How not to own a baseball team
There is a certain musk in the air that has pro sports’ owners misbehaving as of late. We’ve seen a rise in billionaire owners showing poor intellect over the past year, unfortunately the list could be far worse than this. However, here are the few that jump to mind:
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling with his televised slander of Magic Johnson and the NBA (among other obvious things). Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay riding around like an off-duty street pharmacist.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was fortunate enough to get his franchise back on the map after LeBron James “came home” after Gilbert wrote his ill-famed letter to James when he took his talents to the Miami Heat four years ago. Gilbert and James making amends is what Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort hopes to accomplish after his recent e-mail shenanigans. Joining that infamous list of blunders is just a slap in the face to Rockies fans.
In an e-mail to a season-ticket holder, Monfort told the fan that “If it is that upsetting don’t come to the games, if I don’t like a restaurant because of the food or prices I just don’t go, Colorado Springs has a different experience, maybe that would be more enjoyable.”
Or, here’s a thought. You, Monfort, could better serve your fans when they walk through the door. And maybe when they walk through the proverbial door, they’re greeted by someone who actually cares about a loyal customer’s night. Lastly, don’t mask your mystery meat as filet mignon; if it isn’t top quality, do not get upset when someone asks about the pitiful product.
It’s obvious this isn’t the only loyal Rockies fan dissed by an owner who said that the city of Denver doesn’t deserve a baseball franchise. Those who have showed up to the games year after year and watched the same bunch fail to make the post season were equally disrespected. Of course, Monfort later “rescinded” his statements and said he didn’t mean it that way.
While the outlook on the team continues to rise, the Rox’s record remains a constant dud. Could you blame a life-long Rockies fan for being flustered with the lack of results since Colorado’s only World Series appearance in 2007?
It is outlandish for an owner to get bent out of shape because a dedicated fan critiqued his work. It is an expectation that should come with being an owner – regardless how the team performs each game. Putting out a product that has just three playoff appearances since its inception in 1993.
The dog and pony show Monfort continues to give to the fan needs to conclude and a better product needs to grace the bump, field and dugout at Coors Field. If he can’t take the criticism, Monfort needs to deliver what the fans deserve.
Sports teams mean a lot to their community, state and supporters. I am a Louisville Cardinals fan and have been for the past 11 years. When my Cardinals lost in the NCAA Tournament to Kentucky (twice in three years), I was irate. I can only imagine the irritation Rockies fans deal with, with the exception of three seasons. Water cooler talk is something sports fans indulge in every opportunity they get. Hard to boast when your team has a propensity of letting you down.
At some point, Monfort has to realize that owners are held to a high standard. Engaging in banter with a fan via e-mail never should have occurred because his focus never should have drifted that far. Monfort also needs to recognize his role in the food chain of the Rockies organization. If players decide to avoid the Rox during free agency because they fear what Monfort may do or say, then fans will be entitled to leave if they don’t like the product – and he posed the possible exodus.
As former NFL coach Herm Edwards always says about emotions and social media: Don’t hit send.