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Friday, August 15, 2014

Chass: LISTEN TO REINSDORF SING HIS SWAN SONG

This blogger has some good info.

“Jerry was so over the top on this one,” a high-ranking official said after the owners’ meeting. “He had no chance. There was never a race here.”

This is Reinsdorf’s swan song, I suggested, his last hurrah. “Yes, it is,” the official replied.

No controlling owner has been around as long as Reinsdorf. If he ever had any usefulness, he has outlived it. If he succeeded at anything with his Werner initiative, it was in conning The New York Times into thinking that Werner actually had a chance to win.

“Tom Werner emerges to create race for commissioner,” said a headline on the Times’ web site Aug. 6, touting Werner’s candidacy. At that time, Werner had five votes, three fewer than he needed to block Manfred, who had 20 votes, three fewer than he needed for election.

If those vote totals represented a race, it was a race between the tortoise and the hare. However, a person who attended the owners meeting in Baltimore Thursday said, “There was never a race here.”...

Although the balloting was conducted secretly, with ballots placed in envelopes, Mark Attanasio of Milwaukee and Stuart Sternberg of Tampa Bay were believed to have switched their votes. Sternberg and Attanasio were the only owners besides Werner whom the succession committee, chaired by Bill DeWitt Jr. of St. Louis, had interviewed. They appeared before the committee at their own request.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:54 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: commissioner, jerry reinsdorf, murray chass, rob manfred

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Joey B. Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4771672)
Great piece; there's some really good info in there.

I find it somewhat interesting that Nationals owner Ted Lerner, a member of the hard-line faction, eventually switched and was apparently the vote that finally got Manfred approved.

I'm sure Peter Angelos and his team of attorneys are probably busy drafting a press release claiming that Lerner was bought off by Selig and some other owners to switch his vote, even if there's no evidence whatsoever to back it up.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4771692)
And like I said in the other thread, Washington has things they need from MLB - 2017 All-Star Game, help in their territorial dispute with the O's. Almost certainly promises were made.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4771693)
Great piece; there's some really good info in there.

I find it somewhat interesting that Nationals owner Ted Lerner, a member of the hard-line faction, eventually switched and was apparently the vote that finally got Manfred approved.

I'm sure Peter Angelos and his team of attorneys are probably busy drafting a press release claiming that Lerner was bought off by Selig and some other owners to switch his vote, even if there's no evidence whatsoever to back it up.

I repeated Joey B's thoughts because, whatever one thinks of him re: politics, it's more annoying to read the "I'm so happy that I put Joey B on Ignore! By the way, what did he just say? I can't read him because I put him on Ignore." comments afterward.
   4. bobm Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4771700)
I repeated Joey B's thoughts because, whatever one thinks of him re: politics, it's more annoying to read the "I'm so happy that I put Joey B on Ignore! By the way, what did he just say? I can't read him because I put him on Ignore." comments afterward.

All they have to do is log out to be able to read ignored commenters, right?
   5. The District Attorney Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4771702)
Yeah, I was on a board that had an ignore list, but also specified that talking about who was on your ignore list was an infraction. I thought that was a good rule. (Still, Jason, don't do that again. :-P)

Chass's slam against his old employers at the Times is, of course, without merit. Everyone reported there was a "race." It was, in fact, very meaningful news that about a quarter of the league's owners were unwilling to accept the presumptive heir. So that should have been, and was, reported, even if Werner had no chance to win himself, which everyone also knew and reported. Chass is -- I know, try to contain your shock -- a bitter old bat.
   6. boteman Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4771725)
OK, so what if the Lerners extracted promises or favors from Manfred in exchange for their vote? Once he ascends the throne he can just "forget" his promises, then what leverage do the Lerners have? They certainly won't air out their dirty dealings in the press, so at best they can try to get compromising photos of Manfred at the MLB New Year's Eve party.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4771728)
Chass's slam against his old employers at the Times is, of course, without merit. Everyone reported there was a "race." It was, in fact, very meaningful news that about a quarter of the league's owners were unwilling to accept the presumptive heir. So that should have been, and was, reported, even if Werner had no chance to win himself, which everyone also knew and reported. Chass is -- I know, try to contain your shock -- a bitter old bat.


