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  • #91
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post

    Walter O'Malley enjoyed the most loyal fans in the game. I do not see baseball as a bakery. There is normally a special bond between a baseball team owner and his fans. Under normal circumstances, the owner owes his wealth to his fans. They are his bread and butter, put the meat on his table, pay for his kids' education and his parents health care. The fans pay his players' salaries, his ballpark's maintenance, and all his park vendors, from the concessions to the parking.

    It is the fan's who pay for it all. And from the chart above, I don't see the argument for leaving. Walter was a very lucky man to have such fans. Not all his fans were rich. Most were blue collar working stiffs. And many ended up being black. And despite the apartheid social climate outside Ebbets Field, there was harmony, and a good sportsmanship feeling inside its walls.

    Walter was dazzled by the Milwaukee move. Despite his being supported by his fan base, he wanted more. More fans, bigger, better ballpark, more wealth.

    He was like the guy who married his pretty high-school girlfriend, and after a successful 10-year marriage, gets his head turned by a gorgeous, rich woman, and dumps the loyal partner who stood by him in the lean years, and goes for the 'greener pastures'.

    I will never have any sympathy for the scumbag that they just had the horrible taste to honor with the Hall of Fame. Sorry all of you guys calling it a 'business decision'. Baseball should be about more than the money. And for those who treat it that way, honoring them with the Hall of Fame is an ongoing ugly disgrace. But then again, the game of baseball has seldom but about doing the right thing.
    Agree on all points, and those of Matha.

    Sorry Ed, but none of your points are convincing.

    Simply put, Walter O'Malley was a greedy pig.

    May he continue to rot in his grave.
    Let's Go Mets!
    New York Mets fan since 1962

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
      Here are some of the Brooklyn attendance numbers, according to Total Baseball.

      1.
      For a boro with 3 million people (and probably the same number on Long Island) and the supposedly most rabid fans in baseball, these attendance figures stink. Ebbets Fiekl should have been averaging about 25,000 per game. If the fans were coming out, the attendance figures should have stayed at 1947 levels. The fact that Ebbets Field usually had less then half capacity says volumes about the the condition of the park and the the difficulty of reaching it. From 1953 onward, especially, after the Braves move, the attendance stunk, especially for a team that won three pennants.

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
        For a boro with 3 million people (and probably the same number on Long Island) and the supposedly most rabid fans in baseball, these attendance figures stink. Ebbets Fiekl should have been averaging about 25,000 per game. If the fans were coming out, the attendance figures should have stayed at 1947 levels. The fact that Ebbets Field usually had less then half capacity says volumes about the the condition of the park and the the difficulty of reaching it. From 1953 onward, especially, after the Braves move, the attendance stunk, especially for a team that won three pennants.
        And what about the rest of the NL?

        Also there are lots of things about baseball in the 50's that you simply don't and can't comprehend.

        Brooklyn played only about 2 night games a week, the Tuesday night game of a mid week series, the Wednesday and Thursday games were afternoon games..pretty hard to get working people to the ballpark eh...the Friday game of a weekend series was a night game...every Saturday was Ladies Day...all women were allowed into the ballpark for a 50¢ service charge and not counted in attendance...thousands of local kids in various cub scout packs, church organizations and others attended the Saturday games as part of the Knothole game promotion...not counted in paid attendance...every Sunday was a one admission double header or just about every Sunday cutting down no doubt on your attempt to come up with an average attendance because you probably divided by 77 (for the 77 home games) when you were lucky, since rain outs were made up as single admission double headers unlike today, if a team in the 1950's had more than 65 or so openings...that would certainly change the attendance figures don't you think.

        And all this was achieved with the Dodgers rolling in a pretty penny from Channel 9 which televised every home game (and 2/3 of the road games with an additional 11 road games televised by the Giants) with the Dodgers controlling the pre game show (Happy Felton's Knothole Gang before every home game) and the post game (Happy Felton's Talk to the Stars)....the Dodgers also controlled the pre game radio show (Warm Up time with Marty Glickman, Ward Wilson and Gussie Moran in the later years that I remember) plus had a large radio network throughout New York State.

        Ebbets Field was well served by public transportation but admitedly not by automobiles and not particularly close to the LIRR where many Dodger fans took refuge as the 50's went on. It was far easier to watch the game on television than to get home from work at 6:30 sit down and eat dinner and then try to get from home to the ballpark. When these same people were living in Brooklyn, no problem. They could go home, eat dinner, get on the subway or the trolley and make Ebbets Field in time for the first pitch at 8:00 PM...it is this that made the Shea Stadium future location the ideal spot for the ball park. That of course is very easy to see in 20/20 hindsight of course. I don't know how well you and the others here who are joining in the discussion know New York City but you can look at a map and see just how ideal the Shea Stadium location was.

