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Let the Dan Gilbert/Tigers speculation begin

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If Gilbert does buy the tigers, I expect a new front office before too long. 

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7 hours ago, Yoda said:

But would he be better than current ownership? 

You could say Mike failed as a Tigers owner as well but I'd take him back right about now. 

No way.  He didn't get the big trophy but he made it great to be a Tiger fan again.  You can't say he didn't try and from all indications, it cost him a lot of money personally.    We should have won it in 2006, 2011, 2012 or 2013 but a few plays here and there shot us down.  No shame in that.  He was a great sports owner.  Wouldn't trade him for any other sports owner in any sport.  

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5 hours ago, Motown Bombers said:

I'm guessing anyone who buys the team will be part of an ownership group. I doubt Gilbert will pony up 1.5 billion of his own money to own the team. 

I think that too.    He wouldn't be the only investor, but it would be in his name.  He'd be the lead guy.   Tom Gores might be part of this too.  

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It's all pure speculation that anything is going on, but I wonder why he'd sell casinos and I have no doubt the Illitch family wants to get rid of the Tigers. 

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14 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

I think that too.    He wouldn't be the only investor, but it would be in his name.  He'd be the lead guy.   Tom Gores might be part of this too.  

Bringing Tom Gores in on this does not make me feel better. 

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4 minutes ago, Motown Bombers said:

Bringing Tom Gores in on this does not make me feel better. 

Me neither, but they were going to go into Major League Soccer together.   

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Just now, Motor City Sonics said:

Me neither, but they were going to go into Major League Soccer together.   

So was the Ford family. I am concerned now. 

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First of all, Gilbert could in theory put 1.5 billion of his own money into the team. He's worth something like 8 billion. My guess is he'd probably have some ownership group come along with him, but certainly he could do it himself if he really wanted to. I personally am not a big fan of his- he's basically bought up blighted properties and moved many of his own companies into the city. It's certainly created a buzz, but again, a lot of the tenants are dan gilbert companies- some, like Quicken, he's moved from the suburbs. So net/net, how much does that really do for the region? He's shuffling the deck around from one city to another. I don't really think it's necessarily healthy to have one guy control so much of the city. At least the ilitchs, with the build out of LCA and the district detroit project, offer some competition to him for another slice of the city.

I thought the same thing when I read the article today- it's a natural step to exit casinos if you're looking at a major league team, but the article didn't speculate anything in that regard. It could all be just talk with respect to the tigers. Maybe he has another reason for getting out of the gaming world.

Mike Ilitch poured his soul into that team on a daily basis because he played minor league ball and loved the tigers. I don't see that same level of love for the team coming from his kids right now, but that's not necessarily surprising. I'm not sure we'd ever get that with any other owner, so maybe that's not a fair thing to say about them. But I don't see Gilbert as someone who has a deep passion for the tigers either, and certainly not to the point that Mike did. I suspect he'd be a lot like a Gores who is a private equity guy and is just kind of aloof with respect to the Pistons. I've never gotten the impression Gores is in it for the long haul. I think if he rights the ship there, he'd sell them in a minute when he can get his price- just like private equity guys do with everything else. 

The reality is, there are only so many people that can afford an MLB team to begin with. It's an exclusive club. We were fortunate to have an owner who had a lot of love for the team. They are really just a pricey toy for many owners though, so we probably won't feel that level of love/commitment again. 

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I’m business stupid. Why does selling his casinos matter here?

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3 minutes ago, thefunk said:

I’m business stupid. Why does selling his casinos matter here?

MLB doesn’t like the direct link to casinos and gambling.

Now, as was mentioned before, how Mike was able to own the Tigers whilst wife Marion owned the casinos is a good question.

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2 minutes ago, Casimir said:

MLB doesn’t like the direct link to casinos and gambling.

Now, as was mentioned before, how Mike was able to own the Tigers whilst wife Marion owned the casinos is a good question.

Couple things just to further this post. Casinos are often cash cows. So someone giving up the money, is usually a sign of something. 

As for Marian, others noted it was more of a name thing where she owned the casino, but the family owned it who are we kidding. But, one difference is that Mike already owned the Tigers. Gilbert would be trying to get into baseball which is a tightwad old-boys club, remember Cuban and the cubs?, and any reason to keep him out is usually enough for that group. 

