BOB: Rangers and Dodgers ownership news

Rangers owner puts together his own team

It’s not every day you put your team up for sale and you’re one of the primary competitors. That’s just what Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers, said last week when he announced he was putting together his own team of investors that would allow him to keep majority ownership of the team. It was expected that five other groups were going to submit bids for the team and when they all came in, he’d evaluate those as well as his own to determine who would be the lucky winner.

Hicks has said all along he wanted to retain control of the team. His ownership group includes team president Nolan Ryan as well as former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. Staubach owned a very small part of the team back when George W. Bush was part of the Rangers picture. One name that’s been thrown out already is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

The state of the economy

Super agent Scott Boras and baseball chief of labor relations, Rob Manfred, got involved in a war of words last week. Scott Boras, in an attempt to get as much money for his players, talked about how baseball is still in a golden age and that teams are getting upwards of $80-90 million in revenue sharing every year that’s largely being pocketed by the teams. In the meantime, Manfred is discounting Boras’ claims; Bud Selig reiterated this earlier this week by claiming that some teams lost money in 2009.

Now everyone is fast forwarding to 2011 when the current collective bargaining agreement expires. If this distrust continues, things won’t be as harmonious as the previous set of negotiations. Of course it could be rectified if the teams just opened up their books, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Mobile BayBears have a new look

The Mobile BayBears, the Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate, unveiled their new logo last week. The new logo honors the old Bears uniforms from the 1940s and is going to debut the same time that the club will open the Hank Aaron Home and Museum. Mobile has a rich baseball past—the city has hosted a team as far back as 1887.

A century of baseball

While Fenway Park slowly creeps up on its 100th anniversary a few years from now, another ballpark will celebrate 100 years of baseball. On June 2, 2010, the Birmingham Barons will host the Tennessee Smokies in the 15th annual Rickwood Classic, the 100th anniversary of Rickwood Field. The Barons played at the ballpark from 1910 through 1987 and both teams will wear replica jerseys from that era.

Bud Selig chimes in on McCourts

I needed a little filler to round out my report and for now, I can always lean on the McCourts. The latest on the Los Angeles odd couple is that baseball commissioner Bud Selig once again came out in support of Frank McCourt, the current owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite what’s turning into a nasty divorce between himself and his wife Jamie. Selig said the team was in good hands but wouldn’t go as far as assuring that there wouldn’t be an effect. I’m not sure what prompted it, but Selig even assured everyone that the Dodgers would remain in Los Angeles, like that was even in question.

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Paul Moehringer
14 years ago

The way pro sports is set up, it’s virtually impossible to own a team, and lose money.

As far as Bud Selig goes saying that teams are losing money, I don’t ever remember him saying once that teams were making money.  In October of 2001, he claimed that 25 of 30 teams had lost money, and that MLB was currently operating at over a $4 billion loss.  Well they sure turned around things quick.

According to Forbes, most teams actually made value, although since MLB teams aren’t required to open up their books, those numbers are simply guesses, and really shouldn’t be taken as be all end alls as some people like to think they are.

Bottom line profit isn’t even a good way of measuring how well teams are doing from the get go simply because of all the accouting methods by which you can turn a gain into an apparent loss, so anytime I hear a team losing money, I take it with a grain of salt.

Are teams really losing money though?  I have no idea.  I do think this will all be worked out before 2011 though, as I think there are enough people in power left over who remember the lessons learned from the ‘94 strike.

As for the Dodgers, that is about the worst news you can get as a Dodger fan.

For those out there who think an owner’s personal finances have no impact on how he or she in this case runs a team, you are sadly mistaken, and I can cite dozens of examples over the history of baseball.

I would be very nervous about this if I was a Dodger fan, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if either one of the McCourts is forced to sell the team.