No one has accused Walter O'Malley of dreaming small, but like every successful baseball executive, he keeps his focus. The diamond and the team. The team has to win or come close.
Judged against an insurance company, a major league franchise is a small business, and a big-league franchise makes a weak base on which to build a financial empire. But looking after a franchise, with its farm teams, its scouts, its public relations and all the rest, is a full-time occupation for any executive.
The Dodgers are not for sale. "Does anybody ever try to buy them?" I asked O'Malley.
"About once a week," he said.
Peter O'Malley elaborated, "I'd say we average two serious offers every year."
Playing in the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Astros are for sale. At last report, the message from Texas was brief: No takers.