There are 14 current Major League Baseball owners who have been at the top of their organizations' masthead for 20 years or more. Just four bought their respective teams within the last 10 years.
The point is that there are a lot of very rich people/entities who have for one reason or another decided for quite a while now that owning a Major League Baseball team isn't such a bad thing. They all got into it for some reason -- we would hope a love of the game being at least part of the motivation -- and haven't jumped ship.
Now is supposed to be their time, just like it was for Robert Kraft nine years ago.
As we sit here the wall put up between the players and owners is thick, with both sides digging in on the financial what's what when it comes to a 2020 season. The same was the case back in 2011 when the NFL players and owners were involved in a lockout that ended up last 136 days.
Plenty of times during that conflict there was the same kind of animous we are hearing on a daily basis in baseball these days. But it got resolved. You know why? Because one of the owners -- Kraft -- decided that somebody needed to step out from their side of the moat and bridge the gap.
Probably because the perception we have of MLB's ownership group right now is a largely-silent collection whose few public statements are things like ...
Arizona owner Ken Kendrick: Players' 114-game proposal is "a non-starter."
Cubs' owner Tom Ricketts: Owners' losses this year are "biblical."
Other than that all we really have is Rob Manfred serving as their CEO and occasional media leaks/trial balloons offering the owners' way of thinking.
The closest thing we have to some public understanding about the plight that potentially faces Major League Baseball actually came from the organization's newest owner, Kansas City's John Sherman. He isn't ever going to be the guy in this situation to publicly bridge the gap. He is too new. But what he did do was definitively show an understanding of what baseball will need by keeping every single Royals minor leaguer on the payroll. That, of course, set stage for his general manager Dayton Moore getting across perhaps the most on-point message during this entire mess.
Negotiations are negotiations and that isn't anything new. For the better part of those 136 days during that NFL mess that was also the case. But in the end, Kraft proved to be a difference-maker.
Baseball needs one of those right about now.