Free_AEC on the Phillies and MLB

Free_AEC on the Phillies and MLB
You've seen the avatar on baseball message boards, now read the blog

Friday, December 31, 2010

Phillies Owners: Who They Are

Who are the Phillies' owners?

Many fans of the Phillies MLB team are under the mistaken impression that Dave Montgomery is the owner. In fact, Dave $$$ Montgomery is simply the Team President. Dave Montgomery does have a lot to say about how the team is run though. The real owners have told Montgomery what kind of annual profits they expect, and Montgomery -a Wharton Business School graduate- makes sure they see those profit margins every year. It matters not to Montgomery or those who own the Phillies whether they win the World Series, or even play in the Fall Classic. All they care about is the Dollar$.

Those fans who blamed Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro Jr. for “trading” Cliff Lee are seriously mistaken. No GM in MLB would have traded Cliff Lee for three prospects of any kind, and certainly not the three that the Phillies received from the Mariners.

No, following the Phillies six game defeat by the Yankees, Dave $$$ Montgomery ordered Ruben Amaro to go hard at Cliff Lee and his agent to sign a three year contract extension. The Phillies knew full well that Cliff Lee was looking for a seven year contract when they obtained him from the Indians. No player goes from seeking a deal that long and for as much as Lee was looking for ($140 million or more) to accepting a three year deal for somewhere between $55mil and $60mil.

It's just not going to happen.

And it did not happen. So Dave $$$ Montgomery ordered Ruben Amaro Jr. to get rid of Cliff Lee as fast as possible and as quickly as possible. So Lee was dealt in the middle of the night, in the middle of the off-season, when football was all the rage in Philadelphia and no one was paying any attention. No one -especially not Cliff Lee- expected it to happen. Lee was shocked as much as Phillies' fans. He soon stated so, and said he believed that after his performance against the Yankees he would finish his career in Philadelphia. 

And what a performance! Clearly the pitching highlight in Phillies history. Better than any of Roy Halladay's brilliance in 2010. Imagine, shutting down the Yankees with a complete game in the opening game of the series in Yankee Stadium, and even doing tricks behind his back. It was like a child's daydream, but it was real. It really happened, but now Dave $$$ Montgomery must try to expunge that memory from Phillies' history as it is his sin to have ordered Cliff Lee out of town.

Or rather he did. This was being written and researched before Cliff Lee was re-signed by the Phillies. Apparently the reality of what the Phillies did when they dumped Cliff Lee finally hit home at the highest levels. Maybe it was their offseason thinking about preparing Phillies highlight clips that brought back the memory of Cliff Lee in the 2009 World Series and the fact they could not use it which made the Phillies reach out and grab the second chance they never had after trading Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs. Maybe it was the posters on boards and blogs and callers to radio stations who could not forget Cliff Lee nor understand how the Phillies could be raising their ticket prices and concession prices yet were doing nothing.

Whatever it was Phils fans have to be thankful that the top rung was not out of touch with reality.

However, now we come to the subject of Jayson Werth. Dave Montgomery could not order Jayson Werth out of town last year. The Phillies' needed his bat in their lineup. They needed Werth's speed on the bases. They needed his cannon arm in right field. So what did Dave $$$ Montgomery do?

He had Ruben Amaro Jr. offer Werth the three year deal.

Werth was as shocked at being offered such a paltry sum of money after all that he had done for the Phillies while working on a two year $10 million contract that it screwed up his head, clearly negatively impacted his performance on the field all the 2010 season. More than that, it forced Werth into the arms of Scott Boras.

Scott Boras is a kind of agent of last resort. Boras always swings for the fence. Sometimes he connects, other times he strikes out. But Boras is going for all he can get, and he charges the biggest commission in baseball. The Player pays a lot of his contract in order to hire Scott Boras. 

This time Scott Boras hit a home run. Jayson Werth got paid big. $126 million big. The Phillies could have, and should have locked up Werth in November 2009 right after the World Series ended. They could have easily signed Werth for five years and $85 million. They might have even got Werth signed for five and $75 million.

But that didn't fit into the plans of Dave $$$ Montgomery. No sir, Dave Montgomery is determined to cap the Phillies payroll far below their revenues so the owners he represents can load up C-130 transport planes with cash and fill up banks in the Cayman Islands with the $250 million or more in revenues that Phillies' fans generate each year.

