SBD/Issue 98/Franchises

New Twins Owners Will Operate Twins Like Carl Pohlad Did

In the wake of Twins Owner Carl Pohlad's death last month, the team has "hardly been left in the hands of meddlesome owners," according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. All three of Pohlad's sons will "continue having input" in the organization, though Jim Pohlad will serve as the team's point-man and have "final say on all Twins matters." Jim Pohlad Friday, during a meeting with reporters, stressed that the Twins will "continue trusting baseball decisions to the baseball people," and that the team "remains very confident" in GM Bill Smith. Christensen noted while Carl Pohlad "seemed to relish his role among baseball owners," Jim Pohlad "figures to stay in the background." Jim Pohlad said that he is "not interested in the spotlight." Jim Pohlad Friday "cited some values from his father's stewardship -- loyalty, stability and a commitment to promote from within -- and said he doesn't," expect the Twins to change much under" the new ownership. In addition, the next generation of Pohlads has "even more passion for baseball," which is a "big reason the family expressed no intention to sell the Twins" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/7).

JUST LIKE TWINS: In St. Paul, Phil Miller noted Jim Pohlad Friday indicated that he "intends to adopt the same management style" as his father, which means "staying informed about baseball operations and making decisions about budgets and business plans but rarely influencing player transactions." Jim Pohlad did not discuss a "payroll target for this season or the future," but said that the Twins can continue to "spend roughly 51[%] of their revenues on ballplayers." The team is "believed to be well below that mark" with its current payroll of about $60M, but it also "means the front office must spend wisely." Meanwhile, each Pohlad son now owns one-third of the franchise, and Friday they said that they were "unanimous about wanting to keep the team." Jim Pohlad said it is "certainly our goal" to own the team in 20 years. Pohlad: "We have no intention of doing anything else" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/7).

WEATHERING THE STORM: The ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS' Miller wrote the Twins are "particularly well-positioned to ride out this economic emergency." The team's payroll is among the 10 lowest in MLB, and the economy of Minnesota is "more stable, for the moment, than that" of the Twins' division rivals. The team anticipates "larger crowds this season as fans say farewell to the Metrodome." Twins Assistant GM Rob Antony: "We have resources, for the most part our contracts are appropriately (priced), and we have ownership that wants to win" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/8).

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