Earlier this week, it was announced that the San Diego Padres had been sold and that a minority investor in the group was famed golfer Phil Mickelson which continues a growing trend of baseball teams taking on celebrities as minority ownership partners.
When the sold Dodgers earlier this year, NBA legend and LA icon Magic Johnson was the faceman of the new ownership group even though he wasn't a top investor.
And it was back in June that comedian Bill Maher bought a stake in the New York Mets as part of their efforts to raise some extra cash for the team, not to mention some good publicity.
Of course, the king of the mountain right now has to be Nolan Ryan who isn't just a big name but the actual primary owner and managing partner of the Texas Rangers.
We here at The Outside Corner are fully in support this trend. In fact, we think it is such a great idea that we've gone ahead and compiled a list of celebrities that should buy stakes in all the remaining franchises, even if it is nothing more than a vanity purchase or mere publicity stunt.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Famous/infamous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who would give the Diamondbacks a double dose of toughness to go along with manager Kirk Gibson. Maybe that would be what the team needs to get Justin Upton to start producing. On the other hand, there is a very real chance that he would deport all of the team's Latino players.
Atlanta Braves – Clifford "T.I." Harris Jr. since he is an Atlanta native and a rapper. It seems like almost the NBA teams have a rapper for a minority investor, so it is about time MLB get in on some of that too. Personally, I just want to be at the meeting when T.I. and Bud Selig meet for the first time and attempt to make small talk.
Baltimore Orioles – Michael K. Williams because the only person who can save the Orioles from the iron grip of Peter Angelos has to be Omar, right? You better watch out, Angelos. Omar comin'!
Boston Red Sox – Dr. Drew Pinsky which is an off the board suggestion since there are so many Boston celebrities to choose from, but handing Dr. Drew an ownership stake might actually be a cheaper option than having him bill the team for all the group therapy sessions that their dysfunctional clubhouse apparently needs.
Chicago Cubs – Bill Murray because, honestly, how has that not happened already?
Chicago White Sox – Barack Obama, you know, just in case he needs something else to do after November of this year.
Cincinnati Reds – Charlie Sheen who might be the most famous Reds fan out there. He is a lightning rod for controversy, but he'll still look like a saint compared to former owner Marge Schott. The only problem is that the whole "winning!" fad is going to come back with a vengeance if the Reds win the World Series.
Cleveland Indians – Drew Carey because he would continue the history of comedians having ownership stake in the Indians. Now, Carey is no Bob Hope but he does have ownership experience with the Seattle Sounders of the MLS. I know it is soccer, but it still counts… sort of.
Colorado Rockies – Tim Tebow. C'mon, Denver, you know you miss him. Besides, maybe he can become a pitcher for the team. Even with his janky throwing motion, he'd probably still be better than anyone currently on Colorado's pitching staff.
Detroit Tigers – Robocop because if the city of Detroit can erect a statue to a movie character, I don't see why they can't hand a small ownership stake to him for the sake of publicity as well. I know that this sounds like a joke, but the next best option was Kid Rock. Now, you tell me which one is the joke?
Houston Astros – The Mars Curiosity rover if only because it would give the "Houston, we have a problem" puns a whole other level.
Kansas City Royals – Garth Brooks. Having a washed up country singer as a part owner doesn't seem very exciting but that is what they deserve for singing "Friends in Low Places" at Kauffman Stadium during the seventh inning stretch.
Los Angeles Angels – Danny Manning is a former NBA player, if you weren't aware. It is only fair that if the Angels are going to try and horn in on the Dodgers' territory by pretending they are in Los Angeles and not Anaheim that they would also try and catch up to the Dodgers by bringing on board another LA basketball great. However, with the Dodgers already laying claim to the mighty Lakers, the Angels will have to settle for the lowly Clippers and their best player ever which, sadly, is the aforementioned Danny Manning. There is a good chance this won't play quite as well with the Los Angelenos as Magic did.
Miami Marlins – That guy in Florida who got hopped up on bath salts and ate the homeless guy's face. Not only are zombies all the rage these days, but his crimes pale in comparison to what current owner Jeffrey Loria has perpetrated in his tenure.
Milwaukee Brewers – Front Row Amy. Who deserves a spot in the owner's box more than her?
Minnesota Twins – Former Governor and pro wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura might be the best entrant in this field thus far. Really, he gives you everything you want in a minority owner. He's more than willing to be a mouthpiece for the team and very obviously capable of silencing the team's detractors, even if it means resorting to getting physical. Plus, his status as one of the world's most prominent 9-11 conspiracy theorists can help deflect attention away from the Twins current struggles on the field. FYI, if you are a Twins fan and hate this suggestion, be aware that we were this close to going with Kris Humphries instead.
New York Yankees – Rush Limbaugh if only because it would be a great foe for the crosstown Mets and the aforementioned left winger Maher. If you think about it, Limbaugh is a great fit because he isn't very likeable outside of his fan base, just like the Yankees.
Oakland Athletics – Jonah Hill. The obvious choice here was to go with someone from Moneyball. Brad Pitt would have been preferable, but he is a big budget star and that doesn't fit with the Oakland philosophy. No, the A's get the much more affordable B-lister Hill instead. If it makes you feel any better, overweight comedic sidekicks are the new market inefficiency.
Philadelphia Phillies – Will Smith which is incredibly obvious, but it would be ridiculous to just ignore him altogether since he is one of the most prominent Philadelphia sports fans ever. Besides, there is an off chance that he can use memory eraser from Men in Black to make everyone forget about how much money the Phillies still owe Ryan Howard.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Mark Cuban if only to tweak Bud Selig who has gone out of his way to prevent Mark Cuban from ever owning a MLB franchise, including an attempt he made to buy his hometown Pirates several years ago.
San Francisco Giants – Rob Schneider. He's a noted a Giants fan, plus the team could give him all sorts of promotional events to attend. Really, just so long as they keep him from making another Deuce Bigelow movie and this is a win-win for all of humanity.
Seattle Mariners – Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie, because the guy wrote and released a song entirely dedicated to Mariner great Ichiro Suzuki. That, my friends, it the kind of dedication and zealotry we fans all want in a prospective owner.
St. Louis Cardinals – Albert Pujols since he is a former Cardinal great and clearly now has enough money to afford it. I can't possibly imagine why this wouldn't go over well. Nope. Not a single reason.
Tampa Bay Rays – The Church of Scientology because they have a major campus in nearby Clearwater, Florida. The celebrity part is all of the movie stars like Tom Cruise and John Travolta that are members of the church and would thus have no choice but to immediately become prominent Rays fans. Just think of all the money that Scientology could then re-route into the league. And with their totally non-intimidating, not at at all creepy and cultish methods for threatening people they could probably even "convince" top free agents to sign with the Rays at steep discounts. Of course, if they ban all Supressive Persons from attending games, that might cancel out all the good stuff that Scientology brings to the table.
Toronto Blue Jays – Don Cherry quite simply because of the suits. Baseball needs those suits. Who knows if Cherry cares about anything other than hockey, but it doesn't matter. Give us more of this.
Washington Nationals – William Shatner partly because he is just awesome at everything but mostly because, as a native of Montreal, he could serve as a sleeper agent deployed by Jonah Keri to get the franchise moved back Montreal where it belongs.