How much cash do the Phils fans produce? See the Ben Affleck directed movie “The Town”. This crew of Boston bank robbers finally hit Fenway Park the night after a Red Sox game. Look at that stack of cash! And Phillies fans generate a bigger pile after every game than Red Sox fans. 700,000 more Phillies fans filled The Bank in 2010 than filled Fenway.

Now Jayson Werth -one of the best post-season performers in MLB- will find himself at home when the playoffs begin. In this sense, Werth loses, the Phillies lose, Phillies' fans lose, and baseball fans in general lose.

Only Dave Montgomery and the bloodsuckers he represents win.

And Scott Boras wins. How ironic is that? Dave Montgomery and Phillies part owner William Giles are so close to the Commissioners' office that they could be Bud Selig's brothers. Yet solely due to their behavior and bloodsucking profiteering for the Phillies ownership group they enabled Scott Boras to acquire a home run client. They soft-tossed a ball down the middle of the plate to Scott Boras and Mr. Boras hit it into the upper-deck.

Nice going Mr. Montgomery. Take a bow William Giles.

And what of the Phillies' “mysterious owners” as the bankrupt Philadelphia “news” papers, the Inquirer and Daily News, have sometimes referred to them? 

Well, have you ever heard of GlaxoSmithKline? Yes, Glaxo, the world's largest pharmaceutical corporation. The “Buck brothers” James Mahlon Buck Jr., William C. Buck, and Alexander K. Buck were born heirs to the SmithKline pharmaceutical company, which has since been merged with Glaxo to form the corporate pharmaceutical version of Exxon.

James Mahlon Buck Jr. is believed to be the shot caller among the brothers, and it is the Glaxo bucks that control the Phillies, the MLB team with the wealthiest ownership group. James Mahlon Buck Jr. is also a “venture capitalist”, running his own firm called T.D.H. Capital Corp. Through T.D.H. Capital Corp, James Mahlon Buck Jr. provided the start-up capital that created the ESPN cable TV network before it was bought by ABC Inc. James Mahlon Buck Jr. also funded the creation of STAPLES stores and AIRGAS.

Then we have 90 plus year old Claire Betz, who inherited nearly a billion dollars when her husband -the founder of Betz Laboratories (a water purifying company sold to General Electric)- passed away. That was twenty years ago so her fortune even if she invested it all in two percent interest accounts that compounded the interest would raise her net worth to at least one and half billion by now.

Earlier this decade this seemed to be the proper order of things. Now I see with further research that it is not. The other player in the Phillies ownership group, John S. Middleton, now dwarfs Claire Betz in wealth. I once winced at noting that Middleton owned a cigar company. I had no idea how valuable it was. The Altria Group, apart of Philip Morris, in 2007 paid John S. Middleton $2.9 billion for this Middleton family business that was founded in Philadelphia in the year 1856.  And that's not all he owns. He also owns Macintosh Inns and a mysterious “management services” company called Bradford Holdings Inc.

Middleton is a 1977 graduate of Amherst college and received an award from the school -Medal for Eminent Service- in 2004. The school has an entry for this on its Web site.

John S. Middleton also contributed $20,000 to the presidential campaign of John McCain. So when actor -and Mets fan- Tim Robbins after being stopped from throwing out a first ball exclaimed “I didn't know baseball was a Republican sport” really was in the dark if genuinely surprised. George Steinbrenner was pardoned by President Nixon. The Bushes are always a presence at Texas baseball games. George “9/11” Bush at Rangers games and his father -and former CIA Director- George Herbert Walker Bush at Astros games sitting next to Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr..

The Buck brothers also donate heavily to politicians who just happen to be Republican.

Some people in Philadelphia who watch this were surprised when the Phillies then hired Michael Stiles, a former US Attorney in Philadelphia to an executive position. Those people knew Stiles as having Democratic Party affiliations. What they missed was the CIA connection of Michael Stiles. Do a Google search for "Michael Stiles, Dominican Connection".

