Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday Hicks Debates

Jeff e-mailed me this yesterday after our newest rant about the idiocy of Tom Hicks, most recently on Norm’s show:

How come when Mark Cuban is on your show and says he has realized he needs to spend more wisely and cut payroll you didn't say those comments you make about Hicks to him?



So, I needed more clarification:

Are you asking why we don't ask Cuban about Hicks or why we don't badger Cuban about spending? I think the answer to both is obvious - Hicks has nothing to do with Cuban and Cuban has spent more than anyone this side of Steinbrenner, but I was curious what you meant-

So, Jeff sent me his response:

Thanks for you answer. That is where I was going. Cuban has spent and for what result? No championship. Then said he realized it wasn't the way to go. Yet, you and your partner yuck it up with him and jump on Hicks for the exact same thing. You are being a total hypocrite. Go listen to the tapes. BTW when did it start being wrong for a business owner to not worry about the bottom line.


I wanted to respond to this guy on the blog, because despite the fact that there are many, many legions of fans that agree with us about Hicks, there are plenty that think like Jeff does: that since Hicks is the owner, he has the right to run his team any way he wishes.

I disagree. Oh sure, it is not illegal to pocket profits and not care about winning. If that were the case, the Bidwell family would have had the Cardinals stripped from them many years ago.

But, I believe there is a responsibility to the community to reinvest a reasonable amount of your profits back in your organization. Tom Hicks passed that test with flying colors for many years. In fact, Hicks used to be in the same category as Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban as “owners who would stop at nothing to win”. That is every fan’s dream. An owner who likes money, but loves winning. If they didn’t, they could make money in real estate. But, they got in sports because they are obsessed with the business of winning.

But, in 2004 and 2005, it has appeared Tom Hicks’ goal was to make back that which he lost in previous years. Winning was not nearly as important as a profit. Now, it is really easy to talk winning, but it should not be forgotten that since trading Alex Rodriguez, some 20 months ago, no player from outside the organization has been signed to a significant contract of any kind.

How does this relate to the summer of Cuban where he shed huge dollars by sending Michael Finley away? A summer where he apparently has learned spending the most will not help him catch the Spurs? A few things:

1) You cannot compare the two, since Cuban has spent as much money as any franchise in the sport. It would be similar to Hicks spending more than the Yankees, without the Yankees revenue streams. Cuban has taken MAJOR losses, and if you check his math, which I have, it is easy to see that he has lost tremendous amounts of money. Meanwhile, if you check the math on Hicks, it is highly debatable that a team could come close to losing money with anything below a $80 million dollar payroll.

2) Cuban talks a good game (about saving money), but we all know he won’t have the self control not to spend more money when the right deal comes along. He is obsessed with winning, to a point that he can’t say “no” to a Juwan Howard deal or a Raef Lafrentz deal or an Antoine Walker deal. He always makes deals for basketball reasons not financial reasons. That is what you want from an owner. And despite his supposed new ways, I will believe it when I see it.

3) Third, and to me the biggest difference between Hicks and Cuban, is that Cuban does what he does, and then properly communicates his message in such a way that you actually believe him. Meanwhile Hicks says things like, “the owner has to stop writing checks” and “unfortunately, it worked, the Stars won the Stanley Cup”. The more he talks, the less you believe what he says.

And finally, to that idea of “shouldn’t an owner be allowed to run his business any way he want?” Shouldn’t a profit be allowed? Yes. When you sell a team for a $100-$500 million profit, you will realize the dollars that you always hoped for. Year to year losses are very common, but overall profits are amazing. The Vikings were sold a few months ago for $600 million dollars, after the owner, Red McCombs had bought them in 1998 for $246 million. This is pretty common these days on the sales of sports franchises.

In fact, if you no longer want to spend on your team, sell it! Then, you get your money, and your fans get a competitive team that wants to reinvest its major revenues in the product.

I really don’t want to write much about this, but the sad piano is playing, as our buddy Gabe Kapler suffered a substantial setback last night.

the Achilles blown out in Toronto

Then, in the fifth, Kapler reached on an error. Would everything have been different if he hadn't reached base? Or was the injury something that was building inside his leg, the tendon weakening, ready to explode, perhaps later in the game? He'll likely never know, but he won't forget how the injury occurred.

The next batter, Graffanino, launched a ball to left that was anything but a no-doubter. Kapler reached second gaining steam as the ball cleared the fence, then crumpled.

