Kansas City Royals: What we should expect from ownership
When David Glass took over the Royals, it was a franchise in good shape. It did not stay that way very long.
When Ewing Kauffman died in 1993, he set up a very complicated structure through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Affiliated Trusts to ensure the team would stay in Kansas City. The day-to-day decision-making, however, would be made by a five-member panel led by David Glass. And, almost immediately, the day-to-day decision-making was terrible.
As soon as it was possible, by 1996, the payroll had already been cut in half. In half! In 1997, for the first time in team history, the Royals lost more than 90 games. By 1999, the team payroll had shrunk to an absolutely shameful $16 million. And when dumping David Cone was not enough, we would move on to dumping anyone else that we thought would save us a few bucks. Kevin Appier, Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye – all gone.
In 2000, a New York City lawyer named Miles Prentice would enter a wildcard bid to buy the team. His original bid was for the minimal amount allowed under Kauffman’s wishes, $75 million. When that bid was refused, he raised his bid to $120 million. This would be the largest bid for the team. But, after much consideration, Major League Baseball decided that the man whose decisions had led to shrinking the payroll from over $40 million to $16 million was the only proper choice. And, thus, the David Glass years were born.
Glass did not waste any time making his mark as a new owner. Almost overnight, he would take that horrible 94 loss season in 1997 and turn it from an aberration into the norm. By 2002, the Kansas City Royals had their first 100 loss season in team history. Boom!
The 2003 season, also known as the Angel Berroa era, would somehow end with us above .500. But that season would turn out to be a mirage and that joy would be short-lived.