Tim Robbins was very warm when he made the remark about baseball being a “Republican sport”, but it's really a CIA sport. The CIA's nickname is 'The Company”. You can also look up Carl Lindner, former majority -now minority- owner of the Cincinnati Reds, former owner of the infamous Ocean Reef Country Club in Key Largo Florida where an airstrip and hanger on the grounds was determined by Florida Law Enforcement to have been extensively used to fly in huge shipments of cocaine, bank roller of Republican politicians like John McCain and Mitt Romney, and also with deep CIA connections going back to Honduras and Chiquita Banana company.

Philip H. Morse, part of the Red Sox ownership group, lent the CIA his private jet so they could kidnap an imam -Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr- off the streets of Italy and “Rendition” him to Egypt to be tortured. Google “Philip H. Morse and CIA”.

Nor should we forget Mr. Republican Arte Moreno, owner of the Angels who mysteriously became a billionaire after Viacom for some undisclosed reason decided to give Mr. Moreno a billion dollars for his billboard renting business. Imagine becoming a billionaire by selling space on billboards. Tell people you're going to do that and they'll put you in a straightjacket.

But I digress. Heck we need a breather after all that. How about we all stand and sing God Bless America?

So how much is the net worth of the Phillies ownership? I would say that ten billion dollars is a conservative guess. Very conservative. No pun intended.

Contrary to a lot of uninformed opinion on the Web, the Phillies are partners with Comcast SportsNet. Their revenues from there do not stink, and they will certainly get a lot better in the near future.

A lot of idiots in the online Phillies fan base attacked me in the past for saying the Phillies played in a huge market they had all to themselves. These useful idiots -useful to Dave $$$ Montgomery- attacked me with false facts claiming that the Red Sox had a bigger market when in fact their market is five percent smaller than Philly. The $$$ stooges actually claimed areas of the Phillies market for the Orioles!

The Phillies home and away with the Orioles was scratched some years ago, no doubt because the Orioles were sick of enduring Camden Yards being full of Phillies fans who outnumbered Orioles fans five to one or more at every game there. It's not any better at Nats games. This might be why the Nats did what they did in signing Jayson Werth. The Phillies have moved their market so far south that Baltimore and Washington are Phillies territory.

Want to go on a fruitless Easter egg hunt? Go looking for a Mets cap or jersey anywhere that might be thought of as Phillies territory. Mets attendance is way down in a brand new park, the Phillies are sold out every game. WFAN in New York gets callers from Phillies rooters in October who admit that they are disgruntled Mets fans. WFAN hosts love the Phillies, and WFAN is the Mets station that broadcasts their games! Tens of thousands of Mets fans have joined the winning team and wear the red and white caps now. 

The sons of George got beaten out of Cliff Lee with their insulting offer that was south of Sabathia's. Why would Cliff Lee, a post-season stud, sign a deal for less than Sabathia who is a loser in October? Pull his pants down and you'll see Chase Utley's name tatooed on his fat rear end. And Sabathia got smashed against the Phillies when he wore a Brewers uniform in October as well.

If the Phillies owners were not so shy, not so limited in their outlook, they could be about to invade Manhattan and hang Phillies banners from the buildings on Broadway and Park Avenue. Another couple of offseasons by the sons of George like this one, and another couple of seasons by the Phillies resembling 2008 onward and it could happen.

The Yankees are in the Phillies cross-hairs.


  1. Met fans outnumber Phillies fans at least 3 to 1. Mostly because of the size of NYC but they're freakin everywhere in New Jersey. Trenton still has them as a "home team". Even CBP is filled with them every time they come down. New York is a baseball town and fans of both team wear their colors all the time. Met fans are a special breed because they're used to being 2nd to the Yanks so they're not exactly shy about who they love. The Yankees are the most valuable baseball franchise and the Mets are next. The Mets have an ownership issue because of a lawsuit and a poorly designed field that still drew 2.5 million into an overpriced stadium. The year after their collapse they still drew over 4 million. They have their own network as do the Yankees.

    I get that you hate them being that they are your rivals. Remember the Phils couldn't draw flies a few years ago. The have made some strides and let's face it, a lot of it was luck. They probably weren't the best team in the division talent wise but took advantage of Mets injuries, nice front office work and maybe a little sign stealing. The Phillies outperformed the Mets by not signing the big guys but instead building depth. You need to take off the homer goggles and really understand how far behind Philadelphia is compared to New York when it comes to baseball.

