April 23, 2014

CBS Sports: Dolan family listed as fourth worst MLB owners

The Dolans aren’t very popular in town, at least as owners of the Indians. They don’t garner much respect from the rest of the baseball community either. On the heels of Jeffrey Loria’s latest shenanigans in Miami, CBS Sports.com published a list of their five worst ownership groups in Major League Baseball. Guess who cracked the list-

“4. The Dolan family, Indians: Remember when the Indians used to go to the playoffs every year? It wasn’t that long ago, but it sure seems like it. The Dolans bought the team in 2000 and the Indians have made the playoffs only once since 2001. They have traded CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee since then, though. Cry small market if you wish, but Dolan bought the club for $323 million in 2000 and Forbes magazine values the club at $410 million now. Also, the Reds, Cardinals and Brewers play in smaller TV markets. They seem to do OK.”

Those owners listed ahead of the Dolans- David Glass (Royals), The Wilpon family (Mets), Jeffrey Loria (Marlins).

[Related: Podcast: Craig and Jon discuss the Marlins firesale]

  • Kildawg

    Where is a Dan Gilbert or Jimmy Haslam to buy the Indians? How rich is the CEO of Progressive Casualty Insurance (given that their name already adorns the home field)? We need to get back to WINNING!

  • cmm13

    Oh Jesus…stand back everyone here comes the flood!

  • ThatAlex

    I’d agree with this. Jeffrey Loria is easily the worst owner in baseball, but the Dolans aren’t far behind. In my opinion the worst trait an owner can have is a passive attitude towards winning, and the Dolans are guilty of this.

  • http://www.cinpleweb.com/ stin4u

    I wish I could say I’m shocked.

    Meanwhile, Toronto is scooping up quality players from another Marlins fire sale and the Tigers are signing Torii Hunter. God, I can’t wait for fireworks though.

  • nj0

    I’m all for criticizing Dolan, but those are pretty weak points -

    1.) Baseball in the pre-Dolan 90′s was DRASTICALLY different
    2.) The Forbes values are beyond pointless (underestimated the Dodgers by $600M!)
    3.) The value of a franchise has nothing to do with the quality of the owner or the team on the field (again, see Dodgers)

    4.) Market size is only as important as the TV deal you strike

    What a lazy, lazy article.

  • nj0

    I’m sure those guys would happily invest half a billion dollars to run it at a loss.

  • JK

    The Tigers are paying Torii somewhere in the ball park of 26 mil for 2 years, you want that? Cuz I sure don’t.

  • nj0

    And what baseball writer seriously compares the Cleveland Indians market with that of the St. Louis Cardinals?!?!?!? What the?!?!

  • ThatAlex

    Works for the owner of the Tigers. $26 million for an aging Torii Hunter? Man, that guy is crazy. It’s like he’s playing with Monopoly money.

  • nj0

    Man, you can’t hold it against the Indians for not being able to fleece the Marlins too. Sadly, there is only one Loria and the Blue Jays were just the lucky ones at the front of the line.

  • FearTheRoo

    If it means winning the division, playing in the World Series, and having large crowds every night? Yes, I honestly don’t care what they have to spend. There is no way Detroit is losing money. We deserve a winner NOW. Aren’t we all tired of waiting?

  • mgbode

    even in our heydey 90s runs we were in the $90mil payroll. if you think the Dolans are going to be making money with a $130mil payroll then I don’t know where to go from there (whereas the teams that do that almost all have local TV deals that pay for most or all the payroll).

  • JK

    What…..? That’s not what were talking about. We’re talking about Torri Hunter & signing Hunter does not equal a world series.

  • mgbode

    support of the Forbes point – team valuations only matter if the owners sell. they do not and should not be in consideration of year-to-year payrolls as it seems this author suggests.

  • cmm13

    We’ve made just as many dumb payroll moves on an even more limited budget.
    i.e. – Westbrook, Hafner, Sizemore, Wood

  • nj0

    Not monopoly money— pizza money.

    He’s probably also taking a bath on the Red Wings this year too.

  • JK

    Westbook was never gonna be anything more than a 3rd starter we knew that, Hafner had an incredible season so he got paid.. problem?, Gammons was saying around 06 or 07 that Sizemore was the type of player to “bulid your team on.”… and you wanna compare that to signing a 37 year old right handed hitting outfielder way past his prime who has a career BA of 277? AND pay him around 13 mil a year?! You guys are reaching a bit.

  • cmm13

    Ugh, so sick of the National outlets taking one glance at a spreadsheet/news headline and using it to formulate a “ranking”.
    1. The Marlins have 2 World Series titles in the past 15 years, their ownership obvioulsy ain’t that bad. Sure they sold their season ticket holders on a tax increase for a glorious new park with a promise of no more cost cutting. BUT WHO CARES? Miami is nothing but fringe fans who will stare at their two penants while getting a tan waiting for the next one from the Heat/Marlins over the next 5 years.
    2. You cannot mention the sins of the Dolans without mentioning the mistakes by Shapiro/Antonetti.

  • http://www.cinpleweb.com/ stin4u

    I want movement in a positive direction. I don’t care about Torii Hunter specifically, I care about a team making moves to improve. Jason Bay isn’t going to cut it around here anymore.

