clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MLB Marketing Sucks Part 2: What makes for a good owner?

This one's not really about marketing per se, but more about how the regular fan sees professional baseball. I'm not sure why I titled it as part of the Markting Sucks series except for the fact that I posted part 1 and then never followed up with anything else.

Here's a little excerpt about NFL owners. It's from an article by Daniel S. Mason in the book, Business of Sports, which I'm reading for class:

Rozelle had hoped to maintain the image of football owners as a group of hobbyists who were interested in sport and not the profitability of ownership...
That's a good goal, right? You get owners who are wealthy enough to see owning a team as a competitive endeavor rather than purely as a business entity with which they can milk money out of unsuspecting cities.

Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way. While I don't think it's completely bad news bears, Tim Sullivan wants to fill you in on a few things:
Baseball is business, not philanthropy. Owners operate their teams to make money, not friends. They seek public subsidies for the purpose of profit, not as a means to mollify their customers with a better ballclub.

To assume otherwise is to be disappointed. To expect more is naive. If you think yourself shortchanged by the Padres' payroll, perhaps you should think again.
Tim Sullivan went on to assert, "THERE IS NO EASTER BUNNY! THERE'S NO SANTA! YOU WERE ADOPTED!"

Which leads me to my point. Two part question:
  1. Who is the most hated owner in baseball?

  2. Which owner is most likely to see owning a baseball team as a "hobby" as opposed to a straight business venture?
Obviously, the answer is Jonny Dub's favorite owner, Boss Steinbrenner. The rules being what they are (no salary cap, revenue sharing structure...), shouldn't we want to see more owners like Steinbrenner owning teams? Instead, we've been brainwashed into thinking that a "good" owner is somebody who is trying to earn a buck like you and me and at the same time try for the postseason once every eight years.

Really, is that right?