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."

Bull.

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
Comments

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2009 2:10 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

"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."

This is only ironic to you because it contradicts everything you wrote. None of the players the Twins have let go have anything bad to say either. And how can team spending the least while remaining competitive not be respected.

You contradict yourself to many times in the article to comment on all of them. He saved baseball in MN, then he killed it. He kept the Twins' payroll low, (Scrooge-like), YET in line with all of the other small-market owners. He wasn't a caring human being. Are you sure? WTF man?

I can only conclude after reading that you just refused to listen to what others were saying about the guy, including yourself. And, you ought to get off your high-horse and stop being so arrogant.  Just because somebody doesn't do as you would do, does not make them a horrible person.

Honestly, this whole article just smacks of envy










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Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:54 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

It really is sickening that a writer would wait until a man passed away to write garbage about him. Another reflection of our society I guess. I have three kids all under the age of 5. I pray that I can teach them and raise them with better values than a junkie writer calling out the deceased on a website.



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:53 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Harsh article and really not warranted.

Reminds me of Colin Cowherd ripping on Kirby Puckett the day after he died.



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:32 am
 

Reprehensible Article You Idiot.

A man just passed away, are you freaking insane for writing this type of article on the day of his death.  His actions were capitalistic, yes, but our country was founded on such ideals.   A man like Saddam or Hitler deserves such treatment, but not a man who had a passion for the game and a love for all of his players and staff.  I expect some sort of written apology on this site for such incredible distaste and dishonorable writing.  Rest in peace Carl and best wishes to you and the entire Twins family. 



Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:56 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

WELL SAID JSpiz!!!!!



Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:55 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Thank God this is only your opinion, because certainly dont speak for Twins fans.  Most of us that get it dont want to raise the payroll to a stupid number like 100 Mil, we dont have the revenues to support it.  I dont care what he is worth, you should never spend more than you take in, more people need to learn that.  If and When the Twins win another Series, we can say we earned it, we didnt buy it like the east morons do!!!!  RIP Mr Pohlad and forgive this jerk not from Minnesota writing a sad Dear Abby column.



Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:35 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

So, I take it you aren't delivering the eulogy at his funeral. Andy MacPhail, Terry Ryan and Bill Smith never "utter a bad word about the man," it seems that all the people who knew him well have only nice things to say about him. I'm sure you've spent the same amount of time with Pohlad as these guys have, right? How much money is it costing New York to build a new stadium for the wealthy Steinbrenners? Oh, but they drop unholy amounts of cash on gems like Carl Pavano and postseason chokes Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, so they're not ruining the organization like Pohlad did.

Anyway, this was a courageous article. It takes sheer valor to wait for a man to die, then squat all over his past. He must have been a horrible, "cold-hearted" man, and only a true hero like Scott Miller could expose the truly sinister nature after the death of that man.



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:14 am
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Now that's funny...kudos to Ozark and Steelerman!!! LMFAO



Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:57 pm
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

ozark- You hit the nail right on the head, as he tucks himself in with his oversized Homer Hanky blanket.



Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 10:42 pm
 

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

Sheesh, what did the man ever do to you?  He wasn't perfect, and I hated him for a while for trying to contract the team.  But, I liked the fact that he didn't resort to paying some of these overpriced weinies the money they desired.  Unlike some other clubs that try to buy a championship, he brought two of them here by running a ballclub the way it should be run.

But you just go ahead and kick the man after he is dead. 


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