Refusing to click on a Chass link...but from the excerpt, I'm just curious what does he think the result was of the race between the tortoise and the hare? He's a professional writer? and I'm not really sure that analogy works in any way. The tortoise and hare was a race between an overwhelming favorite, and a longshot, in which the longshot won because the favorite took the race lightly....is there any indication that Manfred took the race lightly? It appears to me that CHASS was saying there was no race at all and that the tortoise easily won.
   8. Joey B. Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4771743)
Thanks JE. All my creepy left-wing loser stalkers don't intimidate me even one iota, but I can certainly imagine how annoying they probably are after a while to all the people who aren't interested in their fights.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4771744)
what does he think the result was of the race between the tortoise and the hare?
I didn't even think about that. That is funny.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4771760)
I repeated Joey B's thoughts because, whatever one thinks of him re: politics, it's more annoying to read the "I'm so happy that I put Joey B on Ignore! By the way, what did he just say? I can't read him because I put him on Ignore." comments afterward.


From a guy who doesn't have him on ignore: No, it isn't. Not by half.

Chass's slam against his old employers at the Times is, of course, without merit.


Yeah, I think that holds this back from being a truly great piece, but it's still a good one, and miles better than the sort of thing we usually get from Chass. So kudos to him for that.

I'm curious about the Rays' motivations in switching their vote. What happened there, do you think?
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4771770)
I'm curious about the Rays' motivations in switching their vote. What happened there, do you think?

The thing where he was pressed about revenue sharing?
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4771777)

OK, so what if the Lerners extracted promises or favors from Manfred in exchange for their vote? Once he ascends the throne he can just "forget" his promises, then what leverage do the Lerners have? They certainly won't air out their dirty dealings in the press, so at best they can try to get compromising photos of Manfred at the MLB New Year's Eve party.


Orchestrate a vote of "no confidence" he way Reinsdorf did to oust Fay Vincent?

The Commish is very much a puppet of the owners. Manfred will do what they tell him to do.
   13. The District Attorney Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4771789)
I don't think it's fair to assume that a changed vote equals a shady back-room deal. Maybe an owner was resigned to the fact that Manfred was eventually going to win, but wanted to send him a message of "hey, I'm not too nuts about you, watch your step" before the inevitable. Or, maybe an owner thought that leaving the meeting without any commissioner was unacceptable, whereas Manfred, while not their first choice, was at least acceptable.
   14. Mark Armour Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4771790)
I guess I don't really get all the fuss. You have a multi-billion dollar business that is trying to elect a new CEO for the first time in 22 years. They elected a CEO in about six hours.

If this had happened 20 years ago, I would have read the paper yesterday telling me that baseball was meeting to elect a commissioner and that Manfred was the favorite. Then I would have read the paper today, or I guess watched SportsCenter last night, and heard that Manfred was the new commissioner. But since we have 25 baseball writers tweeting "BREAKING: Manfred one vote shy!" it is treated like a long drawn-out circus. I would suggest this is how businesses work.

In 1969, after three months of fighting, Kuhn was appointed for one year while the fighting continued, and they finally just decided to let him keep the job. Selig was also an interim hire during a period of intense infighting, and they finally just got tired of looking for someone else. But yesterday? It was closer to the arguments we have decided who gets to deal first in poker.

The consensus seems to be that Reinsdorf is an ass. OK, fine. But just because he is an ass does not mean he is stupid. I am not convinced that the Werner faction got nothing out of this.

   15. boteman Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4771809)
The Commish is very much a puppet of the owners. Manfred will do what they tell him to do.

The owners, plural, not one owner. Said owner would still have to rally support among team owners for his crusade and they might not be sympathetic to his singular needs and wants. Anyway, I'm just spitballing here as is everyone else, unless more useful details leak out.
   16. Swedish Chef Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4771823)
The Commish is very much a puppet of the owners. Manfred will do what they tell him to do.

He must build and keep support among the owners as a collective, but there is no limit to how much he can piss off a specific owner without risking anything. He just have to isolate his prey, like Selig did with McCourt.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4771830)
The thing where he was pressed about revenue sharing?


Maybe. He didn't seem to demonstrate a deep and abiding commitment to it, though.
   18. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4771856)
He must build and keep support among the owners as a collective, but there is no limit to how much he can piss off a specific owner without risking anything. He just have to isolate his prey, like Selig did with McCourt.


He also has to dodge indictment for the actions of his MLB investigators.

Hmm, you think he sent them to dig into Lerner's background?
   19. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 15, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4772028)
If this had happened 20 years ago, I would have read the paper yesterday telling me that baseball was meeting to elect a commissioner and that Manfred was the favorite. Then I would have read the paper today, or I guess watched SportsCenter last night, and heard that Manfred was the new commissioner. But since we have 25 baseball writers tweeting "BREAKING: Manfred one vote shy!" it is treated like a long drawn-out circus. I would suggest this is how businesses work.

