Over at ESPN.com, Jim Caple decided to rank Major League Baseball’s owners from 1-30 with a little explanatory blurb. You won’t be shocked to find Frank McCourt at the bottom and Fred Wilpon in the 29th position.
But what about the others? And for that matter, what makes an owner good anyway? Is it just winning? If so, why are the Steinbrenners fourth? Is it about making commitments to star players and exciting the fan base? If so, why are the Rockies’ owners so far down the list?
Personally I think Caple reveals a fairly coherent and at least defensible system by the time he’s all said and done, but there is clearly a lot of subjectivity to it all, as any list ranking this kind of thing must have.
And of course there is nothing more subjective than a fan’s feeling about his or her own team’s owners. For instance, here’s Caple’s blub on the Braves:
13. Liberty Media, Atlanta: CEO Terry McGuirk isn’t exactly Ted Turner. Not that there is anything wrong with that at all.
Says you, Jim. Ted may be unhinged, but dad gummit, the Braves won a World Series when he was in the owner’s box. And broadcast their games all over the damn country, growing the fan base. Even when they lost, the product was a lot of fun, both for intentional and unintentional reasons. I’m assuming that, these days, Turner is walking around the half of Montana that he owns, thinking up crazy schemes that will never see the light of day, but I’d give my right arm for him to be running the Bravos at the moment.
See how that works?
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.