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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rolling Stone: The 15 Worst Owners in Sports

Don’t let recent success blind you to an ample history deserving of scorn. After running arguably the worst non-arms-manufacturing company in the world, Walmart, Glass became sole owner of the Royals in 2000 and immediately treated baseball the way Walmart treats people.

Amid a jackal pack of ownership that included a (future) commissioner guilty of collusion to fix player salaries, Glass – then the team’s president and CEO – stood out as an anti-labor hardliner during the 1994 strike, wanting to bring in scab players for a monstrously un-telegenic spectacle summarizing the kind of ####-you tactics Glass learned at the Bentonville, Arkansas smile-time sociopathy juggernaut. He simultaneously advocated a hard salary cap in baseball, not to create an even playing field with large-market teams but to have a paper excuse to wave in doubters’ faces explaining why he didn’t spend anything on his team. Glass went ahead without one, with team payrolls routinely languishing in the bottom half of the league during his tenure, with notable years like 2000 (28th), 2003 (29th), 2005 (29th) and 2011 (30th). That’s out of 30. The last two years, Royals payroll has leapt to 19th in the league, but don’t let the 2014 World Series run fool you. Fans have every reason to expect them to regress, and every expectation that Glass won’t spend to correct that (Goodbye, Billy Butler.) After all, four seasons of 100 losses and an average of 92 losses per season under his tenure is a much bigger sample size.

Last, in 2006, Glass was all about that entrepreneurial spirit when renovations to Kauffman Stadium were furnished by a countywide sales tax, in exchange for discounts at certain games. Rolling back prices every day!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david glass, fred wilpon, jeffrey loria, marlins, mets, owners, ricketts, royals

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gammons Notes - 8/17/14

PLEASE, please, please tell me Selig didn’t make people watch him poop.

There is no question Rob Manfred can be a very good commissioner, as Tim Brosnan would have been, and so would Bob Iger had baseball been willing to look outside their house…

Manfred is not going to have the hammer [Bud] Selig held over owners, and utilized like Lyndon Baines Johnson. Which is why, as the storm fronts collide between now and 2016, he needs Bill DeWitt to hold together the center. DeWitt was approached early on about throwing his name in for Commissioner, and he declined. But he now may be the most important owner, successful, decent, rational…

Want people to watch past the sixth inning? Limit rosters to 11 pitchers and eliminate the exhausting, boring tic-tac-toe matchups in the last three innings which, among many things, never allows us to see a David Ortiz or Joey Votto bat against a righthanded pitcher in those final innings. Want to cut back on the replay challenges? Start spending the money to develop umpires (read “As They See ‘Em” by Bruce Weber) to understand why there are so few young umpires coming along. Want some younger demographics? Try Giancarlo Stanton and Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw as the faces of the game and stop talking about the good ole days…

there are issues Tony Clark and the new leadership want addressed, from travel (how ‘bout them getaway night games) to ballpark and even visiting clubhouse health issues in some cities. Both clubs and the union want to re-address the draft and international signing issues. The union does not want the draft in any way tied to free agency. Small markets want better balance between won-lost and revenue standings, so that top five markets like the Astros and Cubs are rewarded for poor performance, while well-run franchises the Rays, Athletics and Indians are punished…

Manfred needs a strong, respected leader like DeWitt to step forward, keep perspective and focus his fellow owners on what they have, not what each owner thinks he should have for his own fiefdom.

[Giancarlo] Stanton, according to [Jeffrey] Loria, isn’t going anywhere… If Loria has to backtrack and Stanton does go elsewhere, it likely will be the final nail in his ownership’s coffin. Jeffrey loves the game, he may well have saved baseball in Miami, and now he has a very difficult task moving it forward in a city easily distracted from one star-laden team at a time.

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, liked by one evaluator to a Ron Gant who can play center field, will soon sign, for somewhere from $40M to $70M. The Yankees are big players… There are two side issues involved here. One is that MLB is studying how Cuban players get out to Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, etc., and who and what is involved in cases that are likened to human trafficking.

The second is a concern some teams have about the calcium Cubans get in their diets. Both Jorge Soler and Jose Iglesias have been sidelined by stress fractures, and one club official says, “any Cuban player we sign in the future will have his bone structure and diet closely monitored. We worry about milk and all calcium intake.”


 

 

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