I always want to trust people until they have given me a reason not to, and that's a quality I feel that most people possess. That is why 2 stories concerning the Red Sox this week caused me to raise an eye and laugh out loud.
Let's start with Curt Schilling. We all are familiar with his accomplishements on the field. The "Bloody Sock", and his heroics in 2004 will forever live in Red Sox history, and they should. The man was a warrior on the field. However in his attempt to be the next Bill Gates of the video game industry, Curt showed he has all the business skills of children running a lemonade stand. (Sorry kids) He has gone everywhere this week claiming to anyone who would listen that he is "broke". Somehow I don't think Curt's idea, and our idea of being broke are the same. It's not like Schilling is going to be standing outside of Yawkey Way holding a sign that says "Will Pitch for Food" anytime soon. (Even though with the current state of the home team they may take him up on that offer.) He has really shown no remorse for the 400 families at 38 Studios that he hasn't paid, and are also now "broke".
In his words on WEEI earlier this week, he said there was a sit down in the Schilling household. Dad had lost his entire $50 million dollar baseball fortune. The financial situation was discussed and that changes were going to have to be made. The lifestyle they had gotten used to was going to be different. Then he wished that none of us ever had to have that conversation with our families. Sorry Mr. Schilling, but we live in reality, not your video game world.
There was no mention of what happened to the $75 million that Rhode Island gave him to move there, or where his own $50 million went. We are left to believe that $125 million dollars went to produce exactly 1 video game in 6 years.
In comparison Call of Duty Black Ops, arguably the most successful video game ever to date, cost an estimated $18-$28 million dollars to develop and produce. Forensic accountants are now poring over the accounts of 38 Studios to figure out where the money went, and Schilling is blaming everyone from R.I. Govenor Lincoln Chafee to Lincoln Mercury for his troubles. Sorry Curt, my heart isn't bleeding and neither are my socks!
The second financial whiz of the week is Red Sox co-Owner Tom Werner. Responding to earlier remarks made by Theo Epstein, he exclaimed that in the 10 years the current ownership group has owned the Sox, the owners haven't taken a dime. All money that has been generated has gone into payroll or renovations for the blight that is Fenway. Like John Henry was waiting for the workmen to finish and then gave them a check, a hot dog and sent them on their way. Now all of these men would probably fall into the category of being a little more educated than I am, and they floated that balloon by us. Time for me to try and pop it!
So the supremely successful men have not made any money owning the Sox? Well maybe there isn't a check waiting for Mr. Werner every week at Yawkey Way, (maybe he has direct deposit?) but there are other ways of getting paid.
According to Forbes the team was bought for $380 million in 2002 by the Henry
Group. The current value of just the team itself is $912 million dollars. (Okay
not the current team, we all know what we would pay for them) So before we all
break out our checkbooks for Mr. Werner, he stands to make a hefty profit if and
when they sell the team. I am not denying the man's right to make money, or the
fact that they have been reasonably good owners. But please don't think that we
believe money is not being made at the corporate offices of Fenway Park.
I asked co-workers about these 2 stories this week, and surprisingly about 50 percent believed Schilling was broke and the owners aren't making money. So somehow I feel that Schilling and Werner are winning the PR battle. But my Mom always told me that if you think somethings stinks don't sniff it. I think this stinks. It doesn't pass my sniff test. How about yours?