You’ve Got A Bat And Ball , Well Now There’s A Ball Club For Sale …….. And It Ought To Be Going Cheap … …
By tophatal 05/29/2012 ………. 11.37 PM (EST)
It might not be a pattern of behavior but there’s mild move now on amongst the owners within baseball either to sell their teams for an exorbitantly high price or simply to gauge the interest in any prospective buyers by seeking the assistance of a capital investment firm to guide them along the way . That was clearly the case with Drayton McClane when he sold the Houston Astros to Houston millionaire entrepreneur James “Jim ” R Crane . The Astros were sold for what was at the time the highest price ever paid for a baseball franchise . The sale price was an unheard of $775 million and Crane willingly spent that money , albeit that the buyer was given a hometown discount at the behest of the MLB hierarchy and with an added incentive of $65 million being thrown in as a precursor to their imminent move . With the Houston Astros due to move from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013 , I am not so sure that even in their present guise the Astros will be able to compete with the might of the Los Angeles Angels or the Texas Rangers , much less the other occupants within the division. So many people have overlooked that little tidbit , thinking that this move was actually arranged for the benefit of Jim Crane and his partners . And anyone who also believes that this maneuver was done out of the goodness of Bud Selig’s heart , then they had better rethink that premise altogether.
Slide show for your perusal .
With the New York Daily News recently reporting that the Steinbrenner family were in fact interested in selling the New York Yankees , only for the rumor to be then shot down by Hal Steinbrenner , who categorically stated that the franchise his father , George Steinbrenner III purchased for a mere $ 6 million from CBS Television in the early seventies was not for sale . The New York Yankees are valued at an estimated , and an approximate figure of between $2.6billion to $5.1 billion , dependent upon whose valuation you believe to be more accurate . With the Los Angeles Dodgers recently being sold for the over inflated price of $2.15 billion to a consortium led by former NBA great Magic Johnson , former MLB executive Stan Kasten , Hollywood film mogul Peter Guber and the three leading executives from the asset management firm Guggenheim Partners LLC , CEO Mark Walter , Todd S Boehly and Allan D. Schwartz . .
I don’t know that there’s a more troubled franchise within baseball than San Diego Padres (17-33) . The franchise whose senior and majority managing partner , is John Moores . The somewhat reclusive entrepreneur businessman had relinquished his day-to-day involvement in the franchise , in order to concentrate and build up the business side of the ball-club. The Padres had recently orchestrated a two decade $1.5 billion television deal but it now appears that Moores is at the end of his rope in dealing with his partners . There’s said to be a great deal of dissent between John Moores , several of the partners , as well as with the managerial staff and a number of prominent players on the Padres roster . That being said , it is now widely being reported that Moores is now willing to sell his majority stake , which will have to come by way of the league hierarchy’s approval . John Moores’ sale is liable to realize in excess of $355 million by conservative estimates . This would value the San Diego Padres in the region of $675 to $720 million. Not bad for one of baseball’s least supported teams and one which is considered to be in a small market .
PGA Tour golfer Phil Mickelson along with members of the late Walter O’Malley’s family are a part of a consortium that is now said to be interested in purchasing John Moores’ majority stake in the Padres. The four grandchildren of the late Walter O’Malley along with Terry Seidler and Mickelson , through their legal representatives are now negotiating terms of the prospective sale of the baseball franchise . Walter O’Malley was a one-time owner of the renowned Los Angeles Dodgers and one has to admit that were it not for the years of ineptitude during the tenures , first of the Fox Corporation and then the sheer egregious malfeasance of Frank McCourt , one wonders what might have been for the Dodgers . .McCourt essentially used the ball-club as his personal ATM , while a number of senior executives merely chose to look elsewhere while the owner and his now ex-wife Jamie McCourt plundered the coffers of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was told that Tommy LaSorda , a goodwill ambassador for the Dodgers should be retained by the franchise . To my mind , the aging geriatric should simply tossed out like an old boot ! If La Sorda , along with GM Ned Colletti and former CFO Peter Wilhelm can simply choose to stand idly by , knowing that the actions of the then owner bordered on criminality and transgressed many of baseball’s operating rules . Then it shows the height of the culpability , malfeasance and the mere fact that the aforementioned individuals simply didn’t care. Were the Los Angeles Dodgers a publicly traded company then you can rest assured that the executives in question would have been subpoenaed by the Justice Department and more likely than not would have been facing charges of grand larceny with the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) conducting their own investigation also . Instead , baseball’s hierarchy along with a butt-hole of fans are of the belief that the Dodgers are back on an even keel along with Bud Selig’s dumb ass grin. There are still questions being asked , as to how much interference there was by the commissioner in his intervening in the whole sale process of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Bud Selig , the friggin’ oaf that he is , continues to be the pain in the ass that the game of baseball could well do without but there are those purists who believe that he has been the best commissioner the game of baseball has ever had . I beg to differ , but that’s simply my opinion ! By all means chime in with your thoughts what you believe have been the commissioner’s biggest contributions to the game and what you believe have been his biggest blunders .