''I've never in my 18 years seen a home run and seen a guy blow out at second base," Wells remarked.

Revo takes Hicks spending on again

Suddenly, I find myself fretting that the Rangers' crop of young pitchers is having too much success in September.

How's that for a flip-flop?

Seriously, we really do have to worry. It's entirely conceivable that Tom Hicks, who just this week admitted publicly that the Rangers have become "a very profitable team" again, will use the surprising September performances of Kameron Loe, Juan Dominguez and even R.A. Dickey to rationalize not signing free-agent pitching this off-season.

"I don't think that will happen," general manager John Hart said Wednesday while he watched the Rangers and Orioles wrapping up their series on another scorching late-summer afternoon in front of a handful of sun worshipers at The Ballpark in Arlington. "Had a money-pitcher been there at the [trade] deadline, Tom wasn't blinking at that."

Here is the new NHL rules video …If they call it like they claim they will call it, there will be 30 power plays per game!

ESPN grabs Baseball for 8 more years …More money for Tom Hicks not to spend…

Galloway on Mack Brown

Funny email of the day:

Subject: Which one of these is a sign of the Apocolypse or are both?

Breaking News: A federal judge in San Francisco has declared it
unconstitutional to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

ALERT SPORTS: Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe named NFC Offensive Player of the
Week. Click here for details.


AttnyDan said...

Bob you've missed an excellent opportunity to aid the Hurricane relief effort.

I think you should auction off the rights to "cut the cord" during your Vasectomy!

You could package that with the rights to make your "boys" match your head since you have to shave baby smooth for the procedure.

But as usual, you're only thinking about yourself. You'd better hope that a Category 5 never hits Lewisville.

Cuban vs Hicks? Give me a break, that's a no-brainer.

Fake Big Mac said...

I bid $5.00 to cut the cord and $500.00 to shave Bob's nether region.

Actually, I'd donate $5,000.00 if Big Mac had to do it--on air!!!

Steve said...

What kind of "fan" tries to defend the owner of a hometown team not spending so he can make money?

Would that same "fan" defend his boss if certain things at his job were cut back to save money and make a profit (i.e. salary, computer use, lunch hour, etc..)?

No chance in hell. What a stupid argument.

big smooth said...

there is absolutely no comparison between how hicks and cuban run their respective clubs. cuban would do anything he could in his power to bring a championship to the mavs. most fans realize that and appreciate having an owner that dedicates everything in his power to win. if anything, cuban goes overboard. the difference is that now cuban has learned over the last few years that spending on it's own doesn't work. it's finding the right deal that makes sense financially and on the court. hicks on the other hand signed two bad deals that didn't make sense financially or on the field in a-rod and chan ho and after that decided never to spend big money again because he made a huge mistake. then he blames the fans for not coming out to the park as the reason the team can't sign players. the model for as long as sports/entertainment has existed is that you put out a good product to watch, and the fans will come naturally, not the other way around.
cuban's passion for the mavs and winning a championship should never be confused with hicks' lack of care for the fans. i don't understand how anyone can defend hicks for his attitude and how he has ruined the rangers from consistent division winners to losers.

ChuckleDip said...

Consistent division winners, eh?

So funny, I laugh till I hurt.

Anonymous said...

3 out of 4 is showing signs of consistency...

StatmanipulatingDip said...

Look here anonymous selective stats man, let's examine your statement:

1 out of 1 is consistent, right?

2 out of 2 is consistent, right?

So why don't you pick the exact best time frame to prove your point while leaving everything else out.

3 out of 44 is NOT consistent.

3 out of 10 is NOT consistent

3 playoff appearances in franchise history (1 of which was obtained with less than 90 wins, no less) is NOT consistent.

So don't act like they were the yankees (or even the freaking cubs) and suddenly they can't make the playoffs as if not making the playoffs has EVER been anything other than the norm.

JH is Cali said...

Everyone forgets that Cuban also has a salary cap and more punitive luxury tax. The Finley move was to allevitate the luxury tax so that he wasn't paying double for any free agents he signs. We could also argue all day about whether Fin was slipping or not.

Hicks has no such excuse, he is so far under the baseball luxury tax that if he was still paying A-rod's salary they would still be under (oh, wait he still is paying A-rod's salary). At least he's showing signs that he's crawled out of Scott Boras' love swing.

