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  • Solair Wright
    replied
    This is always an interesting list to add to. Jeffrey Loria may not be the best owner, but far from the worst. If you were to ask me who was the worst, I think it would have to be without a doubt Walter O'Malley. He chased the Brooklyn Dodgers two seasons after winning the World Series in 1955, moveing them to Los Angeles. To add insult to injury, they won the World Series five times in the Dodgers' tenure in Los Angeles, the most recent in 1988.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    And I believe Schott subscribed to the centralized scouting bureau. Schott's opinion of scouts during the 80's was not atypical. A lot of owners thought.

    I'll have to pull out Dollar Signs on the Muscle to find out which teams subscribed to it, it has been awhile.

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  • Captain Cold Nose
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    I don't know if you can really blame Schott for the scouting thing. Baseball was trying to centralize scouting during the 80's and many teams subscribed to this centralized approach to scouting. I believe the Phillies were another team that went this route which was a big reason for the mass exodus to the Cubs.
    At least there was an approach. Schott was rather outspoken about it and was basically of the opinion of "what am I paying these guys for?"

    Not the worst, no. But more than just a few crass and ignorant remarks.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    I don't know if you can really blame Schott for the scouting thing. Baseball was trying to centralize scouting during the 80's and many teams subscribed to this centralized approach to scouting. I believe the Phillies were another team that went this route which was a big reason for the mass exodus to the Cubs.

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  • Captain Cold Nose
    replied
    Let's not turn Schott into a credit to the sport because she gets overly maligned for her racist tendencies. Besides foot in mouth, she did away with scouting to the point where the team went years without properly developing pitching, allowed Pete Rose to do as he would despite lack of production that often goes with trying to play everyday at 44, hired Tony Perez as manager when she really had zero intention of keeping him and then cut him loose as soon as she could, and was ultimately removed because it turns out the auto dealerships that made the bulk of her fortune weren't really so much a fortune at all. She was cooking the books and was caught and was shown the door for it. That's how to run a team?

    She's not really deserving to be at the top of any worst owners list. But she was not a good owner.

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  • Chadwick
    replied
    An owner who won't invest in the team, who defrauds their fans or who runs off good players, who won't negotiate with the union in good faith, who doesn't honor their player contracts,....that's a bad owner.

    One who makes a racist remark and gets her hand slapped for it? That's quite another thing entirely.

    Marge did a lot to bring fans out to the ballpark, making the team entertaining for fans. She made some poor decisions when it came to cost-cutting, but that wasn't any worse than most owners in the game. Hardly the odious blight on the game many of the other candidates in this thread turned out to be.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Depends on what 'integrity of the game" means. If we are talking about between the lines and based on playing rules then almost nothing done besides what is done by players on the field has anything to do with the integrity of the game. But life isn't that simple. Almsot all companies if not all of them have mission statements and corporate beliefs. So if someone or some group is doing something that contradicts the mission statement or beliefs then they most certainly are hurting the integrity of that business.

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  • Chadwick
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Marge was not alone in her racism.
    Nor is racism a particularly grievous mark against the "integrity of the game."

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  • Victory Faust
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Yes, this was the same era in which Al Campanis got on nightline for Jackie Robinson's 40th anniversary for breaking the color barrier and proclaimed that blacks did not have the mental capacity to hold managerial and front office positions and that they were not good swimmers because of bouyancy issues. This guy was the Dodgers GM for 20 years.

    Marge was not alone in her racism.

    Good point. And the racism goes both ways; I've heard countless references to "white men can't jump" and people saying how black athletes are so much better than white ones, which is racist as hell and utterly ridiculous.

    Somehow, though, when the racism is aimed at Whitey, nobody utters a peep.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Yes, this was the same era in which Al Campanis got on nightline for Jackie Robinson's 40th anniversary for breaking the color barrier and proclaimed that blacks did not have the mental capacity to hold managerial and front office positions and that they were not good swimmers because of bouyancy issues. This guy was the Dodgers GM for 20 years.

    Marge was not alone in her racism.

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  • Chadwick
    replied
    Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    By those criteria, which was what the original poster intended four years ago, my vote goes to Marge Schott. An admirer of Adolf Hitler, she referred to the Red's African American players as her "Million-Dollar N-----s". If she were a character in a book or a movie, you'd say she was too over the top to be believable. You couldn't make up somebody that ignorant.
    Marge suffered from foot-in-mouth syndrome, a product of a previous generation in a politically correct world and a woman in a men's club. She was hardly the stain on the game that people make her out to be, particularly in light of the villianous and excrable cast of characters her ignorant remarks allegedly catapult her ahead of.

