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Bruce Sherman


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A close Bruce Sherman examination is total reasonable.  But it is a little premature to take a cynical view on his stewardship of the Marlins for now.  He’s obviously not one to be out in front of the media.  He’s done a handful of interviews and has given the message that he is hands off when it comes to baseball operations.  Given the size of his investment he’s obviously not going to be that way on the business side, but he is not taking a public approach to the way he runs the business.  Take the Chip Bowers firing for example.  The media and fans (including everyone on this board) discussed the matter in terms of what Jeter decided, or what Jeter said about it.  Maybe this was a Bruce Sherman decision.  Piecing together unverified figures that don’t add up from articles on the sale Jeter put about $25 million into the team and received a 4% share on the reported $1.2 B purchase price.  So there’s some debt involved too.  The exact figures don’t matter as much as the notion that he barely put anything in compared to Sherman.  He’s being paid a salary for his role with the Baseball Operations people so he can effectively work off his capital contribution.  We discuss Jeter because he’s the one in front of the cameras talking about the business and the baseball team but the buck stops with Sherman.  If Jeter gave Sherman a big sales pitch on a rebrand and a market strategy headed by the new guy from the Warriors it wouldn’t be inconceivable if Sherman decided to can Bowers and Jeter was the one answering questions about it in front of the media boys.  Sherman is a silent majority owner but we don’t know how it is behind closed doors.   I’d imagine he’s very vocal.


Now, does it matter if he is “hands on” or “silent”?  I don’t think it really matters.  The team’s success drives that narrative.  Jefferey Loria was very hands on to a fault.  His problem was that he kept stepping on his own dick anytime he tried to swing it during contract negotiations with free agents.  The long list of bad contracts speak for themselves.  George Steinbrenner had his fair share of meddling and plenty of mistakes along the way.  The difference with Steinbrenner though was that he kept plowing forward and had enough success to outweigh the moments that didn’t go well (which were largely in the early days).  Silent majority owners can be accused of only caring about the bottom line.  We can’t label Sherman at this point, but sometime down the road it may warrant a discussion.


I hardly ever tune into local sports talk radio but I happened to hear Jonathan Zaslow this morning talking about Derek Jeter.  I’m not a big fan of Zaslow’s baseball opinions but he raised legitimate questions about Jeter that relates to this conversation.  How long will he be here?  I had always assumed he was always be here because he owned the team.  That was a false assumption on my part.  Nobody has seen the Partnership Agreement.  Partnership Agreements are very dense and each are unique.  There could be just about anything in that document.  Given the amount of responsibility Jeter has taken on in comparison to the very small investment he made there is likely strong performance related language in the Partnership Agreement that provides Sherman an out should he decide he doesn’t want Jeter running the club’s baseball operations.  Billy Beane has ownership interests in the A’s but these are two entirely different people.  We all celebrated Loria’s departure.  The change of direction with player personnel divided peoples opinions.  But I would venture to guess that most people that supported the trades were worried that the people running the show were new to this sort of thing.  I count myself in that group but it is way too early to grade it.



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