First of all thank you.
We never thought you would spend money on this team and you did. We were shocked and we remain very grateful. But we also know that it has been our money fueling this team as well. For some reason we have to funnel it through your pockets first, but we know this team wouldn't have been possible without us. As for you, well, you just happen to be the rich old white guy with the papers that say you "own" this team, but guess what? It's ours no matter what your lawyers draw up.
You will die someday. How do you want to be remembered? Because you've got a pretty Grinchian storyline going here now.
You know winning can be profitable. Otherwise you wouldn't have spent much, much more than you ever have last year. We know you can't realistically spend $150 million every year (or maybe you can -- the numbers aren't public, but we know you won't), but for the next two years or so, this can be something special. You saw what the city did when you gave its team a chance. Push it farther. Scrape a layer of coagulated skin off of the top of the gravy that's already smothering your investment.
You can make anything look sympathetic with arbitrary end dates. We know you bought the team for $96 million and Forbes estimated that it was worth $700 million before the team became World Series Champions. That's a thousand lifetimes of profit. Furthermore, you spent far less than you should've for the first decade of owning the team if you really are "obsessed with winning." Where is all that surplus now? Are we supposed to believe that it disappears every year when the new team calendars come out?
Besides, the team increases in value by tens of millions every year anyway, so let's just put this "operating at a loss" shit to bed. And even if all of that is totally wrong, it's time to operate at a loss. You're not hurting for cash. We know that as a weird old Wal-Mart businessman you are obsessed with profit and loss statements, R.O.I., and other fetishized versions of hoarding, and you know what? That's fine. We don't expect you to try to change the world with this baseball team.
But you could change this city at least a little bit, which is a lot more than almost anyone else can do. You could change the way you will be remembered. This won't be seen as a fluke that you pounced on and wrenched free of every penny. You can do something greater than business.
Give us Alex Gordon. Backload the deal. Include guaranteed deferrals. Give him one of those trendy opt-out clauses after two years. Just don't tell us you can't afford it. Hell, give us Scott Kazmir and Dexter Fowler too. The payroll would be, what, $150 million or $160 million for a year or two and then you can blow it up when the tough decisions come over the next few years. You know you can. We know you can. The only question is whether or not you will.
Consider it a charity if you must. Tell your cadre of personal accountants to find a way for you to write it off. Hell, just take the loss and revel in the abstract profit of communal joy that a river of happy people ecstatically parading around the city represents.
We're all attempting to be rational here. Some of us are still trying to pinch ourselves hard enough to wake up because this all still seems like a dream. But the only rationale that matters right now is yours. You can justify sitting on your mountain of gold, flicking coins down to the peasants if you want. That's probably what you'll do. That's what we expect you to do.
Sure, you'll have your apologists -- most of them probably more committed to contrarianism than you or the actual issue at hand -- and yeah, you can let them rally behind you and ignore the opportunity.
But you could surprise us.
Besides, it's not really your money. It's ours. We spent a lot of money. Probably a lot more than we should have. And we spent it on this team. How much of it do you really need to keep?
You "own" this team. Good for you. So that means you get to decide how much of the fortune to give back? You know what, keep some for yourself. Splurge a little. Maybe take Dan out to dinner. Then go give Dayton a big fucking stack of money and watch us tell you you're great for it -- even though you probably don't deserve that, that's what will happen. You can be a legend. You shouldn't be by all logic, since all you've done is scrape off the top of something that shouldn't belong to one person, but that's the reality of our world. Do something with it.
You can be bigger than Kauffman. Maybe even bigger than Brett.
Do it. Don't just say that's what you like to do and then go on hoarding resources.
Don't just say you want to win while you line your glutted pockets with our money.
Put our money where your mouth is.