The Nation: Opinion: Dave Zirin: Taking Back The Los Angeles Dodgers?
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on WordPress
I’m not a Socialist in any form, even though I do read The Nation Magazine and I’m in favor of a limited safety Net. Limited form of a safety net being the key words there. But as a Liberal I’m also not a big fan of centralized power, whether it comes from the private or public sectors. Liberals tend not to trust establishment power and like to see it spread around where a lot of the population can benefit from it. We like to see power whether it comes from the private or public sectors to benefit the many and not just the few.
I believe in capitalism and freedom of choice and decentralized Power. Where its spread around and the people can decide for themselves where to get their services from. The Green Bay Packers are an excellent example of this where they are run yes by a CEO, and Board of Directors and stockholders throughout the Green Bay area and the State of Wisconsin. The Packers don’t have one or a few people owning the club and collecting the profits. The Packers aren’t a socialist franchise that’s owned by the government, where the Mayor is essentially the boss of the club. Like Socialists in America have claimed that they are either. But they are owned by the people who are actual stakeholders in the Packers Club. And make money off of them with their stocks.
In today’s corporate dominated sports world, especially in pro team sports, the model of most if not each franchise in the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA except for the Packers, is that you have one person owning and running the club. Sometimes others as well, but there’s generally a majority owner of the club. MLS is an example of a sports league that has a similar management model as the Packers. But the other four have essentially a strongman running each club. Who’s accountable to no one, other than having to follow the rules of the league.
But for the most part are chief executive of the club accountable only to the profits and makes decisions, good or bad based on that. And these owners are essentially strongmen with no term limits or contracts that they have to sign. In most cases not even a Board of Directors that they have to respond to. So they can pretty much do whatever they want, again as long as they comply with league rules. The Los Angeles Dodgers one of the greatest franchises in both MLB and pro sports in general, at least historically, are going to up for sale. Because the McCourt couple that owns the club, are going through a divorce and their battle has turned into a public soap opera.
And the McCourt’s can no longer afford to run the club. This would be a great opportunity for MLB to install public not government, but public ownership of the club. Where they would have a CEO and their administration, but with a Board of Directors that would represent the stockholders. Meaning the people of Los Angeles and the surrounding market that owns stock in the club, would make profits with their stocks based on how the Dodgers are doing. Where the CEO has a contract and runs for election to get the job and reelection to keep the job. Where the Directors would run for their jobs and run for reelection to keep their jobs.
This would make the Dodgers Management as well as players accountable. And they would know that they need to do a good job to keep their job. The Dodger franchise is worth around 1B$ or more, in a city of 4M people, in a market of 15-17M people. They are a great franchise that would make a great investment for their fans.