Monday, October 09, 2006

Pohlad Lite?

When the Lerners were named, I wrote a post (I think, but then I'm also suffering from early dementia) worrying about some things I had heard/read that made me think we might have another Pohlad on our hands, an owner who'll scrimp and save, devoting just enough resources to putting a passable team on the field, but who won't go that extra mile in devoting resources to the team. Obviously, we don't know one way or another (although the talk about actually reducing payroll next year makes me lean even more in that direction), but today's profile in the Washington Post does nothing to dissuade me from that feeling.

It's a good read about the Lerner family and their business dealings. They're crisp, to the point, and stick to the letter of the law, even in places where compromise might best be in order. Obviously, when dealing with the sad sacks who run the gov't here, that might be a prudent strategy, but it does show where much of the friction over the garage situation comes from.

In short, the article paints the picture of an owner who views the team solely as a business development, and who is singularly focused on the stadium, without any real cares as to how it effects the surrounding areas. I'm not one to decry selfishness; I think it's (through its effects) an important part of what makes this country great, but the Lerners were given a public good, and they should have some sort of obligation to the community, especially in making sure that their new stadium works with the community as a whole, and that it and the surrounding development blend seamlessly so that the economic engine that was promised comes to fruition.

What do you think? Am I a reactionary ninny? Do they have any obligation to the community? Or are they, as good businessmen, allowed to run the team/construction as if it were any other project?


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