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  • ol' aches and pains
    replied
    Originally posted by oscargamblesfro View Post
    by worst, i mean conduct that harmed the integrity of the game, worst lack of character, outrageous treatment of players and rules, etc...i.e. who is the worst person to own a major league franchise?
    By those criteria, which was what the original poster intended four years ago, my vote goes to Marge Schott. An admirer of Adolf Hitler, she referred to the Red's African American players as her "Million-Dollar N-----s". If she were a character in a book or a movie, you'd say she was too over the top to be believable. You couldn't make up somebody that ignorant.

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  • JBSptfn
    replied
    Worst owners

    Quote "It was indeed terrible what Irsay did to Baltimore but you got an NFL franchise back a few years later. Brooklyn never got and never will get its franchise back". Quote

    I agree about Brooklyn, although(and I know that it is a baseball board) Irsay isn't as much of a villain as people make him out to be. He only got the Colts because Carroll Rosenbloom tried unsuccessfully to get a new stadium built in Baltimore. He didn't like that junkyard known as Memorial Stadium, which was obsolete from the moment that it was built from what I heard. So, instead of moving the team, he traded franchises with Irsay, taking over the Rams while Irsay got the Colts. The blame for the Colt departure should be placed on the City of Baltimore for not building an appropriate facility. Irsay gave them 12 years to get one. That was more then enough time.

    Meanwhile, back to baseball. Here are the owners that I think were/are the worst:

    1. Charlie Finley: He lied when he bought the Athletics, from what I heard, saying that he would never move the team, then he was trying to move it a few years later. Also, he was the one who kicked Mike Andrews off the team during the 73 World Series after he made a few errors. He was vilified after he did that, and, Bowie Kuhn made him reinstate Andrews.

    2. The McClatchy-Nutting group in Pittsburgh: I know that McClatchy had a hand in the building of PNC Park, but, because of him and the Nuttings, they haven't been able to fill it with a good team. They have had ineffective GM's during their ownership who draft who they can sign and not the best available player in the Amateur Draft. They also have signed real "winners" in recent years, like Derek "Operation Shutdown" Bell and Raul Mondesi. I think that Steinbrenner questioned McClatchy's ownership when he bought the team because he didn't think he was wealthy enough or something like that.

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  • Victory Faust
    replied
    Tom Monaghan, owner of Domino's Pizza and the Detroit Tigers from 1984-1993 deserves some consideration.

    He bought the team right as the Tigers were primed to win the World Series, with a roster full of bright young stars. Then he refused to pay Lance Parrish, Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris decent money, and they all walked even though all but Morris had indicated they wanted to stay here. Parrish all but begged to stay, and Gibby was a hometown boy who was criticized by the owner because he didn't shave every day (!)

    Monaghan made many other idiotic business decisions, including hiring Bo Schembechler as team president -- a man who had never worked a day in baseball. But the team owner was a University of Michigan football fan, so he hired Bo to run the baseball team, with, as one might expect, disasterous results.

    Within five years of walking into a world championship, Monaghan had destroyed the Tigers. They were the worst team in baseball in 1989, and never fully recovered until the mid-2000s. He has to be in the top ten worst owners ever, IMO.

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  • Chadwick
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    Have you read any of Ban Johnson's baseball coverage? If so, what parts of the job did he do well? Did Johnson ever say anything to reveal whether he might have been content with a career as baseball editor? It seems to misfit BanJ as we know him.

    In those days many writers got involved in baseball club or league management including major league owners Horace Fogel (phillies) and Charles Murphy (cubs). By the way wikipedia places Murphy at the Cincinnati Enquirer and Times-Star. He "joined the New York Giants front office in 1905" --maybe a Brush connection?
    I don't think Johnson becoming a league executive or even abandoning sportswriting a bad move. What I find poor form on Brush's part is that he maneuvered to get Johnson the job specifically to kill public criticism of his shady/stingy moves. Johnson was a vociferous critic of Brush's management of the team and Brush pulled strings to get Johnson out of Cincinnati for precisely that reason. The quality of Johnson's reporting and/or management talents were immaterial to that point (though I'd certainly be interested to learn more about his journalistic career.)

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