Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Wednesday's question of the day: Who are the best and worst owners in Major League Baseball?

October 28, 2009 | 12:33 pm

Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Dom Amore, Hartford Courant

Trying to name the best owner in baseball is like trying to name the most popular member of Congress. None are perfect,  and any choice will picked apart.
   This would include the Yankees, who are now operated by George Steinbrenner’s children and are in the World Series for the 11th time since the old man bought the team in 1973.
 With their ticket prices, the Yankees can hardly be considered fan friendly. But once The Boss returned from his suspension in the early ‘90s and settled down, the Yankees have been stable and successful, because they have been willing to sink the money they rake in back into the baseball product.  They have been in the hunt for the championship most years, winning four (1996, 1998-2000).
 And the worst owners? With CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee pitching Game 1 of the World Series, how can it be anyone but the Indians? Not a great time to be a Cleveland fan.

Bill Kline, Allentown Morning Call

To succeed in business: Buy resources, hire good people and get the hell out of the way. In that regard, baseball’s best owners are the Steinbrenner boys in New York. Like their old man George, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner open the Yankees’ vault to sign and keep talent. Unlike George, they are not members of Micromanagers Anonymous. They let their baseball people do their thing to go for the ring.
The worst owner is Robert Nutting of Pittsburgh, whose franchise has 17 straight losing seasons, won’t spend money and has no talent. The Pirates couldn't beat the cast of the View, and every move for the future seems to be the wrong one. I mean, Nutting couldn't forecast yesterday's weather. If you Google the word bad, you won't see the Pirates logo. But you will see it if you Google "really bad with no hope."

Ethan J. Skolnick, South Florida Sun Sentinel

David Glass hasn't won much of anything since he took over the Royals in 2000. But the former Walmart CEO does win one contest, if just barely over Peter Angelos: worst owner. The Royals have had just one winning season since, and have averaged just under 100 losses, reaping no apparent benefit from the revenue sharing that was designed to give them a fair shot. And unlike Angelos, who shares the AL East with the spend-happy Yankees and Red Sox, he can't blame his division.
The best owner? John Henry's group has done well with Boston and Yankee fans will swear by the Steinbrenners, but Arte Moreno has done more than just win with the Angels. His first act was to lower the price of beer.

Dean Jones Jr., Baltimore Sun

This may be hard for Baltimore fans to stomach, but Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is the best in Major League Baseball. Before Henry purchased the Red Sox in 2002, the team hadn’t won a World Series in over 80 years. His business decisions, including hiring general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona, helped the Red Sox capture two championships in a four-year span (2004, ‘07).
While some Baltimore Orioles fans consider Peter Angelos to be one of the worst owners in the majors, things are even worse in Pittsburgh. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season since 1992, when they lost in the National League Championship Series for the third straight year. With a group of young prospects, Orioles fans can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Bob Nutting took over just two years ago in Pittsburgh but the Pirates have continued their decline. They won’t win while he’s in control either.

Photo: Arte Moreno. Credit: Christine Cotter, Los Angeles Times.