- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"In the four years I kept the team we always drew between 44,000 and 50,000 fans a season. That averages out to better than 500 a night. I never touched a dime of my own money, and the team itself never lost money—except sometimes I couldn't pay myself any salary.
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"I listed my phone number, and I got 40 responses. I sold the team for $45,000."
McKernan sipped a soft drink. "I made money with the team and I enjoyed it, so I have no sour grapes, but what do the big boys like Bowie Kuhn tell you they pump into the minors?"
"The figure they claim is $36 million annually."
"Well, in the Eastern League it costs the major league clubs with farms $80,000 to $125,000 to support a franchise. But look what they get. We provide them with a training ground. They get to see if their prospects can play under hard conditions, after tough bus rides, day games following night games, under lights that may not be the greatest. We play 140 games, so they find out which kids have the stamina, who can play night after night after night.
"They could help us by giving us some continuity, by letting kids play in the regions where they grew up. They actually resist that. They say that playing before home folks puts too much pressure on a boy. A lot of Pittsfield people look at the Brewers as a bunch of visiting Californians who won't be around here next year. They'd rather watch local kids playing American Legion ball. And the major leagues could also stop televising us to death.
"Go look around the ball park. They've got some talent. The manager, John Felske, is a fine guy. And remember this, I'm only 35 years old. I expect to get in the majors someday myself. And then I'll remember, I hope I'll remember, the way things are out here among us poor people."