Well said.
   20. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: August 15, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4772118)
Jerry Reinsdorf finds himself as the oldest, longest-tenured owner in a group of relative short-timers. (Angelos is now second longest tenure, if I remember right.)

That puts him in a similar position to where Bill Wirtz found himself in the NHL. And it seems like the actions are almost in parallel. Jerry needs to look at getting out. His son dying has certainly changed the exit he had planned though.

Still, one has to wonder exactly why Selig/Manfred are held in such high regard when one looks at the price the Los Angeles Clippers sold for - roughly the same price the Los Angeles Dodgers sold for a year earlier. If the NBA is that profitable, doesn't that suggest MLB is making mistakes at the top? Over a year ago, I heard Jerry was going to pass the Bulls and White Sox to his son, suggesting he keep the Bulls and sell the White Sox. At first I thought this was silly as I assumed baseball, while a bigger operation, made more money. But the Clippers sale really makes me wonder.
   21. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: August 15, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4772136)
Still, one has to wonder exactly why Selig/Manfred are held in such high regard when one looks at the price the Los Angeles Clippers sold for - roughly the same price the Los Angeles Dodgers sold for a year earlier. If the NBA is that profitable, doesn't that suggest MLB is making mistakes at the top? Over a year ago, I heard Jerry was going to pass the Bulls and White Sox to his son, suggesting he keep the Bulls and sell the White Sox. At first I thought this was silly as I assumed baseball, while a bigger operation, made more money. But the Clippers sale really makes me wonder.


The Clippers sold at that price due to the delusion that they are going to get a Dodgers size TV deal and topple the Lakers as LA's favorite basketball team. They will be lucky to get an Angels sized TV deal (still nothing to sneeze at). Also, the Dodgers sold at $2+ billion with people thinking the TV rights were worth $5 billion.
   22. McCoy Posted: August 15, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4772138)
The Clippers sale always struck me as a billionaire that really wanted that shiny toy and that was the price required to get it from a very complicated mess.
   23. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 15, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4772164)
Refusing to click on a Chass link...

What's the principle in play here? There's no advertising on Chass's site.

***
I'm curious about the Rays' motivations in switching their vote. What happened there, do you think?

It sounds like Sternberg had interest in becoming commissioner himself. Maybe he switched after it became clear the other owners wouldn't be looking in his direction.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4772192)
What's the principle in play here? There's no advertising on Chass's site.

Still counts as a click. Anyone who accuses Stan Musial of being a racist, doesn't get page views.
   25. SteveM. Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4772256)
I repeated Joey B's thoughts


That may be the first time anyone has ever said that.
   26. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4772560)
Jerry Reinsdorf finds himself as the oldest, longest-tenured owner in a group of relative short-timers.


He's an old general still fighting the last war. If he can't see that labor peace, even at the expense of a firm salary cap, is good for him, than he's probably senile to boot.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4772831)
Thanks JE. All my creepy left-wing loser stalkers don't intimidate me even one iota, but I can certainly imagine how annoying they probably are after a while to all the people who aren't interested in their fights.

LOL. Your "stalkers" aren't the ones who annoy people, as pretty much anyone on this site can attest, regardless of political affiliation or baseball rooting interest.

You say "left-wing" as if it's only "left-wingers" who find you to be a blight on the BBTF landscape, and as if your political views are more than about 2 percent of the reason a large percentage of the BBTF readership hates you. Actually, it's probably closer to zero percent; loathsome though I find your political views to be, there are plenty of right-wing posters on this site whose posts I enjoy reading, because, unlike anything you've ever posted, they're interesting and thought-provoking even if I don't agree with them. That's because, unlike you, they're capable of making a point without being a monotonous jackass about it.

Your problem ain't your politics. Your problem is you.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4772836)
He's an old general still fighting the last war. If he can't see that labor peace, even at the expense of a firm salary cap, is good for him, than he's probably senile to boot.

Yeah, Reinsdorf just seems way off the reservation here.

Selig's approach of soft-caps and 2 decades of labor peace has MLB revenues growing faster than any other major sport (including the vaunted NFL), MLB's digital marketing light years ahead of the other sports, and franchise values sky-rocketing.

To use your analogy, fighting for a hard-cap is like insisting on building more battleships in 1942.
   29. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4772839)
LOL. Your "stalkers" aren't the ones who annoy people, as pretty much anyone on this site can attest, regardless of political affiliation or baseball rooting interest.

Also laughable is the idea that "stalker" is the right word for someone who finds Joey B to be such an irritating intrusion into their lives that this website can only be enjoyable if his comments are removed.

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