Dodgers sold to group including Magic Johnson for reported $2 Billion

Price is far and away the highest ever paid for a sports franchise

A group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten agreed Tuesday night to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt for a record $2 billion.

The price would shatter the mark for a sports franchise. Stephen Ross paid $1.1 billion for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 2009, and in England, Malcolm Glazer and his family took over the Manchester United soccer club in 2005 in a deal then valued at $1.47 billion.

The price is more than the 2.5X the price paid for the Chicago Cubs in 2009. The Northsiders were sold for $845 million. The Red Sox sold for $700 million in 2002. Other MLB teams that were recently sold were the Houston Astros for $615 million last year and the Texas Rangers by the Nolan Ryan group for $561 million in 2010.

Baseball started today in Tokyo

In case you didn’t realize, baseball started today in Tokyo with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics playing two games in Japan. At this writing, 8:15 AM EST, the teams are 1-1 after eight innings. Ichiro is 3-3 for the Mariners. Dustin Ackley of the Mariners has hit the season’s first homer. King Felix pitched eight innings of five hit ball striking out six and walking none. Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy countered with seven innings of six hit ball striking three and walking none. The team will play two games and then have seven days off before resuming their normal schedules next week.

Final from Tokyo, Seattle 3-1 over the A’s in 11 innings. Seattle wins their sixth straight opener, Oakland loses their eighth straight opener.

Lebron injures ring finger, Bulls first to 40 wins and first to clinch playoffs

Lebron James has apparently dislocated the ring finger of his non-shooting hand. James was hurt on Monday in the Heat’s 105-90 loss at Indiana. James played 41 minutes, finishing with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 6 turnovers. He shot 9-for-21 from the field. Lebron injures the finger at the :28 second point of the video.

The Chicago Bulls are the first NBA team to reach 40 wins and the first to clinch a playoff spot. The Bulls have done it playing 17 games without MVP Derrick Rose who has been bothered by an assortment of injuries. The 76ers beat the Cavs 103-85 to win their ninth straight game as a favorite of eight points or more. Monta Ellis had 33 points to lead Milwaukee to a 108-101 victory over the Hawks. Memphis held off Minnesota 93-86 despite 28 and 11 from the Wolves Kevin Love. Dallas improved their playoff chances with a 90-81 home win over Houston. San Antonio survived the Suns in Phoenix 107-100, OKC spanked the Trailblazers in Portland, and the Lakers won for the eighth time in nine tries at Golden State 104-101.

UConn and Notre Dame advance to Ladies Final Four, all four No.1 seeds win region

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for UConn but the Lady Huskies are right back in the Ladies Final Four after an 80-65 win over Kentucky. The guys could take lessons from the girls when it comes to shooting free throws. UConn went 30-35 from the charity stripe, Kentucky 21-22. They’ll meet Big East rival Notre Dame for the fourth time this year in the national semis after the Irish crushed Maryland 80-49 behind a triple-double from Skylar Diggins. The Irish won both of the regular season meetings, UConn won the Big East Tournament final.

Blues continue to roll with 3-0 shutout

St Louis continued their run to the President’s Cup with a 3-0 whitewash of the Nashville Predators. The Blues have 105 points, tops in the league. Buffalo routed the Washington Caps 5-1 in Washington in a key head-to-head. The teams were tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. In othe games on frozen pond, Carolina blanked Toronto 3-0, New Jersey beat Chicago 2-1 in a shootout, and the Islanders rocked Pittsburg 5-3 at the Igloo. Boston riddled Tampa Bay 5-2, Florida edged Montreal 3-2 in a shootout and the Rangers nipped the Wild in Minnesota 3-2.

Lionel Messi faces AC Milan today in Champion’s League

Barcelona scoring phenom takes on the very tough AC Milan in Champion’s League action today. The game is available on ESPN at 2:45 PM EST. Messi has set Europe on fire with 18 goals in his last eight games. including three hat-tricks. Betting is available at all SP3 sponsors.

Free Plays

(CBB) Mercer +5.5 over Utah State

(NBA) Phoenix +6.5 over Clippers

(NHL) Dallas -128 over Edmonton