Whether or not the San Diego Padres are sold is of no real concern to me as I believe this to be a baseball franchise that’s simply going nowhere . They’re firmly rooted at the bottom of the NL West , they are an uncompetitive team , the managerial staff just seem to be clueless as to what’s need ed to turn things around . Not unlike their the NFL counterpart the San Diego Chargers , and their travesty of a season under head coach Norv Turner and that buffoon of an ownership group led by Dean Spanos . And what might be even worse AJ Smith and the front office executives are seemingly intent on moving the franchise from the city and to the greater Los Angeles area . Qualcomm Stadium home to the NFL franchise is a decaying edifice , that it would appear that neither the Chargers desire to play in or for that matter the city is prepared to refurbish until there’s a long-term commitment from the Chargers to remain there. Could hell , be a better way of describing the San Diego Chargers with Norv Turner at the helm as the head coach of under-achieving team ?
The fate of the Padres might not seem all that clear but one thing is definitely noticeable is the very fact that the San Diego Padres are no better a team than they were in 2011 or 2010 for that matter now . I’m not saying that things are now currently bad for the San Diego Padres but they’re now on a four game losing streak , having lost three of their last ten games , they are 16.5 games out of first place , behind the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers (32-15) . Sunday , the team was on the wrong side of 2-0 loss to the New York Mets while at home at PETCO Park , San Diego , California . Monday was no better with the team once again succumbing but this time to the equally inept Chicago Cubs (16-32) in an offensive onslaught with the Cubs prevailing 11-7 .
Tuesday the two teams would meet again to end this current series , with the Padres at least looking for a win to ease their pain. Already 10.5 games out of the wildcard berth and we’re not even into the month of June , and it is becoming extremely difficult to see how the team can now resurrect their season .
Now with the Padres said to be netting $75 million a year (over the next two decades) from this lucrative television deal it seems somewhat ludicrous that the front office hasn’t sought to bolster this roster . The team’s payroll remains amongst the lowest the game but it may not signify what the franchise’s aspirations truly are . The organization now seems bereft creativity in building this team to be competitive much less the ambition to challenge for NLCS or World Series . Even with the San Diego Padres’ draft history it appears that the organization would be intent to lose players rather than retain them long-term . Whether or not there were any regrets after the departure of Adrian Gonzalez , one of the organizations most prolific and popular players in the Padres’ history. Gonzalez still remains a beloved character with the San Diego Padres but his future now lies with the Boston Red Sox and their long-term aspirations.
Bud Black and his coaching assistants might just have the most unenviable task in all of baseball . And that is to inspire a team that’s seemingly lacking in confidence and a great deal more . If there’s said to be another manager who is currently under greater pressure , I for one cannot think of one at this juncture ! Looking for an inspiration even from a veteran on this roster seems almost impossible given the gravity of the problems the Padres currently face . Jeff Suppan , Eric Stults , Mark Kotsay and Clayton Richard may well be the apparent leaders to whom the younger players would look to for guidance . However, when there’s said to be no authoritative leadership forthcoming coming from the managerial staff, then it simply doesn’t bode well for a baseball organization. The front office is in complete disarray and I simply do not have any faith whatsoever in GM Josh Byrnes and that is even with Hall of Fame .. great …… Dave Winfield there as a consultant with the Padres’ organization . And anyone of the belief that a failed individual such as Omar Minaya can provide the San Diego Padres with any added insight , considering his failings with New York Mets must be asking what the hell the Padres were thinking when they hired the former general manager .
