I’m A Billionaire , Look At My Smile , Look At My Money And Then Look At My Team ………… I’m Rich Bitch !
By tophatal …………..
One of the things that has now become abundantly clear to me as it relates to the world of high finance , specifically the world of sports and it is that the owners of the professional sports’ franchises may well know their way around the inner sanctum within the world of Wall St and the vagaries of worldwide market indices . But in the actual panacea of professional sports these owners simply treat their franchises as mere baubles to show off ostentatiously amongst their peers and to the public at large . Granted , for every latter-day Jerry Jones , David Glass , Donald Sterling , George Shinn and Daniel Snyder there’s a Robert Kraft , Dan Rooney , the Steinbrenner family , Peter Holt , Jerry Reinsdorf and Dr Jerry Buss . But in large part very few of them actually become a resounding success as the owner of a professional sports’ franchise .
Slide show for your perusal .
During the MLB off-season where the transactions were rife and amongst the major players were the Miami Marlins who made a vast outlay on players that team owner Jeffrey Loria hopes will lead the ball-club to another success with the organization seeking to win their third World Series over the course of their existence.
Within the world of MLB , NBA and NFL the thing that perhaps most dictates whether or not some semblance of success will be derived is dependent upon the executive structure set in place in terms of the general manager / head of operations to the managerial staff , on down. And from thereon in, it is simply about acquiring the prerequisite players for the personnel makeup that should ultimately lead to success.
As we all witnessed this off-season the two biggest free agents in the world of baseball on the market were Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols . The two players combined were signed to contracts that committed the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels to making an outlay in excess of $435 million for the two first basemen . For team owners Michael Ilitch and Arte Moreno this type of a commitment by an owner means they are intent on doing whatever it takes to succeed and ultimately win baseball’s biggest prize.
Pujols as a member of the St Louis Cardinals has had the privilege of being on two World Series winning teams . First in 2006 and then again last season when they prevailed over the Texas Rangers in one of the most memorable series in recent history . In what I believe to have been the poor handling of the situation by GM John Mozeliak as the general manager of the Cardinals , in my estimation Mozeliak and team owner Bill De Witt simply didn’t possess the resolve to retain the services of the first baseman. Given his value and productivity to the team last season . This decision to allow the player to leave may well have a lasting effect on the organization that they may well never fully recover from . And anyone who’s under the misapprehension that Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran will make up for the loss of Pujols by way their combined ……… productivity are solely mistaken because the three-time NL MVP brought a great deal more than productivity , he brought with him intangibles and leadership skills whereby he would lead by example and his teammates would follow.
Prince Fielder for his part is being asked to lead a team that has to be viewed as one of the prohibitive favorites within the AL alongside the Los Angeles Angels , Texas Rangers , Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees . Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowksi knows that this roster might just be the best one assembled team in the franchise’s recent history . With a pitching staff led by last season’s AL MVP and AL Cy Young winner in Justin Verlander . Ilitch , Dombrowski and Leyland must be of the opinion that with the apparent missteps of the Rangers , Yankees and Red Sox last season , now might be the time to step up into the fray . As to whether or not the Tigers can acquit themselves over the course of this season remains to be seen .
Within the world of baseball the New York Yankees are still the sport’s franchise against which all other teams are judged by. Granted , they have the biggest payroll within the game and also highest paid player in third baseman …. Alex Rodriguez . Over the course of his professional career Rodriguez will have earned in excess of $525 million but by way of tangible success for the three teams he has played for, the return has been somewhat minimal . OK , so many will point out that the three-time AL MVP and active home run leader and who also sits sixth on the all-time home runs list has been a productive player during his tenure within baseball.
Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman over the years has been lucky enough to have won four World Series titles during his tenure as the franchise’s chief executive in charge of player personnel decisions. But it should also be remembered that amongst the players signed during his reign , a great many have proven to be monumental busts . Perhaps none more so than Carl Pavano , Hideki Irabu , Randy Johnson . To my mind , Alex Rodriguez in spite of his prolific output as a player , he hasn’t proven that he’s the consummate leader , much less a player that can always be relied upon to lead by example .
On this present Yankees’ roster he (Rodriguez) will always be viewed as playing second fiddle to perhaps the franchise’s most beloved player over the last two decades , third baseman , Derek Jeter . And though Jeter may well be in the twilight of his distinguished career it has to be said he can still evoke and bring about those momentary flashes of brilliance. Brian Cashman in his negotiations with the player and his agent almost committed a major mea-culpa in his reluctance to sign Jeter to a contract extension , feeling that his productivity in the past two seasons was proving a hindrance and detriment to the organization .
This season a lot will be asked of this Yankees’ team along and with the none roster invitees looking to make the final roster , it has to be said that a great deal will on the line for the New York Yankees . With the front office having acquired Michael Pineda to bolster the pitching staff and the jettisoning of A J Burnett after his short and undistinguished tenure for which he was vastly overpaid . It has me wondering how much longer Cashman will plunder the coffers of the YES Network in order to make many of the outlandish personnel decisions that he’s come to have been known for in recent years .
The Yankees’ fans and the front office knew that the team’s pitching was their Achilles’ Heel last season and it is clear that bolstering the staff was needed if the New York Yankees are to contend with the likes of the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles within the AL East . With the Cashman also having acquired …. Raul Ibanez to replace the team’s DH …. Jorge Posada this is now a further sign that the ball-club is now in the last remnants of a team that at its core won four World Series between 1996 and 2002 . Posada , Jeter , Mariano Rivera and the now retired Andy Pettite were part of that now famed roster. And Rivera with his Hall of Fame … resume` , his intent is that 2012 will be his last season in the game , has me wondering when will Derek Jeter decide to step down from a game that he has now graced for over 15 years ? What should we expect to see from the New York Yankees this season will be anyone’s guess but it sure will be interesting to see what will be offered up by the players over the course of the team’s season .
