|A lot of owners say they care |
about the fans, but But Bill Veeck
really seemed to mean it.
It's too bad that the fan-based group, buythemets.com, which was organized by business professionals, was so quickly turned down. I know baseball prefers its owners rich so they can spend their way out of financial jams (and maybe so they trade capitalism war stories at pricey restaurants). But that model has proven anything but rock solid.
From the Montreal Expos, which had to be taken over and moved to Washington, D.C., to the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, rich owners have had their problems in recent years. Maybe it's time to try another way.
Some point to the model of the Green Bay Packers, a team owned by community stockholders. Obviously, that model has looked pretty good the last few years with the Packers consistently winning. And the buythemets.com group would operate in a similar way.
There would be no guarantee, of course, that a community-owned team would win, as one blogger notes. But as we've seen there's no guarantee with the current model of rich owners.
Baseball for years barely tolerated Bill Veeck, probably the most populist owner ever. They never gave him a break. But fans adored him, whose autobiography, "Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck," reveals him to be part baseball visionary and part P.T. Barnum, was never liked by the other owners.