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Zednem700
07-16-2002, 02:59 PM
I'm amazed no one here is talking about the big lawsuit that the minority owners of the Expos have brought against Loria and Selig. Basically they are alleging what I felt all along, that Selig, Loria, and other scumbags purposely ruined a viable franchise so that they could make more money for themselves. People make fun of Montreal now, but they forget what a great baseball city it was for decades.

The minority owners are not some small time people either, these are large corporations with deep pockets who aren't ging to waste time with a frivolous lawsuit. Further evidence is the fact that they are represented by the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. That isn't a firm you hire unless you have lots of money and really want to win. They have stated that they will seek an injunction against any attempt to sell or move the team and are suing under the RICO act which is really quite a big deal.

Basically as long as the case doesn't get immediately thrown out for some reason, Bud and company are almost certain to settle because they'll want to avoid discovery and the potential of a trial at any cost. Still, this might serve to be the final nail in the coffin for the commisioner. Hopefully he'll be replaced by someone who isn't driven by the singular goal of driving down labor costs, but instead works to strengthen baseball by not bad mouthing it and inventing problems that don't exist.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-16-2002, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the post, Zed. I heard about the lawsuit but wasn't sure of its significance. I've long suspected the Expos were deliberately being sacrificed by the owners for P.R. purposes against the players' union. The price they willingly paid Loria was far more than what the team could fetch on the open market. The fact Loria turned around and bought ANOTHER team says he's doing just fine being baseball's version of a slumlord, too.

I certainly hope you're right about this being Selig's undoing. I suspect the coming labor impasse will be the Hardliners' Waterloo. They will capitulate orl sell their teams after losing vs. the players again, but only after a long, costly, and bitter fight.

Your post gives me hope for the future. :cool:

soxtalker
07-16-2002, 03:39 PM
What is also interesting about Zed's post is that it implies that it would also cause problems for the owners' apparent alternative plan -- sell the Expo's to another market.

It sounds like the minority owners are people/corporations who want to see baseball in Montreal. What kind of settlement is possible? If the Expo's don't move, they'e still in a tough position to compete financially -- aren't they?

Zednem700
07-16-2002, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
What is also interesting about Zed's post is that it implies that it would also cause problems for the owners' apparent alternative plan -- sell the Expo's to another market.

It sounds like the minority owners are people/corporations who want to see baseball in Montreal. What kind of settlement is possible? If the Expo's don't move, they'e still in a tough position to compete financially -- aren't they?

If it isn't immediately settled or thrown out it causes immense problems for baseball's plans to contract or move the Expos. Basically the minority owners want an injunction placed on any such attempts. This isn't to say they wouldn't agree to contract or move the team, but they would demand a BIG cut and that would make the move far less appealing to the current owners, MLB. Of course this all but kills any plans for contraction next year, since MLB would need to find 2 teams, neither of which can be the Expos or Twins, to kill.

I don't think its impossible for a team to be competetive in Montreal. For years it was a very good baseball market, that drew millions of paying fans each and every year. These miniscule crowds we see today are very much the fault of the last two owners, Loria and the Selig crony who sold to Loria. The minority owners are claiming Loria and company ruined deals that would have built a new stadium, purposefully alienated investors and sponsors, pulled the team off of tv, ignored the financial plans they had made for the team, and undermined a plan that would bring in more capital from new Canadian investors. Really is it that hard to believe that without all of that nonsense that Montreal could at least be a "mid market" team. Montreal is after all a big city and the team traditionally drew fans from a big area that included northern New England. With new owners who wnat to spend a little money and keep the team in Montreal I wouldn't at all be surprised to see the attendance rebound. I mean how big do you think the crowds would be at Comiskey, if Reinsdorf kept saying the team couldn't win, and made public plans to either kill or move the team?

kermittheefrog
07-16-2002, 04:53 PM
I think the problem is this won't be a baseball issue. It'll be a little bit of bad press followed by a likely settlement by MLB. Unless the Expos minority owners are driven more by the idea of tearing down Selig than the idea of recouping money they should have earned then as baseball fans it probably won't help us.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-16-2002, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Zednem700
....With new owners who wnat to spend a little money and keep the team in Montreal I wouldn't at all be surprised to see the attendance rebound. I mean how big do you think the crowds would be at Comiskey, if Reinsdorf kept saying the team couldn't win, and made public plans to either kill or move the team?

I'm guessing the Sox would draw the same 1.1 million that they drew in 1988 when Jerry Reinsdorf was doing precisely what you describe above. :smile:

BTW, excellent post on the true history of baseball in Montreal and the long-standing facts about its viability as a major league market. If Selig & Friends weren't so busy bad-mouthing their own product, these malicious lies would never get started.

Clean out MLB's barn! Wipe out the hardliners!

Paulwny
07-16-2002, 05:01 PM
From the AP article:

The lawsuit asks for compensatory damages, which are tripled, plus $100 million in punitive damages. It was assigned to U.S. District Ursula M. Ungaro-Benages.

Even an out of court settlement will cost big $$$. I don't think the mlb owners are going to be happy with this.

Zednem700
07-16-2002, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


I'm guessing the Sox would draw the same 1.1 million that they drew in 1988 when Jerry Reinsdorf was doing precisely what you describe above. :smile:

BTW, excellent post on the true history of baseball in Montreal and the long-standing facts about its viability as a major league market. If Selig & Friends weren't so busy bad-mouthing their own product, these malicious lies would never get started.

Clean out MLB's barn! Wipe out the hardliners!

I bet it would be even less than that if it followed years of not trying to compete and the owner actually kept thee team off of tv.

I always had problems with people saying the citizens of Montreal don't like baseball. The Dodgers' minor league franchise in Montreal was one of the most succesful minor league teams in baseball. Also Montreal completely and totally embraced Jackie Robinson as he prepared to break the color line. Its a shame that a city that played such an important role in one of baseball's most important decisions is catching such crap just because they are reluctant to build a park for the super rich or go to games when they are told the team sucks and will be gone soon anyways.

I've seen estimates by a few people, the minority owners are probaby asking for around $350 million.

Daver
07-16-2002, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Zednem700




I've seen estimates by a few people, the minority owners are probaby asking for around $350 million.

Anyone care to start a pool on the next MLB expansion to raise money to pay this off?

PaleHoseGeorge
07-16-2002, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I think the problem is this won't be a baseball issue. It'll be a little bit of bad press followed by a likely settlement by MLB. Unless the Expos minority owners are driven more by the idea of tearing down Selig than the idea of recouping money they should have earned then as baseball fans it probably won't help us.

How do you figure this, Kermie? These people are suing baseball for some serious scratch. If they have a good chance of winning treble damages in court, why would they accept anything less with an out of court settlement? MLB can't afford $350 million to shut these people up.

The more likely scenario would have MLB simply scrap their plan to contract any teams for the forseeable future. The sham argument that said baseball could reduce the number of teams will finally be revealed. They will have failed in both Montreal and Minnesota, and the legal avenues to defeat their future attempts will have become well-established, too.