        Can you imagine the crowds that would have attended during the 1964 and 1965 World's Fair at Flushing Meadow with the championship Dodgers playing there!

        Sorry Ed...in 1950 terms, the Dodgers were reeking in plenty of money and drawing very well indeed. Every thing I can see about this tells me Atlantic/Flatbush was a smoke screen...he had something going on and as a lawyer, an officer of the courts,. knew what New York's eminent domain laws said.

        And it is very clear now that at the end of 1956, on the Dodgers return to the USA from their trip to Japan after the World Series, the plane stopped over in Los Angeles so he could be helicoptered over Chavez Ravine and he told the LA city officials (doggone, history might really have been different if that helicopter had crashed) not to worry, he was coming but he would have to play out the 1957 season in Brooklyn while he made all the arrangements, got the Giants owner to change his plans to move to Minneapolis, secured the LA PCL franchise from Phil Wrigley in exchange for the Ft. Worth AA franchise, bought a plane...all this should have made clear his true intentions. Yet he lied and lied to the people of Brookyn how he was making every effort to stay; all the better to protect his gate and give his fans false hope but he was gone. For these lies alone, he is disqualified from the Hall of Fame on moral issues. He should have had the you know whats to tell the people of Brooklyn he was gone but he couldn't pass up the last dimes he could squeeze from them, now could he. Is that the mark of a gentleman? or a lying scoundrel? Try to defend that you O'Malley lovers.

        And of course what happened when he got to LA? He took the games off free television, figuring pay tv was just around the corner. He was wrong of course but deprived millions of his new fans the opportunity to see his team. He played in a ridiculous ballpark, the LA Coliseum which made baseball a travesty instead of the baseball field he owned namely Wrigley Field which he magnanimously agreed to give to the city of Los Angeles in exchange for the handout at Chavez Ravine. And of course when O'Malley Stadium opened in 1962, there were no water fountains. This is a fact you can easily check out; all the better to force his fans to buy soda or beer with their O'Malley dogs. Was this the sign of a gentleman or a true sportsman? Or of a greedy lawyer turned foreclosure banker (his original job with Brooklyn Trust). A heartless piece of slime if you ask me.

        Ed, unfortunately you spend a lot of time defending the theft of the Brooklyn franchise from its ancestral home from a distance with little actual knowledge of what baseball meant to communities in the 50's and no knowledge of NYC and remember that while not a founding member of the National League, Brooklyn was a member of the NL from 1890 onward. If the Brooklyn franchise were failing or not making more money than any other team in the NL, there might be some justification for the move. As it was, it was not in the best interests of baseball as it showed that fan support meant nothing if more dollars were at stake. Baseball on the West Coast? Of course...there were plenty of failing franchises available or perhaps expansion teams. It's really too bad the PCL never went ahead with its plans to be a 3rd major league. None of this garbage then would have ever happened.

        Mr. Rickey would never have done this...99% of the other owners would never have done this. Why wasn't Criosley in Cincinnati looking to get out; after all he was playing in an old ball park and making 1/2 the money at best O'Malley was making? What about Carpenter in Philadelphia? Same thing. Or Galbraith in Pittsburgh? or Gussie Busch in St. Louis? or even Phil Wrigley in Chicago? All of them were playing in old ballparks and not making nearly the money O'Malley was making in Brooklyn. You dispute those facts too. But all of those had loyalty to their fans and theri cities.

        As far as the issue of Ebbets Field, I wouldn't argue with anybody it could have survived till today. But it must be noted, both Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, ballparks every bit as old and antiquated as Ebbets Field, neither of which in suburban settings with loads of parking, are still going strong today and a good part of the charm of the Cubs and Red Sox. And as far as the neighborhood bit is concerned, well there is the chicken and egg syndrome. Part of the demise of the neighborhood (and as with many neighborhoods in Brooklyn is on the verge of a renaissance in the same way as Williamsburgh) was caused by the construction of the apartment houses Mr. O'Malley sold the land (making a profit) where Ebbets Field stood. And never offering to exchange it to the city for the land he claimed he so desperately wanted to build a ballpark in Brooklyn. That is a fact that cannot be denied.

