Blog Entry

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:14 pm

The natural tendency when a person passes away is to forget the faults and remember the good things.

Regarding the late Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad, this is not one of those tributes.

Pohlad is given credit for saving baseball in Minnesota when he purchased the Twins in 1984, and maybe that's true. But during his time in the owner's chair, the remarkable thing is that he didn't kill baseball in Minnesota.

Lord knows, he tried.

His volunteering the Twins for contraction during baseball's despicable 2001 scheme remains one of the most reprehensible actions of any owner in recent memory.

His misrepresentation of his financial "contributions" while attempting to get public subsidy for a new stadium in 1997 for a time killed the whole idea of a new ballpark in Minnesota -- and at the very least delayed the entire project by several years.

Oh yes, this guy was a beauty. He got his start in the banking business foreclosing family farms during the Depression. Nice, huh? He remained a cold-hearted businessman the rest of the way, too.

He was worth more financially than Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, yet he kept the Twins' payroll low, Scrooge-like, in line with all of the other small-market owners. He was one of Commissioner Bud Selig's chief lieutenants in the war to keep club payrolls down.

The two had an odd alliance, Selig and Pohlad, to the point where Pohlad even sent the commissioner suits and sports jackets at times when he thought Selig needed an upgrade.

As such, and because it's what Commissioners do, Selig offered condolences in a statement issued by major league baseball on Monday: "His devotion to the Minnesota Twins, the Twin Cities and major league baseball was remarkable. In my long career, I have never met a more loyal and caring human being."


He wasn't a caring human being when foreclosing on those families all those years ago. And he was ready and willing to kill the Twins -- baseball fans of Minnesota be damned -- when the citizens wouldn't give him a sweetheart deal on a new ballpark.

He threatened to move the team to North Carolina. It was one of the most transparent scams ever concocted. The prospective "buyer" in North Carolina essentially was a hillbilly propped up like a scarecrow to instill fear in baseball fans throughout Minnesota.

He told the public during that ill-fated news conference in '97 that he would kick in $80 million toward the new ballpark. It was only later that it was discovered that, surprise, what was advertised as his contribution really was a loan that the state would repay to him -- with interest.

And that wasn't even the most vile thing that happened. No, within the myriad scare tactics was a beauty of a television ad produced by one of his sons featuring footage of former outfielder Marty Cordova visiting a children's hospital and autographing a baseball for an ill boy.

The voiceover intoned something like, "If the Twins move away, boys like this one will never have the chance to get Marty Cordova's autograph."

Too bad the sick boy had died even before the advertisement ran on television. Nobody had gotten consent to use the boy's image, so nobody associated with the advertisement knew he had passed away until it was too late. It was another disgusting moment, and another embarrassment for Pohlad.

Yet instead of any remorse or apology after all of this, Pohlad took it to the next level when he failed to extort a stadium from the taxpayers. He joined Selig in baseball's dirty scheme, volunteering to serve the Twins up for contraction.

The irony of it all is that Pohlad's Twins remained one of the most respected organizations in the game. The one thing he did right was to put baseball people in charge and leave them there. And I will say this: The baseball people running the show, from Andy MacPhail to Terry Ryan to Bill Smith, have always said that they were treated fairly by Pohlad. I've never heard any of them utter a bad word about the man, and I suppose that says something as well.

In the long run, Pohlad did get his stadium. The new ballpark will open in 2010, and from what I've seen of the blueprints, the good people of Minnesota will be getting a ballpark that they deserve.

I can't say the same for Pohlad.

Category: MLB

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2009 7:58 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009


I am thinking that you should call yourself Ignorant instead as it is obvious that you are not much more than a crack smoking circus chimp.

First off I read the article.

Second off I live in Los Angeles so you are yet wrong again about where I live, and what would it matter? Are you so stupid to think that unless one lives in a metropolis you are not able to have a lucid thought? If you live in a large city all it proves is that you are competing for the job as village idiot.

Third, I am not a catholic, but what difference does it make what religion I am?? This statement of yours is beyond words to describe how low you can stoop. Are you trying to reach the level of Mr. Miller???

If you are basing the Twins success on how they have done on the field, I would say that they have performed pretty darn well. They ran off successive division titles and have won 2 Championships in the last 20 years. I would say that at least matches the Red Sox. It is typical of a peabrain to not take a look at the whole record when trying to back up a case that is not supportable.

As for rewarding the public, why not wait to the new park opens up to see what the team does and what the fans get for the money they put down for tickets.

