Fact of life: Owners of sports teams would like to make money and be popular


So I'm reading Nick Canepa's article about John Moores and I hesitate to even say anything because what I say on this subject is such an unpopular opinion, but personally, I'm not surprised that Moores would backhandedly badmouth owning the Padres.

In particular, people seem surprised about this:

"To be fair, I don’t know if I’d do it again. It’s like buying an E-ticket at Disneyland and a little ways into the ride saying, ‘Oh, oh, this was a mistake.’ But there are no do-overs, no mulligans. On balance, it was OK, but I probably would have been better off with my money invested in bonds.

And people are like "ROWR! ROWR! YOU'RE A MILLIONAIRE! YOU MADE MONEY AND CRUSHED MY DREAMS! ROWR!"

But read the quote again... "On balance, it was OK". By "balance" he's saying, "Yeah. I made money."

The last part then, if he made money and still feels he would've been better off with his money invested in bonds. What does that mean?

What it means is despite the money, he apparently feels that he had to put up with too much BS to have made it worth his while... or at least make him question if it was worth his while. He's basically saying, "I was told that I could make money eating a hamburger, but it turns out the hamburger was made of shit."

He's not saying that he lost money overall. He's saying that the profit wasn't worth it because owning a team wasn't quite as fun as he thought it would've been or it didn't make him as famous or as loved as he would've liked.

Owners of businesses want to make money.

Owners of sports teams want the fame associated with being the owner of a sports team (and to make money).

Imagine what he went through since he bought the team. After years of being a successful businessman, he operates the team at a loss, every year sinking his own money into this thing after diligently building up his other businesses through thoughtful investment and planning. Others disagree, but it's not like he was guaranteed any particular return in owning the team.

To mitigate that loss, he convinces the city to help fund a ballpark, but finds himself in court for a couple of years. I'm not sure how many of you people who aren't actually lawyers like being in court, but it is what it is.

And then the ballpark gets made and people start knocking on him for daring to make any money off of it. I find it a little ironic that people complain about the fact that he invested in hotels that are doing well, when building hotels was part of the requirement to actually get that land. The city said that he could have that land as part of the investment long as he could guarantee a certain number of hotels also get built, and then later people fault him for having hotels that (may or may not) make money.

So he's spending all this money. He does something that the popular vote says that they wanted. After he does it, everybody yells at him.

And then, after all of that, he ends his ownership with a divorce, which from what I've read, he's to blame for, but still probably isn't the happiest of situations.

All that time and effort and people think of him as the dick that cheated on his wife, bait and switched sports fans in San Diego and made billions of money off of taxpayer dollars, when in his head, he was buying a team because he thought it would be a good diversion considering he was already pretty wealthy.

So if it you wanted a hobbyist owner, it was probably John Moores. If you want a baseball minded owner, it's probably the Moorad group. If you want Mark Cuban or the Steinbrenners or Arte Moreno, you're gonna have to become a fan of a different team because despite what you think or how you believe an owner should operate, those guys aren't just in it for sh_ts and giggles and neither was Moores.

Of course, there's the possibility that by "bonds" he literally meant Barry Bonds and performance enhancement drugs, which would've been a decent financial proposition for a while, but that's probably another blog post.

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