a special advisor” to team Chair Mark Walter, according to Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. TIMES. Koufax is “scheduled to attend a portion of spring training to work with pitchers and consult with the team throughout the year.” Guggenheim Partners, the Dodgers’ new owners, have “made some nice moves, some intriguing moves and some absolutely blockbuster moves since they took over last May,” including the reported deal with Time Warner Cable for the team's TV rights. However, they “upped their game" with a "completely brilliant move” yesterday. There is being “fan-friendly, and then there is this.” Koufax “separated himself” from the Dodgers while the team was owned by News Corp. He has “made spring training appearances in recent years, but this is the first time he’s been welcomed back in an official capacity” (LATIMES.com, 1/22). Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten, who broke the news on Fox Sports Radio's "Jay Mohr Sports," said Koufax “has been very supportive of our efforts,” and he “appreciates all the things we’re doing to help bring the Dodgers back to where they once were.” Host Jay Mohr said, "It’s not like he just shows up and shakes hands and it’s good for the business. He is actually going to be a Dodger employee.” Kasten said, “That’s right. I think we’re going to let the relationship evolve. There are a lot of things Sandy can do and we’re going to make it comfortable for him” (“Jay Mohr Sports,” Fox Sports Radio, 1/22).

GOOD MOVE FOR TEAM: USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale writes under the header, "With Huge TV Deal, Koufax Return, Dodgers Come Up Aces." He had a "similar role, albeit unofficial," with the Mets and team Owner Fred Wilpon, a "close friend" of Koufax. D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, also a friend of Koufax, said, "Sandy is excited, and this is what people want" (USA TODAY, 1/23). NBCSPORTS.com's Craig Calcaterra wrote it is a "nice move for the Dodgers, both substantively and for p.r. purposes" (NBCSPORTS.com, 1/22).
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