10. Mark Attanasio, Milwaukee Brewers
A smart, committed owner who seemingly wants to make every effort to bring a winner to Milwaukee. He knows the limitations of his market and tries to work around them, and he’s also concerned about fan experience: for example, the Brewers handed out $10 vouchers for food when Ryan Braun was suspended. That probably bought one hot dog, but it’s the thought that counts.
9. Ken Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks
He straightened out the Dbacks’ financial mess, negotiated a humongous television deal, and promptly gave the go-ahead to sign Zack Greinke and radically change the perception of the Diamondbacks in the process. Whether or not they win is another story, but Kendrick is doing his best to make sure it happens.
8. Arte Moreno, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Negatives: the name change was incredibly stupid and turned a lot of people off, and he definitely could have handled the Josh Hamilton situation better. Positives: his first order of business was to cut the price of beer, and he has no problems spending money on players he thinks can make his team better. As a fan, that’s what you expect from the owner.
7. Stu Sternberg, Tampa Bay Rays
Imagine if he had a real stadium. Sternberg has made noise about moving his team, but unlike the Rockies’ owners it’s hard to blame him: he’s faced nothing but roadblocks in getting a new ballpark built, and the Rays are usually in the bottom third of baseball in attendance. Yet Sternberg hires good people and has kept the Rays in contention in spite of those obstacles. He’s a good owner who deserves a better situation.
6. Ray Davis, Texas Rangers
He spends money and the Rangers have quite successful since he took over in 2010, making the playoffs four times and the World Series twice. His club has been one of the American League’s most successful during his tenure, though whispers about a move to the Dallas area may continue to hang over him.
5. John Henry, Boston Red Sox
Another owner willing to spend and spend big, Henry is a forward-thinking guy who seems to put great emphasis on winning. His club has made a few questionable moves over the past few years though, and it’ll be interesting to see how the latest front office shake up works out. Still, if things go bad, Henry’s history suggests he won’t hesitate to try and fix things.
4. Mark Walter, Los Angeles Dodgers
Spend, spend, spend. Dodgers fans have to be ecstatic after years of watching the McCourts destroy their franchise, since they now have an ownership group that has no problems opening their wallets and showing the rest of baseball the power of the Los Angeles market. Now, they just have to win it all.
3. Mike Ilitch, Detroit Tigers
There may not be another owner who wants to win as much as Ilitch seems to, and he backs up his desire with his wallet. Ilitch turned the Tigers around and made them relevant again by first spending big to lure top players there, then by making smart hires and spending his money wisely. The end result is an organization that always seems to be in the thick of contention.
2. William DeWitt Jr., St. Louis Cardinals
They’re always in contention, they have one of the best scouting departments in the game, and they spend money. It’s the trifecta every fan wants out of their team and the Cardinals have it in spades. They’re a model organization for the rest of baseball.
1. Charles Johnson, San Francisco Giants
They’ve won three World Series championships this decade, they play in a privately financed jewel of a ballpark, they sell out every game, and they have a reputation for taking care of their own players financially (something the Pirates could learn from). They’re also not afraid to spend when warranted, as evidenced by the almost quarter billion dollars they shelled out on free agents this winter. Johnson is hands off, but he’s built an organization that runs like a well-oiled machine.