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In Cheap We Trust.

By, Tim Pafford (ed. Nykki Grim)

All Royals fans were undoubtedly crestfallen when they learned of the death of great and long time Royals’ owner Ewing Kauffman in 1993. All felt the loss and were going to miss a man who loved his Kansas City Baseball Team and backed them to being perennial playoff contenders, winning six division championships, and two American League pennants, along with the world championship in 1985.

He may not have had the ownership of a major league baseball team first and foremost on his mind, but once his wife convinced him of the great positive economic impact it would have on Kansas City, he was sold. He used the ball team, not only to create new jobs, but used it as a community outreach project as well. Those in the community needing assistance could join his outreach program that promised to pay for the secondary education of underprivileged kids. As long as they did not use drugs, become teen parents, and had their parents assist in their formative years (along with a few other ‘rules’ to help them on their way to a more successful future) they had a free ride in college, thanks to Kauffman.

When Mr. Kauffman died his widow did what she could to take over. She hired professionals to help in the management of the Royals, and continued to keep player salaries high and competitive to the rest of the sport. Though they were not the best of years, the feeling of the Kauffman name remained with the team and gave comfort to those who felt the void caused through the lost a great owner and local humanitarian.

When Mrs. Kauffman passed to be with her husband, those in charge of her finances decided that selling the team to new owners was the best way to split the profits among the family. This was comparable to seeing the Royals moved, but there was still plenty of trepidation over the future of the team. Who knew if the owner would relocate it after they bought it.

Eventually, David Glass put in the winning bid for our favorite professional baseball team. He decided that he wanted to keep the team in Kansas City, but he did wish to make many changes to the team. He was best known, before this move to ownership, to having been the CEO of Wal-Mart and a major proponent to the opposition of the players during the great baseball player’s strike of the 1990’s. He took legal action against the players, stating that they were breaking federal laws in their striking. He proudly displayed his “Wal-Mart Philosophy” like a medal.

Glass did do a lot for Wal-Mart during his time there. Not only did he help it become the largest and most successful retail store in U.S., he brought the philosophy of “In cheap we trust” to America. This philosophy is one of buy cheap, make it work; replace it only if it has already been bandaged up several times before. Make do with whatever results happen to have came to fruition, pay as little to the workers as you can get away with, no matter how sub-rate it is, as long as the people are still buying - nothing’s wrong.

This worked OK for Wal-Mart, but it does not work for professional baseball. Real money has to be spent. To have good players one needs to pay competative salaries to these players. The same goes for managers and trainers as well. Hiring for cheap and firing them to get in someone else, just as cheap, may have been his model for success at Wal-Mart. But the Royals can no longer afford to have an owner who feels this way about his team.

An owner who has openly expressed that he hates Unions is fundamentally Un-American. America’s free labor laws came out of the work of Unions, along with safe working conditions and livable wages. Some will try to say that professional baseball players already make too much money. But I feel it should be looked at this way:

They are the best at what they do. They have trained their whole lives to get to where they are now, and durring all that training they did not get experience in any other lucrative job field. They need to make all the money they can, while they are in the majors, because it may be the only major income they receive in their lives.  That forces these players to live off of what they make as players for the rest of their lives. We get such great entertainment out of them during their professional life, why should we make them live in squalor, or work remedial jobs, after they retire? Baseball Player Unions help a player’s dreams become reality and David Glass seems to be doing all he can to make the players of our favorite team unable to achieve this.

As we fill the stands at Kauffman Stadium, we show pride that Kansas City is our home, and The Royals represent who we are. Fans- let us take a stand. We will not tolerate “In cheap we trust” for OUR Royals.

1 comment:

  1. Under David Glass the Royals will be nothing more then a farm team for the major leagues!


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