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http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20170218/NEWS/170219847/who-owns-the-tigers-family-plan-is-a-matter-of-trust

This might help explain some of the issue with MLB & casino ownership. It's apparently fine for one family member to own one but not the other. Not sure why MLB doesn't restrict families from having both in their ownership, but they seem to look at it based entirely on single ownership, not family holdings. 

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Interesting. It sure is tough to judge younger ilitch in the young years of a rebuild. I don’t like him, but what’s he supposed to have done differently?

fire Avila? And get who? I dunno. I don’t buy that the Ilitch fam cares at all. Would Gilbert care more? Probably.  Pudge and Ordonez and hitting on Ver and Zoom were enough to launch 2006-2013. 

Perhaps our young studs plus machado really would get the ball rolling.

And all you naysayers who are about to scream “ASTROS”.....”CUBS”..... blah blah nobody knows anything about building baseball teams. Flukiest GD sport in history. 

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15 minutes ago, thefunk said:

And all you naysayers who are about to scream “ASTROS”.....”CUBS”..... blah blah nobody knows anything about building baseball teams. Flukiest GD sport in history. 

Actually the vast majority are build with homegrown talent. 

And while there is no, one magic formula, shouldn't we try the one that's worked for teams since the game was invented?

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Even before the casinos whenever they listed the owner in the media guides it would say Mike Ilitch. For the Red Wings it would say Mike and Marian Ilitch. Marian Ilitch didn’t own the Tigers. She didnt have a position with the tigers. That’s how it was even prior to the casinos in Detroit. 

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5 minutes ago, Oblong said:

Even before the casinos whenever they listed the owner in the media guides it would say Mike Ilitch. For the Red Wings it would say Mike and Marian Ilitch. Marian Ilitch didn’t own the Tigers. She didnt have a position with the tigers. That’s how it was even prior to the casinos in Detroit. 

My understanding of that is that she wasn't really all that interested in buying the tigers to begin with. That was Mike's dream and all on him, which is the big reason he was the only owner. The hockey team was more her thing. It worked out well when she got into the casinos.

Who's to say where the kids do or don't align in this thing now that he's gone, but I don't sense that they wouldn't sell it if they got a good offer.

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1 hour ago, Oblong said:

Even before the casinos whenever they listed the owner in the media guides it would say Mike Ilitch. For the Red Wings it would say Mike and Marian Ilitch. Marian Ilitch didn’t own the Tigers. She didnt have a position with the tigers. That’s how it was even prior to the casinos in Detroit. 

Yup. One question I have is if the Tigers are sold, who are the beneficiaries of the Trust? We know it's a trust, but what do we know about how it is structured?  I guess we assume the Ilitch children and/or maybe Marion are beneficiaries,  but I don't know that is necessarily a slam dunk conclusion unless it has been stated somewhere. The reason that would matter is that if Chris' siblings are co-beneficiaries, and they want to cash out, then that would be a source of pressure on Chris to sell. But is that actually the case or not? IDK. Billionaires  have done stranger things.

As you note, the Tigers were always Mike's thing apart from the rest of the family. 

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3 hours ago, Keepleyland2 said:

Couple things just to further this post. Casinos are often cash cows. So someone giving up the money, is usually a sign of something. 

As for Marian, others noted it was more of a name thing where she owned the casino, but the family owned it who are we kidding. But, one difference is that Mike already owned the Tigers. Gilbert would be trying to get into baseball which is a tightwad old-boys club, remember Cuban and the cubs?, and any reason to keep him out is usually enough for that group. 

Yeah, giving up cash cows like Casinos (only a dolt like Trump could fail at a Casino) is a strong indication that he could possibly by cash-poor somewhere else, which is HIGHLY doubtful or that a gambling interest would get in the way of something else.   Wonder what that could be?  

 

Well everyone knows that they (Mike & Marion) owned the Wings, Tigers, Olympia...........Then in a Tigers Press Guide one year it was listed that way (because it was true).   MLB gave the Illitchs a call and asked - Hey doesn't co-owner Marion own part of a Casino? We can't have that.   So then the Tigers blamed it all on a clerical error by their press man Dan Ewald and threw him under the bus (we didn't have a Q-Line back then).   This was extremely embarrassing to Ewald who was regarded as one of the best press/PR guys in baseball and who's character could not be questioned (he really was a very nice man).  This REALLY enraged Sparky Anderson who had a very close  relationship with Ewald and it's the main reason the relationship between the Illitch family and Sparky got so frosty.  