        Yes in the short term it might have been a good business decision but in the long run it helped destroy the concept of baseball being a sport and yes, the timing is there, it was one of the factors in the surge of popularity of the New York Football Giants who were just a blip on the horizon until 1958 when many of the displaced Brooklyn fans became big Giant fans. And this was one of the big pushes that helped make the NFL America's national pastime because New York is the media capital of the world and the media adopted the Giants as the blue collar team for New Yorkers. There clearly were other forces involved but anybody familiar with history can easily see this was a big contributing factor to it. For the good of baseball, it behooved the Commissioner to step in and protect the interests of the Brooklyn fans while making other arrangements for the West Coast. At the very least, he should have ordered O'Malley to leave the name and traditions in Brooklyn so that when the inevitable expansion came, the Brooklyn Dodgers could have been born again the same way the Cleveland Browns were. I know, Ed, you're from Cleveland and claim it's not the same thing but most people from Cleveland I talk to simply feel there was a short hiatus of the Cleveland Browns franchise and the current Cleveland Brown franchise has the legacy of Paul Brown, Jim Brown and all the rest. Certainly you won't see them honored at a Baltimore Ravens old timers day. And this is thanks to the Commissioner of the NFL having the courage to do the right thing. A far cry from Mr. Ford C. Frick and the dumb President of the National League Warren Giles who upon announcing in June 1957 that the National League had voted to allow the theft of the franchise along with the transfer of the Giants to San Francisco, was asked how the NL could not have a team in New York. And this bird brain said, "Who needs New York?" A brilliant statement, don't you think what with the national media located in New York.

        But I digress. They were villains and part of this travesty but the most tragic day in Brooklyn baseball history, however, occurred on that dark day late in the 1930's or early in the 1940's when the Brooklyn Trust Company, which owned a good deal of equity in the Dodgers and had several loans outstanding, had to send one of its young lawyers to sit in to protect their investment. It narrowed down to a choice of 2. Walter O'Malley or Bill Shea. Somehow if on that day Bill Shea had been chosen, I assure you the Dodgers would still be in New York today, owned by Fred and Jeff Wilpon getting read to open their state of the art ballpark at Citi Field. And worth much more than the LA National League team is today.

        History certainly dealt Brooklyn a low blow the day this scoundrel walked into the Dodgers offices and started down the road to hell.
        Last edited by MATHA531; 11-20-2008, 06:19 AM.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by MATHA531 View Post
          And it is very clear now that at the end of 1956, on the Dodgers return to the USA from their trip to Japan after the World Series, the plane stopped over in Los Angeles so he could be helicoptered over Chavez Ravine and he told the LA city officials (doggone, history might really have been different if that helicopter had crashed) not to worry, he was coming but he would have to play out the 1957 season in Brooklyn while he made all the arrangements, got the Giants owner to change his plans to move to Minneapolis, purchased the LA PCL franchise from Phil Wrigley, bought a plane...all this should have made clear his true intentions.
          The man truly is in heaven, as Walter O' surveys his gold mine.
          Attached Files
          Let's Go Mets!
          New York Mets fan since 1962

          Comment


          • #95
            MATHA,

            I may have been a little harsh in my previous post; that's just my writing style and perhaps a kneejerk from having this discussion so many times with Dodger fans speaking from their hearts and not their heads.

            But, please, don't discount the intelligence and familiarity with the issues many of us on BBF have. You speak as if there can be no other legit interpretation of the proceedings. I may be confrontational, but I leave room for for conflicting conclusions drawn from reason.

            To say that others simply don't know because they didn't live through the situations is a straw man; it's not sufficient reasoning for making educated determinations of motive and drawing informed conclusions of historical events in general, so it shouldn't hold much weight here either.

            I'm aware of many of the attendance nuances (loopholes) you mentioned, as I would assume Ed is. I am not even 30, but I've lived my entire life in NYC and devoted much time to the study of the history of baseball, and this situation in specific. O'Malley was certainly no saint, and his motives are open to question, but it is not the open-and-shut case you claim it to be, IMO.

            O'Malley, if you believe anything he said at all, was concerned about the future of the franchise. Virtually all your statements relating to Dodgers organization at the time could be applied to the U.S. auto industry at the time as well. We've seen how that has worked out.

            I have plenty of beefs with O'Malley, but much of what he did was a business decision. Perhaps it was shortsighted. And, certainly, it was partially fueled by his feud with Moses. But to act as if his intention was to stab Brooklyn fans in the back, for its own sake, is to discount the complexity of the situation. You're obviously smarter than that.

            It's not your take that puts me off, it's the over the top conviction with which you present it.

            You have a soft spot for the Dodgers, that's cool. I'll admit my bias as well; I have a perpetual axe to grind against Robert Moses. But there is plenty of wiggle room within the spectrum of reason and informed opinion. That's all I truly ask that you grant.
            Last edited by digglahhh; 11-20-2008, 06:48 PM.
            THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

            In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by digglahhh View Post
              MATHA,

              I may have been a little harsh in my previous post; that's just my writing style and perhaps a kneejerk from having this discussion so many times with Dodger fans speaking from their hearts and not their heads.

              But, please, don't discount the intelligence and familiarity with the issues many of us on BBF have. You speak as if there can be no other legit interpretation of the proceedings. I may be confrontational, but I leave room for for conflicting conclusions drawn from reason.

              To say that others simply don't know because they didn't live through the situations is a straw man; it's not sufficient reasoning for making educated determinations of motive and drawing informed conclusions of historical events in general, so it shouldn't hold much weight here either.

