Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Best and worst owners in baseball

From SI.com, the best and worst owners in MLB:

Top 5
1. Henry/Werner/Lucchino, Boston Redsox
2. Arturo Moreno, LA Angels
3. William DeWitt, St. Louis Cardinals
4. Steinbrenner Family, NY Yankees
5. Stuart Sternberg, Tampa Bay Rays


Bottom 5
26. Ted Lerner, Washington Nationals
27. Jeffrey Loria, Florida Marlins
28. David Glass, KC Royals
29. Tom Hicks, Texas Rangers
30. Peter Angelos, Baltimore Orioles
I don't have much of a problem with the top 5. Sternberg gets a nice bump because the team he inherited sucked for so many years and all those #1 picks paid off. Good drafting, great development. Moreno, the Boston trio, DeWitt....all well-deserved. I'd have them ranked pretty much the same way. The Steinbrenner family... I guess you have to, whether you like 'em or not. They sure have figured out ways to maximize revenue streams.

There's one name in the bottom 5 that really surprised me. Jeffrey Loria. Sure, he's not the most warm and cuddly guy and he torpedoed the Montreal franchise, but as the owner of the Marlins, he did reign over one WS title, which is vastly superior to most other owners. Including DeWitt, Moreno and Sternberg in the top 5. He also bullied his way into a new stadium on the horizon.

Ted Lerner's legacy is too short to really warrant his ranking, and SI seems to put the bonus skimming scheme that was lead by Jim Bowden squarely around the neck of Lerner. Yes, the team hasn't done much at all since being reborn in DC, but I don't think a tenure that began in only 2006 can be defined so quickly.

Glass is interesting in that he's a notorious tightwad, and while I root for a team that sweats hundred dollar bills, I can't say that fact in and of itself makes him a bad owner. He's a businessman with a Walmart pedigree, so he knows a thing or two about the income statement. His teams have made a boatload of money over the years despite not doing much (read: anything at all) on the field. As fans, we want our owners to be 'one of us', investing as we think we would if we were in their shoes. There's only one team that really does that. Glass operates his business with a firm grasp on margins and it shows. The Royals have been perennial cellar-dwellers for eons: The team has averaged 96 losses during Glass' 16 year tenure. Ninety-six. And they haven't made the playoffs in 24 years.

Aside from hoping that the Sox fall on their collective face, few things in baseball make me happier than watching Peter Angelos fail. An ultra-successful lawyer, Angelos took over in 1993 and proceeded to polish the lustre of the franchise with coarse sandpaper. Says SI.com: "Then Angelos began his notorious meddling, firing popular manager Davey Johnson, burning through another five managers, killing trades proposed by his GMs and stripping down one of baseball's proudest franchises. The O's haven't finished above .500 in 11 seasons since their last playoff appearance."

Your thoughts?

11 comments:

Jake said...

I agree with SI on Loria being one of the worst. He's probably the tightest tightwad on the list, practically refusing to spend any money at all on his team. I forget what the exact figures are, but last year the fish got something like $40 million in revenue sharing and spent something like $36 million on his team. THE POINT OF REVENUE SHARING IS TO ALLOW YOU TO SPEND MONEY ON YOUR TEAM, NOT TO ALLOW YOU TO POCKET FREE MONEY FROM OTHER CLUBS.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

That's fair, Jake. Though, the "spend it on your club" rule does not stipulate that it come in the form of MLB level salaries. Could be in developing farm system infrastructure, for example.

But yes, he's in the same mold as David Glass with pocketing revenue sharing...

However, the big point is that he was captain of the ship that won the 2003 World Series. That has to count for at least something.

ditmars1929 said...

I haven't seen the article yet, but from what perspective was it written - business wise or the fans?

Glass, for example, pockets his share money and turns a nice profit, so he's a good owner because he is a business man with a black ink product. But he totally screws his fans with a losing product (24 years???), so he's got to be among the worst owners ever from a fan's point of view.

Angelos, no matter how you look at it, has got to be the worst.

The Steinbrenner family is awful. This media-hyped "win at all costs" philosophy is a joke. Hello, 1982-1994, anyone remember that? Also, let's not forget that 1996-2000 was built by Gene Michael while Steinbrenner was suspended from the game and his spawn were not involved with the team. And now look what team Steinbrenner has done to the Yankees since. Totally pathetic drafts, absolutely no player development, a front office that has the likes of Levine and Trost, and a totally alienated fanbase with their new mallpark.

OK, deep breath. I'll stop now. Sorry about that.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

ditmars.... I have become so disillusioned regarding my favorite team. It's becoming difficult for me.

My disdain for leadership is growing daily. And my once-unwavering support for Cashman has faded, too.

I guess it beats having Glass run my team, though

ditmars1929 said...

Ohhhh, Jason, you want a story on disillusioned? I'll be brief.

Everyone in my family, by family law, MUST be a Yankee fan (I've got nephews in Dallas freaking Texas wearing Yankee jerseys to school all Spring and Fall). That's because when my grandfather got off the boat, he couldn't get a job because he was Irish. But the Yankees gave him a shot as an usher, and he wound up working there for 50 years. My father sold orange soda there as a teenager. I had season tickets from 1997-2000.

Clearly, you can see how much of a fan I am.

I am now so disillusioned, disgusted, and disappointed with the Yankees that I have two tickets for next week (deep discount through my son's little league) and for the first time ever, I'm not sure I want to go. Me, of all people, not wanting to go to a game is like Jeter turning down a hot piece of ass. I can't believe it.

F-ing bastards.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

We're alot alike, though I don't have the great lead-in story as you do.

My boys, today, asked me when we're going to the Stadium. I stammered about ticket prices and availability and my lack of access that I used to have... all of it pretty much belying the fact that Levine/Trost have totally disgusted me.

I do want to take them, badly. But I can't justify the prices. Now, if I had them on the deep discount that you were lucky enough to get, that's another story!

We clearly need to rant about this over a beer sometime!

Louise said...

well personally St. Louis Cardinals is the best MLB team The current good positionLouis, Missour they have in the league is a fruit of the harmony found between players and the stuff. They always surprise the baseball world by knocking off the most powerful MLB teams. And as a big fan they really deserve our time, personally I pass most of time looking to hear their latest online, lately I found a site( http://www.cardinalsnet.com )& I hope that you won’t stop supporting your team!!!

ditmars1929 said...

Jason, I'll let you know if I wind up going or not. As stupid as it is, I will lose sleep agonizing over this.

It's a bit too close to the game date, but if I get another opportunity on cheap tix from the little league, I'll let you know. There was no ticket limit per family, so I could loop you in next time. And if I can find employment in my industry despite the economy, I'm usually well connected there.

I'm up for ranting and beers any time.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

you'll have to email me one of these days, Ditmars...

ditmars1929 said...

Jason, let me snag some tix for you first!

I did email you once at your request. I sent you a ... I'll call it a photo essay ... on my last and final visit to the real Yankee Stadium. I can resend that if you wish.

Ron Rollins said...

You do this on purpose, don't you?