Nearly every man who owns a baseball team was wildly successful in some other business. So I suspect that when owners fail, many of you suspect that it's because baseball is so different from computers or retail or class-action lawsuits, etc.
But that's not it. Owners fail because they think baseball is so different from all of those things, and they think baseball is so different because that's what everybody tells them. The local columnist says, "You can't run your baseball team like you run your car dealerships." The general manager says, "You have to run it the way I tell you to run it, and you should listen to me because I've been around this game a lot longer than you have." So instead of running his baseball team like he ran his other business -- hiring good people, eliminating inefficiencies, demanding measurable performance -- he defers to the "professionals" who talk a good game.
And sometimes it's even worse than that. Sometimes an owner, in the face of all contrary evidence, continues to believe the claptrap long after the time has come to look for the truth. Last week, for example, Royals owner David Glass said this: