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Monday, March 01, 2021

Padres have tossed aside small-market stigma to act like a model franchise; here’s why it’s great for MLB

For all the diversionary oxygen being devoted to pacing concerns and the dearth of balls in play and the like, the gravest current crisis in MLB is the overabundance of team owners who have no interest in winning as many baseball games as possible. Not only does treating cherished civic institutions like portfolio holdings disaffect fans (i.e., customers), but it also makes ongoing labor peace between players and owners much less likely. It’s the hometown nine, not a tranche of debt instruments. When a team like the Padres gives primacy to the goal of winning—as they darn well should—it puts the lie to all those risible claims of financial woe emanating from most other C suites around the league.

Seidler, who rose to the top of the Padres’ org chart late last year, is not deluded about such matters. He knows MLB is a wildly profitable industry. He knows the claims of financial hardships resulting from the COVID-compromised 2020 season are temporary and almost certainly overstated. He knows that owning an MLB team yields investment growth that can be duplicated almost nowhere else. He knows the best way to get fans to care is to improve the product. So that’s what he’s doing even if few other owners have the fortitude to behave similarly. That kind of behavioral pressure from within is exactly what the current guild of MLB owners badly needs. Promising $340 million and a wire-to-wire no-trade clause to Tatis isn’t a sign that the Padres are doing too much. Rather, it’s a sign that many of the more well-heeled MLB teams aren’t doing enough. The next time your team’s owner costumes “I choose not to” as “I can’t,” cite for them the wee-market Padres and Tatis.

After all the lies and self-defeating avarice on the part of MLB owners, we need to deprogram ourselves and stop thinking of signing a deliriously popular and deliriously excellent young franchise shortstop as something to wring hands over. Again, they’re doing what they should be doing. With their fine and many-splendored ballpark, near-perfect weather, and re-imagined uniforms that evoke the strong franchise identity that was there in the beginning, the Padres have the trappings and settings of a model franchise. That they’ve lately been acting like a model franchise is an unqualified good thing and should serve as an example for the rest of baseball.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2021 at 11:19 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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