The best owners in pro sports are the ones who sit back and sign the checks.
They stay out of the petty day-to-day matters better suited for the front office, they let coaches coach, and above all else, they defer player personal decision to well, the personnel staff.
It’s a simple concept, really. Let the people beneath you do their jobs. If that someone can’t get the job done you find someone else, someone better, and you put them to work for you.
Yet this often successful method of pro sports management, one which appears simple from afar, is just too hard for most owners to follow.
It’s a balancing act for sure, not offering up too much, and not too little, either.
But typically, it’s those Type-A personalities that take over…and when they do, all hell breaks lose, especially in the loss column.
New Cubs owner Tom Ricketts told the Fox Business Network’s David Asman he doesn’t envision himself as the next George Steinbrenner, a man who defines what it means to be a hands-on owner.
“I don’t think an active owner in the Steinbrenner model is the way we see ourselves, or the way I see myself,” Ricketts said.
For Cubs faithful, this is a good omen. Ricketts doesn’t have, nor needs to spend the millions of dollars ol’ Gorgy boy spent digging himself out of stupid player personnel moves.
Had the boss man simply signed the checks and removed himself from the everyday duties of GM Brian Cashman, it’s likely the Yanks’ dynasty continues long past its last championship season in 2000.
In Ricketts’ case as a new owner, however, it is necessary for him to act Steinbrenner-like this offseason.
He should stick his nose in the employee’s business, find out what stinks, give final decisions and make damn sure his money isn’t going to waste.
I’m sure Ricketts’ fan-side, the one in the bleachers and not the three-piece suit, understands just how close the Cubs are to a championship ring. Heck, all Cubs fans know the team’s close, painfully close for that matter.
Yet, we can only hope Ricketts’ owner-side realizes this too, his understanding that overseeing the organization and signing the checks will do.