              I'm aware of many of the attendance nuances (loopholes) you mentioned, as I would assume Ed is. I am not even 30, but I've lived my entire life in NYC and devoted much time to the study of the history of baseball, and this situation in specific. O'Malley was certainly no saint, and his motives are open to question, but it is not the open-and-shut case you claim it to be, IMO.

              O'Malley, if you believe anything he said at all, was concerned about the future of the franchise. Virtually all your statements relating to Dodgers organization at the time could be applied to the U.S. auto industry at the time as well. We've seen how that has worked out.

              I have plenty of beefs with O'Malley, but much of what he did was a business decision. Perhaps it was shortsighted. And, certainly, it was partially fueled by his feud with Moses. But to act as if his intention was to stab Brooklyn fans in the back, for its own sake, is to discount the complexity of the situation. You're obviously smarter than that.

              It's not your take that puts me off, it's the over the top conviction with which you present it.

              You have a soft spot for the Dodgers, that's cool. I'll admit my bias as well; I have a perpetual axe to grind against Robert Moses. But there is plenty of wiggle room within the spectrum of reason and informed opinion. That's all I truly ask that you grant.
              There's not too much wiggle room here. Walter O'Malley was completely responsible for the Dodgers' leaving. He was the first of the "suits" to own a ballclub; prior to him you had sportsmen and baseball men. O'Malley was the first guy who seriously set about wringing every last cent out of baseball, to the exclusion of every other priority - including the long term good of the game.

              He was the forerunner of the money-grubbing owners and mercenary ballplayers of today. Whenever anyone feels a lack of enthusiasm for rooting for a team because they realize the team doesn't care about them...

              ...it must be remembered that O'Malley is basically the guy that introduced that cynicism into baseball.
              Last edited by Mongoose; 11-21-2008, 09:37 PM.


              "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by digglahhh View Post
                MATHA,

                I may have been a little harsh in my previous post; that's just my writing style and perhaps a kneejerk from having this discussion so many times with Dodger fans speaking from their hearts and not their heads.

                But, please, don't discount the intelligence and familiarity with the issues many of us on BBF have. You speak as if there can be no other legit interpretation of the proceedings. I may be confrontational, but I leave room for for conflicting conclusions drawn from reason.

                To say that others simply don't know because they didn't live through the situations is a straw man; it's not sufficient reasoning for making educated determinations of motive and drawing informed conclusions of historical events in general, so it shouldn't hold much weight here either.

                I'm aware of many of the attendance nuances (loopholes) you mentioned, as I would assume Ed is. I am not even 30, but I've lived my entire life in NYC and devoted much time to the study of the history of baseball, and this situation in specific. O'Malley was certainly no saint, and his motives are open to question, but it is not the open-and-shut case you claim it to be, IMO.

                O'Malley, if you believe anything he said at all, was concerned about the future of the franchise. Virtually all your statements relating to Dodgers organization at the time could be applied to the U.S. auto industry at the time as well. We've seen how that has worked out.

                I have plenty of beefs with O'Malley, but much of what he did was a business decision. Perhaps it was shortsighted. And, certainly, it was partially fueled by his feud with Moses. But to act as if his intention was to stab Brooklyn fans in the back, for its own sake, is to discount the complexity of the situation. You're obviously smarter than that.

                It's not your take that puts me off, it's the over the top conviction with which you present it.

                You have a soft spot for the Dodgers, that's cool. I'll admit my bias as well; I have a perpetual axe to grind against Robert Moses. But there is plenty of wiggle room within the spectrum of reason and informed opinion. That's all I truly ask that you grant.
                Trust me, I respect your opinion and it is evident you have made a study of this. But the fact remains, most have not. They believe what they read or see on television or are unable to grasp certain things.

                1. I have heard a popular talk show host in New York, I won't tell you his name but his initials are CR, open up a record book and say to his audience, "What is so magical about the Brooklyn Dodgers. Look at this, they were only drawing 1,000,000 and more." Of course he had no clue about the attendance figures and the fact 1,000,000 in paid attendance in that day and age was considered very good. And the fall in attendance from 1947 to 1956 was mirrored by every other major league team as throughout the country the central cities were being deserted in favor of the good life in the suburbs and the two car garage.

                2. Most people don't have a clue about what baseball meant to us growing up in Brooklyn as well as our parents and grandparents. It was the bond the cemented generations and I understand it may sound very strange today but that was then and this is now.

                3. Recently we have been treated by a blitz from the Los Angeles National League team trying to deflect the blame from O'Malley to Bob Moses. I have always contended, and continue to do so, that while Bob Moses for the most part had a lot to answer for when he met his maker, on this issue he was absolutely right. Atlantic/Flatbush was not the right location for a 60,000 seat ballpark. Nor did he have the legal right, under New York eminent domain laws, to seize the land or buy the land or whatever from the Pennsylvania Railroad. Some say well Moses was all powerful and could do whatever he wanted. Well, as noted, it was clearly against the law. Don't you think there would have been taxpayer suits against this? Take a look at what's happening right now over the same land which today is public property and eminent domain is not an issue. Moses had it right on this issue. History shows the best location for the new Dodger ballpart was the future location of Shea Stadium in every which way. If you disagree with this, please explain what I'm missing.