A possible sticking point in any potential sale could very well rest upon whether or not Jeff Moorad would be willing to relinquish control in many of the day-to-day operations of the Padres. He also happens to be the second largest shareholder in the organization , albeit, that this ownership group is said to be very diluted beyond John Moores’ stake . Moorad , was amongst the original partners who bought into the franchise alongside John Moores with the hope of rejuvenating the fortunes of the San Diego Padres . The franchise last appearance in the postseason was in 2006 and the last time the Padres were the divisional winners within the NL West came in was that very same year but prior to that , it just happened to be 2005 . Sparse pickings since then , with the customary turnover in player personnel as well as the managerial staff .
While looking at the pitching of the Padres and their offense as well , it is easy to understand why this team is besieged with so many problems . There’s obviously no one on the team that is capable of leading this organization where they need to be taken . A change in ownership with the possibility that we could very well see an upheaval in the managerial staff . Whatever now awaits the San Diego Padres, it will be interesting to see how the fans may well respond to what may well now seem the inevitable sale of the baseball franchise . One can only surmise that they will view it as a positive rather than a sense of foreboding .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the salient points raised within this piece ? And do you believe it to be a healthy environment where there’s an exchange in ownership in a number of baseball teams in recent years ? Also do you believe that the recent prices paid are exorbitant , given the present economic climate or a true reflection of the baseballs’ worth within the professional sports’ environment ? Chime in on this and anything else you believe to be of value concerning the subject matter .
Picture and slide show for your perusal .
Houston Astros’ team owner James “Jim ” Crane is seen here formally being introduced to the convened press having purchased the franchise from Drayton McClane . The team will be moving from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013 to create a more balanced makeup within the two leagues of baseball . AP Photo / Adam Martin …
(2) (L-R) New York Yankee Manager Joe Girardi , Randy Levine , President of the New York Yankees, Lonn A. Trost , COO of the New York Yankees and Hal Steinbrenner , Managing General Partner / Co-Chairperson of the New York Yankees attend Jorge Posada’s press conference to announce his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. It was widely being reported that they the Steinbrenner family were weighing the options as to whether or not it would be a viable option to sell the New York Yankees’ baseball franchise . The unsubstantiated report and rumors were quickly “shot down” by Hal Steinbrenner who categorically denied that the team was for sale . Getty Images North America /Mike Stobe ……..
(3) PGA Tour professional Phil Mickelson seen here on the Tour is said to be part of a syndicate seeking to purchase the controlling interest in the San Diego Padres . The player joins the four grandchildren of the late Walter O’Malley , former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers along with several prominent Californian businessmen seeking to buy the team. However , the consortium is not the only group said to be interested in the potential sale as former Padres’ great and Hall of Fame inductee Tony Gwynn is part of a separate group also seeking to make a bid for the organization . Majority stakeholder John Moores seeks to sell his controlling interest in the Padres expeditiously and final approval of the sale will have to come from the MLB hierarchy headed by Commissioner Bud Selig . AFP/Reuters/ Mark Thompson ….
(4) Padres’ executives Jeff Moorad ,left and John Moores (right) are seen here having just assumed control , in the purchase the San Diego Padres . Unsubstantiated reports have the relationship between the two partners at an all-time low . And while have both denied that to be the case there is the belief that Moores is either being forced out or he simply no longer feels he has a role within the organization , having seen his duties diminish over the years . AP Photo / Mark Roth ….
(5) CHICAGO, IL – MAY 30: Darwin Barney (15) of the Chicago Cubs hits a walk off two run homer in the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres on May 30, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeated the San Diego Padres 8-6 . Photo by David Banks/Getty Images …
(6) San Diego Padres relief pitcher Dale Thayer , left, walks off the field as the Chicago Cubs celebrate Darwin Barney’s game-winning, two-run home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Chicago. The Cubs won 8-6 . AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …
(7) New San Diego Padres general manager Josh Byrnes answers questions during a news conference as manager Bud Black , right, looks on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 in San Diego. Lenny Ignelzi, Associated Press
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