As for the Royals paying more in payroll than the Twins, who really cares, if they finish below the Twins which they likely will, what does that say for their ownership. Oh yeah, you stated it "Bad Owndership. Just, plain bad"

Get a life.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2009 11:40 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009



someone as incredibly small as Mr. Miller is does not deserve, and cannot appreciate, your explanation.  It is incredible the depths to which some people who soil the term "journalists" wil go.....

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 9:54 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009


Did you even bother to read Scott Miller's article?  You seem to be nothing other than a small town simpleton who cherry-picks the decency out of a situation while abjectly ignoring any and all blemishes.

I bet you're Catholic.

The bottom line is that Pohlad held Twins fans hostage more than once.  Anyone who is willing to pocket $200 million in exchange for contracting his baseball team is a bad owner.  Anyone who tries to extort a publicly funded stadium out of his fan base by threatening to move his team out of the region is a bad owner.  Moreover, anyone who fields a good team but refuses to let his baseball people spend a little extra money to make it a real title contender is a bad owner.

Keep in mind, friendo, that running a professional sports team is NOT like running a normal business.  The quality of your product is based on wins and the brand itself is based on championships.  Fact is, the Twins have not won the World Series in what we like to call "the modern era."  Hell, the last time the Twins won the series the divisional round of the playoffs didn't even exist.  Now that the Pohlad family finally got their new stadium, did they reward the general public who will be footing most of the bill?


In fact, in 2009 the Kansas City Royals will have a larger payroll than the Minnesota Twins.

Bad ownership.  Just.  Plain.  Bad.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2009 7:08 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Zseller: I couldn't agree more.

Mr. Miller, you are a perfect example of the type of s*** that should get you taken out into the street and shot. How despicable are you? I sincerely hope that when you die, a bunch of 3rd grade bloggers like yourself write all kinds of nasty things about you. You really have no class and no shame. And shame on CBS sports for putting this guy up on it's site. What garbage.

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 3:54 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Mr. Miller,

Although the timing of your article sucks, you cannot dispute the facts.  Everything you wrote is public knowledge and we Twins fans know it.  The best thing for the Twins would be for the Pohlad family to sell them to someone that has baseball smarts and wants a team that has a storied history like the Twins and wants what's best for Minnesota

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 3:14 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Unless the guy is an axe murderer or pedophile it's pretty low to dump on him like this the day after he dies. I don't have a whole lot of respect for the way Pohlard tried to squeeze the people of Minnesota but it's called business and it happens every day in every business. However, I don't have any respect for a writer who can't even wait until the family has a chance to put the man in his grave before publicly vilifying him. What, this wouldn't have been topical enough if you waited two days?

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2009 2:05 pm

finally he's gone

thank you for this great article. I dont understand how any true twins fan can like carl pohlad. He was a cheap skate, wanted to move and to contract the twins, and he couldn't caugh up any money for this new stadium. Citizens of Hennipen county have to help pay for it instead. I hate to say it but i've been waiting for this day for a long time. I hope his kids or whoever take this team sell it to an owner who actually cares about the team cause his kids are probable about as cheap as carl himself. Now he can meet all those farmers who he foreclosed on and they can give him a piece of their mind.

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:23 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Baskerville hits the nail on the head with the authority of Professor Moriarty.  Miller's posting is essentially accurate and well written, but could've waited a day or two in order to pay some semblance of respect to the dead; after all, it's not like Miller was scoring an inside scoop to inform others that Pohlad was a cheap jerk.  Heck, when I kick the bucket, I would hope that friends and relatives wait at least 24 hours before popping the champagne corks.

I do congratulate Mr. Miller on one major feat, though: he is the first person to ever get GNRSOX to write a post in something that resembles logical, readable English.


Since: Dec 31, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:01 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

 In twenty four years he had 2 world champions

Both pre wildcard era.

Dude had 3.8 billion dollars and he couldn't add 1 righthanded power bat in the last 7 years on this club that would have made a difference. 

But really him working over the state and then saying if he doesn't get a better way to make more money that he will fold the team or move them?

Well f*** him too.

He is a polarizing figure, no question.  But he was a douchebag business wise and thats what most people remember.  

Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:21 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Mr. Miller:

As I life long Twins fan, I cannot disagree with anything in your article.  Your timing, however, leaves much to be desired.  Carl Pohlad did a number of reprehensible things during his ownership, but writing this article on the day after he died seems a bit unseemly.  At least wait until after he's buried to throw dirt on his grave.

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