In a world of John Fisher’s, Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton is a breath of fresh air.
In announcing a new minority owner for the team, Middleton made one point very clear. Any new additions to the ownership group would have to be on board with their vision for the franchise. That involves having a higher payroll and spending as needed to win. As Middleton said, “[T]he only reason to own a sports team is to win. And nobody gives a rat’s ass whether I make money or not. Or whether I lose money. They don’t care. They just care, as fans, about winning.”
Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton bright spot in MLB
It is clear that Middleton has taken that statement to heart. He has been willing to spend as needed to improve the roster, signing the likes of Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, and Nick Castellanos amongst others in pursuit of a championship. They came agonizingly close last year, winning the NL pennant before falling to the Astros in the World Series.
In doing so, he is keeping the fanbase invested in the organization. The Phillies have the fifth highest home attendance in the majors despite their struggles to start the season. While it is fair to wonder if they can climb out of that hole, there has to be some solace in the knowledge that Middleton will spend on the roster.
That is something that needs to be learned around the league. Fisher wants to bemoan the “lack of support” from A’s fans, but has gone out of his way to gut the franchise to increase his bank balance. Middleton, however, realizes that the standings are not based on which team is the most profitable. Wins and losses matter to the fans. That support will disappear otherwise.
John Middleton is committed to spending on what the Philadelphia Phillies need. Other MLB owners should take note.