                4. It also cannot be disputed that Brooklyn was the biggest money maker in the National League even in 1957.

                5. As an ardent anti Bob Moses person, I'm sure you read the "Power Broker." I believe there is only one mention of the Brooklyn Dodger situation in that book which was well over 700 pages long.

                5. Ed gave an average attendance and % of the filled ballpart in his post. I would love to know what divisor he used to represent the number of openings. He and I have had ongoing discussions on this through the years.

                The vast majority of people today, have been led to believe that Walter O'Malley was on the verge of bankruptcy in a failing Brooklyn market and that Robert Moses refused to assist him by holding back on land that wasn't being used for anything. Therefore O'Malley had no choice but to move. (The recent ";documentary" on HBO tries to drive home this point and helped him to be elected to the Hall of Fame. To people who just take some time to try to examine all the facts and try to understand baseball and indeed America in the mid 1950's were completely different than today, would understand at the very least tha he was the one primarily responsible for this tragedy and that there is no way he should be in the Hall of Fame.

                Regards to you and I respect the study you have done of this but I still believe that while you can come up with a reasonable intelligent argument to make that there was a shared responsibility for this and what's the big deal, it's 51 years since it happened. But you really can't divorce the issues that people who lived through it felt then and continue to feel now.

                Regards,

                Matha
                Last edited by MATHA531; 11-20-2008, 07:58 PM.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Wayne Huzienga, formmer owner of the Florida Marlins. Bought the Marlins only because he could as a rich guy who wanted anotehr toy to play with. Felt he could 'buy' a chanpionship. Did so in 1997.

                  Once he did he lost all interest in the team. Jacked up ticket prices; parking prices, concession prices were left. Rationalized it by saying he had to pay the high-priced players he brought into 'buy' his championship.

                  Got his championship, began selling'trading off his high priced players, then sold the team at a significant profit to himself. The fans were left with the high prices for tickets, parking, and concessions...and a awful on field product. Just gouged the fans.

                  Say what you want about George Steinbrenner, but he's had the Yankees since 1973. He's stuck in there. He turns the profits back into the team.

                  Huzienga, nothing more than a pitiful footnote in the game's history.

                  Yankees Fan Since 1957

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Whoever the genius was that sold Babe Ruth.
                    “I see great things in baseball.”
                    Walt Whitman

                    Comment


                    • baseball bards

                      Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
                      The Phillies had the only two owners barred from the game:

                      William Cox and Horace Fogel
                      Brian,
                      What does "barred from the game" mean?
                      I don't know precisely so I will defer and use "bard".

                      Elsewhere you explained that John Davidson was forced out after 1889. That sounds like a bard.

                      George Steinbrenner was bard twice,
                      - 1974 Nov 27 for two years (the convicted felon thing, Billy Martin didn't make it up!)
                      - 1990 Jul 30 for life (the Howard Spira hire).

                      Marge Schott was bard twice.
                      re her "million dollar *******", etc
                      >>
                      On February 3, 1993, she was fined $25,000 and banned from day-to-day operations of the Reds for the 1993 season.
                      <<

                      re Hitler and Japs, etc
                      >>
                      On May 5, 1996, Schott once again made statements favorable towards Adolf Hitler, whom she believed "was good in the beginning, but went too far." In response, Major League Baseball again banned Schott from day-to-day operations through 1998. Later in the month, Schott was quoted in Sports Illustrated as speaking in a "cartoonish Japanese accent" while describing her meeting with the prime minister of Japan.
                      <<

                      with a third perhaps on the way
                      >>
                      On April 20, 1999, Schott agreed to sell her controlling interest in the Reds for $67 million to a group led by Cincinnati businessman Carl Lindner. At the time she was facing a third suspension from Major League Baseball, failing health and an expiring ownership agreement with her limited partners, who planned to oust her.
                      <<

                      Sources:
                      biographical articles at Wikipedia
                      - Marge Schott, three direct quotations
                      - George Steinbrenner, all details

                      Comment


                      • damage is damage is damage? Not!

                        In my own time as an adult fan, George Steinbrenner re his second "ban" and Marge Schott re her first probably "damaged" "Baseball" more than any other owners. (I believe that commonly so-called bans cover suspensions and expulsions. That is what I mean here.)

                        Perhaps they damaged Baseball more than any owners during the preceding two to six generations, but only because their predecessors did not enjoy the same opportunities for damage. Marge Schott, to extend her example, was able to damage Baseball "a lot" rather than "a little" partly because of the norms in baseball news reporting during her time. Two or six generations earlier the baseball news industry would have protected Baseball from some potential damage in a Schott ownership, as it protected Baseball from some potential damage in the worst behavior of its players.

