Time for owners to own up
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

My all-time sports villain was going to be Twins owner Carl Pohlad. As a child, he would negotiate deals to pick weeds for a certain fee, then subcontract the work to the neighborhood kids at a lower amount and pocket the profit. He got his start in banking by delivering foreclosure notices to farmers during the depression. And as an owner, he tried to kill off his own team to collect on the contraction fee.

Page 2's villains
  • Ralph Wiley on John Thompson
  • Bill Simmons on Bill Laimbeer
  • Brian Murphy on Tommy Lasorda
  • Eric Neel on Reggie Jackson
  • Patrick Hruby on fans
  • Dan Shanoff on Duke hoops
  • Jason Whitlock on Joel Smeenge
  • Chris McKendry on Tonya Harding
  • Tim Keown on bad influence
  • But then I thought about George Steinbrenner, who has been banned from baseball twice, once after hiring a known thug to spy on his best player. And I thought of Art Modell, who deserted Cleveland after the city had loyally supported his team for decades. And I thought of Robery Irsay, who sneaked the Colts out of Baltimore during the night. And I thought of Al Davis, who moved the Raiders from Oakland and then from Los Angeles and no doubt will move them again just as soon as a judge allows him.

    And I thought of Jeffrey Loria and Georgia Frontiere and George Argyros ... and I knew I could not pick just one villain from this coven of owners.

    So who is my all-time sports villain? That's easy. All those despicable looters who ever purchased a team and then threatened to move it out of town while pretending that the clubs somehow belonged to them instead of their rightful owners, the fans.

    Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.



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