    This year the Phillies are the odds on favorites to win the division. Just like the Mets were in 07 & 08. The Phillies need to take their role seriously or else the next collapse will be theirs. The Braves are well balanced and probably a 90+ win team. The Mets could win anywhere from 70 games to 100 with their lineup and injuries.

  2. I don't know how you could say the Mets have three fans to the Phils one. If the Phils park held 55,000 they could sell out. The only caps or bumper stickers from another team that I ever see are the Yankees and there aren't many. Phillies bumper stickers, caps, t-shirts etc. are everywhere. I went into a Target store last week and they had a 50ft long shelf top to bottom -a Phillies aisle- with nothing but Phillies merchandise.

    The Phillies drew 3.3 million people to the Vet in 1993. The Phillies could draw that many fans to a parking lot with high bleachers.

    As far as Trenton is concerned I have been up there several times in the last year and never saw a Mets cap or shirt. It's Phillies territory.

    The Phillies will soon have their own TV network or they will be getting paid like a club that does. This explains their spending. It is money being invested for a big payoff down the line.

    Yes the Mets should be a powerhouse, but they have a horrible ownership. Once the Wilpons are cleared out of the way the Mets will be able to build a powerhouse franchise. The Phillies can compete with that dollar for dollar though as long as they don't loose their momentum.

    The Phillies number one problem is Dave $$$ Montgomery. He has strangled the farm system -which has talented personnel- and that could make things difficult ($) in the next few years, but the Phils have the capital to overcome that.

  3. New York is a massive MASSIVE market. The Mets have a huge following in it. They benefited from a lot from being on a national cable station (WWOR-9) through the 80's including winning a series with big stars, they are multicultural which the Phils started doing recently, but not near what the Mets do, they're natural rivals for New Yorkers to the Yankees, and they do sign big names. Acting like this doesn't exist is not right. I live in South Jersey. I worked in Trenton. Mets fans are everywhere. I see them all the time. They might not be as in-your-face as they were two years ago but they're very much around.

    The Phillies are like the Indians were, a big deal while they're winning and obscure when they're not. Good news though for the Phillies is that they're gunning for free agents and big names now. The Phillies always called themselves small market because of the Mets, Yanks and Red Sox. Local teams who would outbid them. Lee turned his back on the NY money for here and Amaro made nice trades. Losing Werth might not hurt, but when do you see a NY team lose a FA that they wanted to keep? IF the Mets let Reyes walk then the playing field is even, but I find it hard to believe they will not resign him if he plays like he is capable of.

    I agree with much of what you think, but not to the point of this massive Phillies following. They're hot and it's fun, but in the past when they lose the fans lose interest. The owners need to make sure they don't lose.

  4. New York is indeed a massive market. I have A.C. Nielsen data on my Free_AEC blog.

    New York is a little more than twice as big as Philly and it's a baseball town. Whereas Philly sports radio is still talking about the green vomit up until Memorial Day, in New York they talk baseball more than football in December. I suppose the National Felon League strike is helping the Phillies now, but I don't know as I don't listen to that crap if I can avoid it.

    However the Phillies market is still huge, and after many years of neglect better labeled as what it was - sabotage - so the Phillies could get a new ballpark with taxpayer dollars and a new lease that sent most of the money collected to them, the Phils are positioned to turn Philly into a baseball town and never look back.

    Rank in millions of 2011 Television Homes
    1) New york       7,515,330
    2) Los Angeles   5,666,900
    3) Chicago         3,502,610
    4) Philadelphia   3,015,820
    5) Dallas            2,594,630
    6) San Fran-Oak 2,523,520
    7) Boston           2,460,290

    You notice that Chicago is about that much bigger than Philly as Boston is smaller, but Boston and the Phils have nearly identical payrolls, and the total of both Chicago teams is $259 million.

    So when Scott Boras said this past winter that the Phillies payroll can go beyond $200 million he clearly knew what he was talking about, even without the revenue information on MLB teams that he has access to through the players union.

    The Phillies had better spend some big bucks on prime-time position talent soon. This years lineup is shaping up to be so boring they may have to dress their ballgirls in red thongs to keep people watching.