Ok, so sue us. We haven’t been following Bernie Miklasz for a few months, but now we have the time and Bernie is back with a vengeance. In today’s column Bernie takes the St. Louis Cardinals baseball ownership group to task for not spending more money. Is he right?
Bernie calls these types of articles world rockers. He thinks that it’s his job as a columnist to rock worlds, and he’s right. This is especially true as St. Louis is a one newspaper town. And yes, even in the age of the internet papers matter.
Bernie starts off by talking about an auction of Cardinals memorable from the stadium. The funds raised aren’t going to the charity arm of the St. Louis Cardinals, but to the owners directly:
Proceeds from the sale won’t go to Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable organization. Instead, funds raised through the auction will defray construction costs at the new Busch Stadium. In other words, DeWitt Care.
Interesting. The owners are selling parts of the stadium to cover costs of the new stadium. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with this. You can check out the Cardinals auction yourself.
Bernie’s contention is that the owners are sucking the Cardinals fans dry though he does give them props:
DeWitt and the owners have been a plus for the franchise. Since buying the Cardinals before the 1996 season, the owners have increased payroll and funded six playoff teams. And even some non-post season years were entertaining; the Mark McGwire Show in 1998 and 1999 had the town (and the nation) buzzing.
The bomb drops in the next section:
In a recent interview, DeWitt told me the payroll will remain at 2005 levels for 2006. This is disappointing. The owners don’t have to be insane in handing out irresponsible contracts, but they certainly have the resources to give general manager Walt Jocketty some extra financial freedom this offseason.
Regardless of the increased income from their radio deal and post season appearances, the salaries are going to remain flat. It’s disappointing, especially when you consider the holes the team still has to fill.
Bernie goes on to discuss the holes on the team, but The Red Crush did a better job of looking through the Cardinals lineup next season.
Score: 8 out of 10