Overall I’ve never been enamored with the professional sports’ franchise owner at all ! I find their actions in large part to be self-absorbed , narcissistic but more so downright corrupt in many of the things that they’re encouraged to do by the respective hierarchies that oversee their various sports . And nowhere has this been more self-evident than within the NBA , MLB and NFL . And as asinine as it may seem much of this has the actual blessing of the US government by way of the antitrust exemption status granted to each of the four major professional sports . It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months within the state of Minnesota in particular and whether or not the state’s governor Mark Dayton will cower like a coward having been railroaded by the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings’ ownership group led by Zygi Wilf will be coerced into voting in a stadium financing deal when the state itself presently has a $5.77 billion budget deficit and has now , taken to furloughing state employees , cutting budget expenditure to such levels where the state’s infrastructure not only being in disrepair but it has become a major source of debate between the Republican and Democratic legislators within both legislative chambers in Minnesota . Meanwhile , NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy remain in the background as marionettes assisting and cajoling the state legislators by way of paid lobbyists to make sure that the vote within the Senate and House legislature has a safe rite of passage .
At a proposed cost of some $1.55 billion in state financing the new venue for the NFL franchise will have an envisaged capacity of 76,000 attendees , with luxury sky-boxes , executives suites , with commercial and residential properties surrounding the stadium as well as two hotels , restaurants and two cinema multiplex entertainment centers , all in close proximity of the new stadium. I’m not so sure that this vote will be at all worth it , given the sad state of affairs and woefully inept season had by the Minnesota Vikings in 2011 ! . Zygi Wilf either must feel that he’s now unto something concerning the stadium issue or he is seeking to quite possibly relocate the Vikings outside the state of Minnesota. Given the alleged ardor for an NFL franchise back in the city of Los Angeles and the uncertainty that still surrounds the San Diego Chargers and their lease at Qualcomm Stadium I would dare say that the franchise’s owner Dean Spanos may well seek to move his franchise if the city commissioners are not willing to acquiesce to his demands .
Billionaire real estate developer Ed Roski is already laying the groundwork and plans to build a stadium in the city of Industry , California , which he envisages as being a suitable home for a future NFL franchise close to the city of Los Angeles . If that happens then look for there to be a knock down drag out fight as some opposition is bound to come from the ownership of the Oakland Raiders and incumbent owner Mark Davis , who like his father before him has long felt that the greater Los Angeles area and the city of Oakland their territorial boundaries in terms of their right to exist as an NFL team . Nothing says greed , more than a bunch of jealous narcissistic NFL franchise owners merely looking to safeguard their own interests rather than seeking give the fans real entertainment by way of a truly attractive product both on and off the field of play !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What impressions do you have of today’s professional sports’ franchise owners ? And amongst the four major sports which owners do you believe best serves the interest of the fans ? Also with regard to the points raised on the subject matter concerning the baseball teams mentioned within this piece what do you hope to see from the teams in question and the MLB season as a whole ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show for your perusal .
( 1) Jerry Reinsdorf …. owner of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox of MLB . Courtesy of Getty Images & Business Week ………
(2) Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones, left, laughs as wide receiver Terrell Owens answers a question at the news conference announcing his signing of a new three-year, $27 million contract extension, Tuesday, June 3, 2008, in Irving, Texas. The extension brings the overall length and value of the contract to four years and $34 million. AP Photo/Mike Stone……
(3) Robert Kraft owner of the New England Patriots and whose company Kraft Foods Inc is one of the most prominent companies of its kind around the globe . Bloomberg News / Reuters / Paul Faversham …..
(4) Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen speaks to members of the media, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in Miami. The Marlins finished last in the NL East in 2011 and haven’t reached the playoffs since 2003 . But this year they’re expected to contend for a postseason berth. With spring training a week away, Guillen spoke Monday about the Marlins’ offseason makeover, which included a name change and spending spree as the franchise moves into a new ballpark . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee ……….
(5) Alex Rodriguez’ opens Energy Fitness gym as girlfriend Torrie Wilson proudly looks on. Bauer Griffin /Getty Images ….
(6) Baseball player Alex Rodriguez (L) of the New York Yankees and Torrie Wilson watch a game between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena on January 17, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images/ Mike Ehrmann ….
(7) Brian Cashman, left, , general manager of the New York Yankees is seen here with team owner … Hal Steinbrenner at Steinbrenner Field . , Tampa , Florida . The organization hopes to have a successful endeavor during their 2012 schedule . Their first regular season game will be against AL East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field , St Petersburg , Florida on the 6th April 2012 . AP Photo / Henry Snelling …..
(8) Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf(left) seated alongside former head coach Brad Childress with VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and player Chad Greenway take questions from the Vikings’ season ticket holders . One of the main topics of discussion was the possible acquisition of retired quarterback Brett Favre. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Michael Washington ……….
(9) Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota who is under extreme pressure by the Vikings’ ownership to show his support for a bill that will bring about the financing for a new stadium for the NFL franchise . At present the state faces a massive budget deficit and is now having to furlough state employees . There are numerous supporters and opponents of the proposed legislation . Minneapolis Star Tribune /Phil Murphy …..
Israeli actress Moran Atias .
Mac Miller ……….. ” Dondald Trump ”