Expecting our owners to respect their fans is more than reasonable. And the new Royals owner should work to earn our respect as his customers.
It appears every MLB owner is intent on just straight up lying to their fans about their Profit and Loss statements. Any finances which are shared are purposefully opaque, yet declarations of losing millions of dollars are common. Just a few years ago, the Kansas City Royals were claiming to be losing $30 million per year. And, we can expect more of the same from our new owner. But with the Royals selling for $1 billion, that particular means of disinformation would seem to have been laid bare for all to see.
I am not going to spend this column explaining how math works, but just ask yourself if a company hemorrhaging $30 million a year in losses would increase in value from $96 million to $1 billion in 20 years? We may be simple unsophisticated baseball fans, but we are not that stupid.
Back in 2006 when David Glass did not like getting tough questions from reporters about the baseball franchise he had clearly run into the ground, he simply revoked the credentials of reporters whose questions he did not want to answer. Again, we should demand better than this.
If dumping payroll is our best option as an organization, then the team should be able to explain to us why that is. And when dumping payroll results in year after year of losing, fans should be expected to demand better. This is a business these guys have chosen. And it is not fine to brazenly lie to your fans or ban reporters who ask tough questions. Our next owner needs to be held to a higher standard than that.
The Kansas City Royals getting John Sherman as a new owner is exciting. It is a breath of fresh air. It is a chance to do things better this time. As fans, we should start by maintaining reasonable expectations of our owner. Losing 90-plus games year after year is not acceptable. Misleading fans about where the organization is and what the plan is to fix it needs to be called out along every step of the way. Banning reporters who ask tough questions is offensive and should not be tolerated by any professional sports league.
The David Glass era had some amazing highs. And some historically low lows — consistently embarrassing lows that should never be repeated. Let us not get fooled into thinking those lows are just a part of the sport. They are not. The Royals can do better. The new ownership can do better than the previous regime. And we fans should expect better.