Chris said...

"But, I believe there is a responsibility to the community to reinvest a reasonable amount of your profits back in your organization."

your statement is off IMO.

Southwest Sports group = Frito Lay, T.I., 7-11, Brinker, The Ticket, etc...

They are all in it for the PROFIT. To make the owner or shareholders happy. Like a lot of companies, when they invest a ton of money in a new project, they may take a loss for a year, and hope to recoup it the next year. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't.

It didn't work for Tom, so he is getting his losses back. I don't like it, but can see why its done.

big smooth said...

dude, the point wasn't whether they were consistent or not so there's no need to keep picking at it....the point was that they were a good team and turning a corner as a franchise and now they suck, primarily because of the owner's bad decisions and sudden change in philosophy...i'm not saying they were the freaking yankees. the rangers in the second half of the 90s were a good team that got blown up because they couldn't get past a dynasty in the first round. if you want to pick at one word, go ahead but you know that wasn't that important to the whole argument.

Robert Bentley said...

The point Bob was making was that if you're getting into business solely to make money, get into another business.
Sports owners have a responsibility beyond profits, that of being a good steward of one of the community's most visible symbols. Tom Hicks seems to have forgotten that part of the equation.

Cap It said...

Great point Robert.

p1dean said...

Dear I listened to BaD radio (and other ticket shows) yesterday, I realized that I have absolutely no interest in hockey whatsoever. I've never been a huge hockey fan, but I'd get excited once or twice a year (usually at the befinning of the season and playoff time).

I know that the players are trying to make good for the fans...but count me as one of those who might never return.

Chris said...

Good point Robert, but when did it become that way? I doubt being a "good steward" was why people have ever bought a sports team.

Why can't a person own a sports team to make money? If that is their goal?

Robert Bentley said...

I'd say George Steinbrenner, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner, Arte Moreno, and Ted Turner are all great examples of how you can do both.

On the other hand you've got Donald Sterling, Ross Perot Jr., David Glass and possibly Tom Hicks as examples of guys who should have just gotten into real estate.

Anonymous said...

you have every right to make money as an owner of a business, sports team or otherwise. however, your goal should also be to attempt to put a winner out there for the community. i'd like to see a correlation between playoff appearances/championships to profitability. it's a simple equation, do your part to put a winner on the field, people will watch and buy your merchandise, and you will turn a profit. i realize it's not as simple as that, but that's what owners should strive for. there are many owners, not just hicks who could care less about winning. we've just been spoiled here in dallas with jerry (best owner in sports) and cuban.

Anonymous said...

why are you posting Unlce Urine's column?

"Jeff" Hicks is off base. Cuban is 1 of the 3 best owners in the NBA.


Anonymous said...

Looks like the 'roids finally caught up to Gabe and made him brittle.

AttnyDan said...

The bottom line is simple: In the past 5 years or so, no team in Dallas has won a championship, so all the big 4 are even on that point.

Cuban & Jerry spend money and do what they can to make their teams better even if it doesn't work.

Hicks acts like he's giving birth everytime he "has" to write a check.

Think about this: How bad would we be barbecuing Hicks if he only owned the Rangers and the owner of the Stars spent like Cuban or Jerry?

We would be marching to his house with pitch-forks and torches!!!

big smooth said...

well said attny dan..

Anonymous said...

maybe some of yall agree or disagree... but...

I am NOT cool with sports owners, managers, players, etc, (specifically in dallas) getting ZERO hard, difficult, controversial questions during interviews on the Ticket...

I know the excuse is that if they ask those type of questions that they won't come back on, just hang up, etc... but who cares??? They can't hide in their holes forever.

Start asking the straight forward questions that you talk about during the segments.

Anonymous said...

I'll give Cuban credit for one thing, he knows when to throw in the towel. No amount of money is going to move the Mavs past the Spurs until Tim Duncan retires anyway.

Anonymous said...

I would much rather have my team's owner do everything he can to put a winning team on the field. While both Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones have both made mistakes in this area, they have both been doing everything they can to bring in a winner. They dont always succeed but it is not for a lack of trying. Hicks has not been doing this in recent years.

ChozSun said...

I just realized something after watching that NHL video on officiating: Hockey sucks big donkey balls. There is a lot of utter crap that fans including myself take for granted.

I seriously hope that the NHL sticks to there guns. 30 power plays a game? So be it. Change the game.