                        --
                        For recent local damage, consider
                        - Jeff Loria (in two cities?)
                        - Blockbuster Huizenga
                        - Peter Angelos (later years in one city)

                        From long ago,
                        - Andrew Freedman (who can top that?)

                        Well, some league presidents or commissioners may be able to top that! Presumably the league and Baseball officers have some broader power or influence, so they are capable of greater damage under some conditions.

                        --
                        Some owners have caused great local damage by winning political campaigns for egregious high public contribution$ to new ballparks. Such damage may be good for Baseball (probably it is, in most cases), so the "bad" owner is merely a "good" player in a "bad" game played by Baseball. In other words, those owners have caused damage precisely because they have been good owners in Baseball's terms.
                        Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-08-2009, 07:59 AM.

                        Comment


                        • I know he's not on the same level as O'Malley, but I'd like to give special mention to Fred Wilpon.

                          The period in which he emerged as the Mets principal owner, was marked by his philosophy being imposed on the team...

                          Gone were all the "colorful" players who'd won it all in 86. Guys like Dykstra, McDowell, Mitchell, etc. were replaced by a bunch of "safe" veterans. The end result was the famous "Worst Team Money Could Buy". Players with any personality continue to be shipped out to this day - for example: Lastings Milledge wound up with a roughly comparable year to Ryan Church and his potential upside is much higher... Plus he was 23 and locked into a low salary for years to come. But Milledge made the mistake of showing enthusiasm and recording a rap video, so he was soon gone.

                          Petty players with Wilpon's ear instigate disastrous personnel decisions like the Kazmir trade.

                          For the most part, Wilpon's Mets have been a parade of colorless mercenary veterans. Wilpon's era has made being a Mets fan a trying experience.

                          And there's his greed: Wilpon was not satisfied with paid attendance of 4 million fans a year... There weren't enough luxury boxes and too many seats for the peasants; he had to agitate for a new stadium that solved these "problems". Citi Field now has many more luxury boxes, but 15,000 fewer seats. The goal was to extort more fans into buying season tickets. And what if they don't have $3000 up front to lay down for a pair? Too bad!

                          The problem is the whole move to exclude the public is largely on the public's coin.

                          And because Wilpon has no respect for his own franchise's history and accomplishments, it was built as a supposed homage to Ebbets Field!

                          As I stated in another thread, the Brooklyn stuff seems monumentally insincere because Citi Field is an inversion of what the old Ebbets Field stood for. My father and uncle who remembered it well described the place as homespun, working class and rambunctious.

                          Citi Field was built to exclude the fans who would have been the old Ebbets Field fan base and who didn't have to be excluded... and Citi Field will do this while wearing an Ebbets Field costume.

                          Nice.

                          The Mets were always considered New York's "People's Team" unlike the Yankees. At this point the only real difference is that the Mets don't win as much.

                          So I humbly move to nominate Wilpon for (dis)honorable mention.


                          "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                          Comment


                          • OK. I have something I need to get off my chest here. I would like to address my comments to all of the people who continue to let Walter O'Malley off the hook for moving the Dodgers away from Brooklyn, and referring to it as a 'business decision'.

                            That phrase gives me a problem. A big problem. In fact, a very HUGE problem.

                            Some of you guys, and when I refer to you that way, know that I respect you. Some of you, like digglahhh, who I have respected the hell out of for years, are obviously very intelligent people. Your baseball opinions prove that, beyond any dispute.

                            But in this case, you have so missed what baseball is about that I'm-frankly-shocked. If baseball was about money, or business, none of us would be here, and baseball-fever couldn't possibly exist. Baseball has spent its long history trying to convince us that its not just about business, attendance, money and profit. It needs us to believe that it loves us, wants to please us, make us happy, and cares about us. (Wink).:blush:

                            We are all here for a passion for the game. Does anyone realize that more books have been published about baseball than football, basketball, boxing, golf, and all other sports combined? Surprising but true!

                            Baseball has a way of capturing its fans, and holding them, despite the scourges of gambling, Color Ban, reserve clause, steroids, fixing, cheating, enlivening the balls, and assorted other BS. And that's a lot of loyalty!

                            A non-baseball man, (a suit, as Mongoose put it), came into the game as a millionaire, got A LOT richer, and then, even though getting more filthy rich, killed his goose that was laying him golden eggs, and moved elsewhere, just to spoon with a much larger goose, who laid him much bigger golden eggs.

                            Before O'Malley, baseball had been run by family dynasties, for the most part. Most of them were baseball men. Men with a insatiable passion for the game. Some, like Bob Quinn, invested everything they had and left with nothing but their passion.