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7 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

Yeah, giving up cash cows like Casinos (only a dolt like Trump could fail at a Casino) is a strong indication that he could possibly by cash-poor somewhere else, which is HIGHLY doubtful or that a gambling interest would get in the way of something else.   Wonder what that could be?  

 

Well everyone knows that they (Mike & Marion) owned the Wings, Tigers, Olympia...........Then in a Tigers Press Guide one year it was listed that way (because it was true).   MLB gave the Illitchs a call and asked - Hey doesn't co-owner Marion own part of a Casino? We can't have that.   So then the Tigers blamed it all on a clerical error by their press man Dan Ewald and threw him under the bus (we didn't have a Q-Line back then).   This was extremely embarrassing to Ewald who was regarded as one of the best press/PR guys in baseball and who's character could not be questioned (he really was a very nice man).  This REALLY enraged Sparky Anderson who had a very close  relationship with Ewald and it's the main reason the relationship between the Illitch family and Sparky got so frosty.  

Illitich didn't have a casino investment until 1999

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11 hours ago, Keepleyland2 said:

Couple things just to further this post. Casinos are often cash cows. So someone giving up the money, is usually a sign of something. 

As for Marian, others noted it was more of a name thing where she owned the casino, but the family owned it who are we kidding. But, one difference is that Mike already owned the Tigers. Gilbert would be trying to get into baseball which is a tightwad old-boys club, remember Cuban and the cubs?, and any reason to keep him out is usually enough for that group. 

A George Blaha "thank you".

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17 minutes ago, Keepleyland2 said:

Illitich didn't have a casino investment until 1999

and I believe Ewald left the Tigers when Sparky did.

 

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1 hour ago, Oblong said:

and I believe Ewald left the Tigers when Sparky did.

 

But they still blamed Ewald and the frostiness with the Illitches came after he left.   I guess they thought blaming Ewald after his departure wouldn't sting,  they were wrong.  

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22 hours ago, Oblong said:

I don't think it's semantics.  One person owns the team.  Another person owns a Casino.

The rule says an owner can't own a casino.  It doesn't say the wife of an owner can't own a casino.  That's not semantics.  That's the letter of the rule.

 

 

I might follow the letter of the law, but it sure seems to me to break the spirit of the rule.

I mean it seems obvious to me that the rule is designed to prevent the appearance of possible collusion between gambling and teams.  MLB doesn't want it too look like an owner might handle his team in such at way that would benefit him/herself in terms of gambling interests.

Maybe you okay a trade to one team vs. the other because if the other team wins the WS your casino stands to lose a lot of money or something...

Anyway, if that's the goal, then simply splitting the ownership between a married couple fits the rule, but surely doesn't adhere to the spirit of the rule.  IF an owner was questionable enough to handle his/her team in such a way as to benefit his casino, s/he certainly isn't going to not do that questionable activity because it's the spouse that owns the casino, not him or her directly.

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Then the rule should have said "The family of the owner, or the family of an owner"  or "the spouse".  It didn't.  This isn't a technicality of a broad concept.  It would have been quite easy to have the language say what I suggested.

If the other owners, who are responsible for creating hte rule, had a problem with it then they could have changed it or done something else.  It's a system run by the owners and it's their rules.  If they are ok with it then everyone else should be too.  It's not a federal regulation.

 

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26 minutes ago, Oblong said:

Then the rule should have said "The family of the owner, or the family of an owner"  or "the spouse".  It didn't.  This isn't a technicality of a broad concept.  It would have been quite easy to have the language say what I suggested.

If the other owners, who are responsible for creating hte rule, had a problem with it then they could have changed it or done something else.  It's a system run by the owners and it's their rules.  If they are ok with it then everyone else should be too.  It's not a federal regulation.

 

True, and that's a good point.  And I sure the owners probably wrote the rule in this manner for this reason.  This provided them with great flexibility while still being able to publicly say "Our league is NOT involved with any gambling entity."

So I really shouldn't say that Ilitch broke the spirit of the rule when the real spirit of the rule was to provide plausible deniability for the owners rather than a real wall between gambling interests and owners.

One could make a "slippery slope" argument that if they excluded spouses then they'd have the kids down the casino and if kids were excluded then you could have parents or siblings or aunts and uncles or even friends so they can't create a rule that would close all possible loopholes.  And while there's some truth to that, it certainly seems like including spouses only makes logical sense given how gov't handles a married couple, and spouses were NOT included.  That points to me that it was an ownership move to create the appearance of separation vs. real separation.
 

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