by John Viril—
Today, Kansas City Royals owner David Glass said the team would do what was necessary to improve the starting pitching and indicated he was willing to operate the team at a loss to do so.
The moon must be blue, pigs are flocking for their migratory winter trek, and Black Swans are gathering. The most notoriously cheap owner in baseball is willing to eat losses to put a winner on the field in 2013. This is the same guy that once offered $5,000 take-it-or-leave it bonus ultimatums to players drafted after the 5th round.
Maybe, Armageddon really is nigh.
With this announcement from David Glass, I guess we can’t be feeling too good about the continued economic “recovery”. Somehow, I can’t stop hearing the lyrics to “The End of the World as we Know It” running over and over in my mind.
In reality, this move makes enormous business sense for David Glass. Recently, the window that prevented Glass from selling the team for a profit after he purchased the Royals from the Kauffman trust in 2000 has expired. Of course, with the team locked into a 25-year lease after the stadium renovations at the Truman Sports Complex, there is no real danger the team will move with a sale. However, Glass is now free to cash in on his $96 million investment. Forbes estimated the Royals value at $354 million for 2012. A playoff appearance with the youngest roster in baseball would spike that value to the moon.
Given Kansas City’s passionate response to the 2012 All-Star game, one can only imagine that the city would flood the seats to overflowing if the Royals fielded a winner in 2013. Add up a stocked minor-league system, a playoff team, with robust attendance numbers and Glass will maximize his value in any potential sale. I could see Glass getting $500 million for the team, a whopping 5X return on his investment. Heck, he could get more if the team ends up with a string of winning seasons.
That’s how you run Wal-Mart and that’s how you leave a legacy for your family for generations to come. Consequently, I believe that Glass isn’t blowing smoke. Of course, I also think he’s currying favor with the fans. With an estimated $30 million bump in national TV revenue for 2013 and increased local revenue from a winning campaign, there’s no way Glass would lose money if the Royals fielded a winner.
Dayton, you’re now completely out of excuses. It’s either win, or Glass will find someone who can make his dreams come true.
You’ve just been called out by your owner.