                            O'Malley was getting filthy rich in Brooklyn. He had options to move to the Shea location and get richer. The man had good, solid 'business decisions' that could have stayed in Queens.

                            Baseball is not about 'business decisions'. If it were, we'd not fight so hard here on Fever. We fight out of our passion, our love for baseball.

                            An owner's relationship with his fan base does indeed include many business decisions. But so does every marriage. Does that mean that a marriage is based on those 'economic decisions'? I sure hope not and I know none of you O'Malley apologists believe that either.

                            Just because a baseball owner must make many business decisions, how can anyone possibly think that the decision to move a team away from its roots should be based on mostly the economics.

                            That is the same thing as saying that a divorce should be based mainly on 'business decisions'. What bad names would we call a man who left his wife because he could do better with a rich woman? Wouldn't we all here call him some pretty vile names? Wouldn't that be a betrayal of a trust that was supposed to be sacred and transcend one's finances?

                            If my wife ran up my credit card on me, I wouldn't divorce her. I'd just take the card away.

                            Baseball has spent its entire history trying to cultivate its fan base. No owner worth a damn has had the luxury of ignoring his fans. Most treat them well, try to convince us that his team is OUR TEAM. Cultivate brand loyalty.

                            Walter O'Malley was indeed an outsider who put the dollar above his team, his fans, and his honor. To suggest that he got obsessed with his personal feud with Robert Moses is not clever. Yes, Moses was a real prick and a ML idiot who was an obstacle. But it wasn't Moses who decided to screw every fan in Brooklyn. He was a problem, but he wasn't insurmountable.

                            O'Malley left town because he let himself get dazzled by the Milwaukee move, and had dollar signs in his eyes.

                            Was it in the best interests of baseball for a team to be planted in LA? Yes. It was. But a good, loyal, producing franchise like Brooklyn didn't need to be sacrificed on the altar of commerce.

                            O'Malley could have went West and started from scratch. That would have been in the best interests of baseball.

                            There was plenty of sin to go around. Commissioner Frick, Horace Stoneham, the other baseball owners who had to approve the move, the LA officials.

                            The LA officials were like the sultry seductress who lures a man away from his wife, out of pure self-interest. If they had had any integrity, they should have petitioned to have a new, expansion team. They didn't need O'Malley.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-21-2008, 10:33 AM.

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                            • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                              I know he's not on the same level as O'Malley, but I'd like to give special mention to Fred Wilpon.

                              The period in which he emerged as the Mets principal owner, was marked by his philosophy being imposed on the team...

                              Gone were all the "colorful" players who'd won it all in 86. Guys like Dykstra, McDowell, Mitchell, etc. were replaced by a bunch of "safe" veterans. The end result was the famous "Worst Team Money Could Buy". Players with any personality continue to be shipped out to this day - for example: Lastings Milledge wound up with a roughly comparable year to Ryan Church and his potential upside is much higher... Plus he was 23 and locked into a low salary for years to come. But Milledge made the mistake of showing enthusiasm and recording a rap video, so he was soon gone.

                              Petty players with Wilpon's ear instigate disastrous personnel decisions like the Kazmir trade.

                              For the most part, Wilpon's Mets have been a parade of colorless mercenary veterans. Wilpon's era has made being a Mets fan a trying experience.

                              And there's his greed: Wilpon was not satisfied with paid attendance of 4 million fans a year... There weren't enough luxury boxes and too many seats for the peasants; he had to agitate for a new stadium that solved these "problems". Citi Field now has many more luxury boxes, but 15,000 fewer seats. The goal was to extort more fans into buying season tickets. And what if they don't have $3000 up front to lay down for a pair? Too bad!

                              The problem is the whole move to exclude the public is largely on the public's coin.

                              And because Wilpon has no respect for his own franchise's history and accomplishments, it was built as a supposed homage to Ebbets Field!

                              As I stated in another thread, the Brooklyn stuff seems monumentally insincere because Citi Field is an inversion of what the old Ebbets Field stood for. My father and uncle who remembered it well described the place as homespun, working class and rambunctious.

                              Citi Field was built to exclude the fans who would have been the old Ebbets Field fan base and who didn't have to be excluded... and Citi Field will do this while wearing an Ebbets Field costume.

                              Nice.

                              The Mets were always considered New York's "People's Team" unlike the Yankees. At this point the only real difference is that the Mets don't win as much.

                              So I humbly move to nominate Wilpon for (dis)honorable mention.
                              Are you seriously trying to tell us the Mets should not be leaving Shea Stadium? Whetehr rightly or wrongly, Wilpon wanted to model the new ballpark after Ebbets Field what with its small cozy confines. To achieve that, smaller is better. Of course somebody has to pay. Hopefully the deal with Citigroup will not fall aprt because of the apprent problems the bank is having. I don't think greed played in here.