  • nj0

    Totally agree on point one. So Loria….
    ….has one WS win (didn’t own in ’97)
    ….fleeced the region into bankrolling a stadium
    ….keeps pocketing oodles of money

    Sounds pretty successful as an owner (although an @sshole in other regards).

    Who really should get more blame in this whole sad drama is Selig. What the f is the point of the league commissioner in American sports at this point? I look at all four major American sports and it’s painfully obvious they don’t care about the fans in the least.

  • cmm13

    “Westbrook was never going to be anything more than a 3rd starter” — Jake was the opening day starter in 2010. The plan was to have him leading the charge in 2010 all the way.
    “Hafner had an incredible season so he got paid” — one good year and we rewarded him as if he had been doing it since the day he picked up a bat in Texas. There was a reason the Rangers passed on him, we ultimately were the ones to learn why due to our poor scouting team.
    “Gammons was saying around 06 or 07 Sizemore was the type of player you build your team on” — that’s great in 2006 and 2007. You do not however pay a man to walk a treadmill in 2011 and 2012.

  • Steve

    Normally it’s Red Wings money. The last NHL lockout prevented him from running up the Wings salaries like the Yankees. All it meant was more money back in his pocket, so he just funneled it over to the Tigers. He wasn’t spending that much on the Tigers before the NHL lockout. And that year he also happened to be able to buy out all the partners in his casino. I’m not sure all this happening at once is a coincidence.

  • cmm13

    And the best part is NONE OF THE FANS ACTUALLY CARE!
    I mean seriously it was a genius move.

  • Steve

    Actually, we only hit $90 million once, under Dolan in 2001. Jacobs’ payrolls peaked at $75 million.

  • Steve

    That’s a lot of money going to a lot of mediocre players though. The Marlins didn’t even get to 70 wins for a reason. I’m not sure they’re worth that type of investment unless you’re close and they fill specific holes.

  • Steve

    Yeah, this is about as awful as it gets analysis-wise. I’m not sure I see any difference between this and a Bleacher Report slideshow.

  • mgbode

    yes, thanks. my brain locked up on that one. Yankees barely hit $90mil during their run (2000 was the first year that happened)

    http://www.stevetheump.com/Payrolls.htm

  • Steve

    The commissioner isn’t paid to look out for the fans. He’s paid by the owners to represent them (read: get them more money). Selig has been fantastic at his job. The ballpark-builds-local economy myth has flourished under his watch. He’s earning that $22 mill a year salary.

  • Steve

    Westbrook was a free agent after 2010, and on a roster that wasn’t designed to compete. Sabathia and Lee were already gone. Westbrook started Opening Day be default, not because they thought he was a legit #1.

    Hafner had more than one good year. I’m not sure where you two are coming from with that one.

    And if you foresaw the Sizemore injuries five years in advance, why weren’t you working for the team?

    All in all, those three were all injuries. They suck, but I’m not sure how you can call them too dumb at the time they were signed, unless you had an injury-predicting crystal ball.

  • nj0

    I didn’t mean “blame” as “he’s not doing his job”, but rather “blame” as “irate fan anger”. I’ve often said Selig is the best (aka most effective) commissioner in all of sports.

    It’s just a shame that we as sports fans all basically suffer from battered spouse syndrome.

  • Steve

    Agree with all of this. I’m just responding to that “what the f is the point of the league commissioner” part. He’s there to make the owners even richer, and little else.

  • cmm13

    While I certainly couldn’t predict injuries in 2006 I could predict them in 2011.

    Sizemore was broken and we still signed him. To say his contract in 2012 was anything less than dumb is idiotic.

    Hafner s contract was an albatross and everyone in 2007 in fact DID know that so I will go ahead and claim the crystal ball on that one.

    As far as Westbrook goes the FO stated that it was their every inetention to have Westbrook be the number one in 2010 if he was healthy. In fact if you take a swing through the WFNY archives you will find the article on it.

  • ThatAlex

    Isn’t there a rule about baseball owners not being allowed to own or operate any kind of casino or gambling establishment? How did Illitch get around that?

  • mgbode

    only the NFL has that rule to my knowledge (see Gilbert in NBA)

  • ThatAlex
  • mgbode

    well then, Illitch should hand over control of the Tigers to me. I don’t own any casinos (i’d put Loria’s dismantling to shame!)

  • Steve

    Right, the Ilitch’s skirt that rule nicely by having Mr. own the Tigers and Mrs. own the casino. See, its all on the up and up.

  • Steve

    Despite all the moaning, Sizemore getting paid in 2012 did not prevent the team from doing anything. It was a risk and didn’t work, not dumb. You couldn’t predict injuries in 2006, but you could predict Hafner. Makes sense. And again, Westbrook was the #1 by default on a mediocre to poor roster. There was no “charge”. It was a “see what young players we like going forward”.

  • mgbode

    here I will disagree with you. if we don’t sign Sizemore, then I would hope we would have made a more concerted effort to fill our OF void and utilized the extra $5mil towards that end.

  • bigholmes7

    There is no worse owners than the dolans…….they have dismantled a team, ruined the farm system, and turned the jake into a winter sled riding park. all they do is wring every nickle out of you at each and every game you attend.
    they should sell the team to someone who wants to build…………….
    the only people worse than the dolans, are the people in the indians front office……..
    they are the worst front office in(i started to say baseball) ANY major sport…….