Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that “the rumors and whispers are escalating again” about Royals owner David Glass potentially selling the team.
However, the former Wal-Mart president and CEO put an end to that speculation immediately:
Nonsense. I’ve never spoken to anyone about selling the club. I have no idea where that comes from. Who knows? But I have not been contacted by anyone. Everybody in baseball knows that I’m committed, and my family is committed; that we’re going to own the Royals, and that the Royals are going to be in Kansas City and that we’re going to make the team a contender again.
Glass added that he’s not even interested in selling a minor stake in the team, of which he became sole owner in 2000. Since then the Royals have had one winning season, going 83-79 in 2003, and have finished in fourth or fifth place in the five-team division 11 times in 12 years.
It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.
What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.
You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.
Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:
I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.
This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.