                              The Mets have been a successful team recently. I know they haven't won the whole kit and kaboodle (sp) but that's just as much a matter of luck. They have built a team capable of winning which is all you can do and leave the rest to the baseball gods. The Scott Kazmir trade certainly doesn't look good but it was done on the advice of some of the baseball people; especially Rick Peterson. Whether Kazmir will ever become a truly dominant pitcher, well the jury is still out on that. It was a poor trade but it wasn't done for reasons of greed. It was simply a wrong baseball decision.

                              They've had some "characters" the last few years. Certianly Pedro Martinez. Jose Reyes is a "character" and is condemned for that.

                              I think to a degree Wilpon faced many of the same problems the current owners of the Los Angeles National League baseball team does...namely he was very leveraged because while rich in terms of most of us, he wasn't overly rich and didn't have the ability to print money the Yankees acquired. But once he got his own network, the value of the franchise has skyrocketed and he and osn Jeff have allowed Omar Minaya, for better or for worse (I think for the most part better but there are those who might disagree a tad) make the baseball decisions.

                              They must be doing something right as Forbes rates them the third most valuable franchise in the major leagues behind only the Yankees and the Red Sox.

                              Unfortunately, new stadiums come with price tags. But the days of being able to walk up to the window on game day and buy a general admission ticket for $1.50 as I did when I was a kid and sit in the upper level behind home plate have long since ended and ended long before Wilpon acquired sole control of the team.

                              Is he the greatest owner? No. Is he one of the worst? I don't think anybody can fairly say that.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by MATHA531 View Post
                                Are you seriously trying to tell us the Mets should not be leaving Shea Stadium? Whetehr rightly or wrongly, Wilpon wanted to model the new ballpark after Ebbets Field what with its small cozy confines. To achieve that, smaller is better. Of course somebody has to pay. Hopefully the deal with Citigroup will not fall aprt because of the apprent problems the bank is having. I don't think greed played in here.

                                The Mets have been a successful team recently. I know they haven't won the whole kit and kaboodle (sp) but that's just as much a matter of luck. They have built a team capable of winning which is all you can do and leave the rest to the baseball gods. The Scott Kazmir trade certainly doesn't look good but it was done on the advice of some of the baseball people; especially Rick Peterson. Whether Kazmir will ever become a truly dominant pitcher, well the jury is still out on that. It was a poor trade but it wasn't done for reasons of greed. It was simply a wrong baseball decision.

                                They've had some "characters" the last few years. Certianly Pedro Martinez. Jose Reyes is a "character" and is condemned for that.

                                I think to a degree Wilpon faced many of the same problems the current owners of the Los Angeles National League baseball team does...namely he was very leveraged because while rich in terms of most of us, he wasn't overly rich and didn't have the ability to print money the Yankees acquired. But once he got his own network, the value of the franchise has skyrocketed and he and osn Jeff have allowed Omar Minaya, for better or for worse (I think for the most part better but there are those who might disagree a tad) make the baseball decisions.

                                They must be doing something right as Forbes rates them the third most valuable franchise in the major leagues behind only the Yankees and the Red Sox.

                                Unfortunately, new stadiums come with price tags. But the days of being able to walk up to the window on game day and buy a general admission ticket for $1.50 as I did when I was a kid and sit in the upper level behind home plate have long since ended and ended long before Wilpon acquired sole control of the team.

                                Is he the greatest owner? No. Is he one of the worst? I don't think anybody can fairly say that.
                                Matha, I've got lots of respect for you, but... Yeah, I'm telling you the Mets shouldn't have left Shea Stadium. As far as municipal affairs go, all we seem to hear is that the city is broke. Transit fares are set to rise yet again - I can't even count how many times since Bloomberg's election... Much of the tax base is evaporating... There's even talk of turning the East River bridges into toll bridges.

                                In a climate like this, to demolish a perfectly good facility and spend upwards of $1,000,000,000.00 (including "improvements to infrastructure") on a new one is nuts. And make no mistake, one way or another the bulk of this will come out of the public till. I could list all the ways, but it's been documented on other threads and I've got work to do.

                                The main reason for Citi Field was to generate more season tickets, luxury box revenue and franchise value for Fred Wilpon (and a few cronies).

                                Honoring Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers is just a moral fig leaf.

                                Maybe such fiscal shenanigans aren't unique among owners, but given New York's situation they're inexcusable.

                                As far as the product on the field, I stand by what I said. Wilpon is the main culprit for all the anonymous forgettable teams of mercenaries we've had since the 86 team was dismantled.

                                Is Wilpon the worst owner? I never said he was. Is he a bad owner? At best, he keeps the team good enough to draw fans but doesn't seem too fanatical about making them good enough to win it all (I give George credit for really wanting to win). At worst, he's a money-grubbing jerk that feels Mets fans should take a hike if they can't afford season tickets.

                                Yeah, I'd say he's a bad owner.


                                "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

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