May 29, 2008

On the Phillies' Owners

There's a piece in this month's Philadelphia magazine by Robert Rys that's getting a lot of attention in town, about the Phillies' reclusive ownership group. It's an interesting piece, but like most sports arguments in Philly, it seems way too informed by talk radio conventional wisdom.

The piece looks at the "phantom five" owners of the Phillies who rarely appear in public and are content to allow the team president, Dave Montgomery, to act as their frontman. Useful in the piece is the biographical information about these people, as well as some funny, colorful details (the Betz family may have only bought into the team in order to get parking spaces for Eagles games?). Less defensible is the actual employment of a private detective to take photos of the owners, and (even worse) the actual phone numbers of two of the owners being published in Larry Platt's editor's letter.

Rys' story contains way too much of the sort of reasoning common on WIP during every Phils losing streak: the ownership doesn't care enough, is too cheap, "the fish rots from the head," "If you throw out last year, they haven't made the playoffs in 15 years!","[Co-owner John Middleton] just inherited more than $2 billion from the sale of his family's cigar company- why doesn't he put some of that towards Johan Santana?"

The fact is, the quality (or lack thereof) of the ownership group has very little to do with how good or bad the team has been in the last five or so years. They have a budget, just like every other team in the sport save for the Red Sox and Yankees. It's a HIGH budget, but it's a budget, The owners are willing to authorize a $100 million payroll and hire a smart general manager, and otherwise stay out of the way. I'd much, much rather have people like that in charge of my team than, say, the Pohlads.

Yes, Dave Montgomery (and Bill Giles before him) stands guilty of uneven decision-making ability, appalling tone deafness and horrible PR savvy. And everything I've heard about the way the team was run in the pre-Citizen's Bank Park days says the not committed/cheap narrative was true back then- but it isn't now, and hasn't been for quite some time. It's a constant recycling of a no-longer-true bit of conventional wisdom, sort of like people saying there's not enough competitive balance in baseball, even though seven different teams have won the last eight World Series.

What seems inevitable is that after a few members of the current group, most of whom are in their 70s and 80s, pass away or otherwise throw in the towel, the team will be sold, either to Middleton himself, or to a new owner altogether, at which point the "Phantom Five" will be a thing of the past anyway. Then, the city will have a whole new set of owners to complain about.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 29, 2008 04:33 PM

My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Posted by: Christian Louboutin Shoes at June 27, 2011 10:51 PM

New season, not the Pacers will not have the slightest Miller's stagnation, because mature small Austrian will continue to lead the team forward; and NIKE SHOX UPS will give the wearer a steady stream of power, Nike Shox R5 shoes for cheap so that they can step to success. When the AIR JORDAN XX has come around, when people of the 20th anniversary of the AIR JORDAN rejoice at this moment, Nike Shox R5 shoes cheap ten years ago that section of the same memorable shoes seems to have forgotten ... it is the AIR JORDAN X. free shipping Nike Shox R5 shoes When Michael Jordan play in 1993, a wave, he left the piece of recorded countless amazing basketball field, not just the NBA, AIR JORDAN series of front was also cast a layer of fog. discount Nike Shox R5 shoes At the time AIR JORDAN, NIKE has not independently from them, but many shoes with a SWOOSH the more special one. Celebrity endorsement retired, is undoubtedly a blow to the product. wholesale cheap Nike Shox R5 shoes Although the AIR JORDAN IX was introduced after the departure of Michael Jordan's first pair of shoes, but it was still Jordan's more than prestige, we will honor and buy a pair of AIR JORDAN IX. Nike Shox R5 shoes for sale The AIR JORDAN X is not, when it launched the next year coincides with Michael Jordan retired, we believe that Jordan will not come back, so the fate of the AIR JORDAN series will become uncertain, warehouse Nike Shox R5 shoes after all, a lot of people just because Michael Jordan AIR JORDAN buy the. So, NIKE shoes must do this some articles to attract everyone's attention. cheap Nike Shox R5 shoes Jordan's six championships, the first three are won by virtue of superior physical fitness title, then it is relying on three superb technology and a winning spirit to conquer the enemy. wholesale Nike Shox R5 shoes The AIR JORDAN series of style also AIR JORDAN VIII after a huge change from complex to simple, streamlined appearance of the AIR JORDAN shoes later became an essential feature.

Posted by: nike shox nz for sale at August 2, 2011 07:17 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?