As far as sports owners go, Jim Pohlad is about as low visibility as it gets. He's certainly no Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones, a couple of outsized Texas egos that overshadow their teams.
In classic Twins – and Minnesotan – fashion, the owner of the ballclub clearly has no desire for the spotlight. But that doesn't mean he doesn't care about righting the sinking ship that the franchise has been on since 2010.
Pohlad opens up in a revealing Q & A with Adam Platt of Twin Cities Business Magazine, where he discusses his role in the day-to-day operations of the team, his relationship with team president Dave St. Peter and general manager Terry Ryan, and the notion that a losing team helps profits.
In many moments of candor, Pohlad admits that he was not as involved in pushing the team toward success as he should have been during the backward slide of the last three years.
As the Knuckleballs blog points out, he says "We took our eye off the ball."
Knuckleballs also points out, rightly, that this does not seem like business as usual this offseason for the Minnesota Twins.
As for that idea of the team being a loss leader, here's an exchange between platt and Pohlad:
So you’re not losing your way to better returns.
That’s impossible, truly. But there’s also no financial reward that offsets losing.
As for the current state of the team, Pohlad offers that "2010 was the best year in our ownership history. It’s been declining ever since, and if we don’t improve it will decline next year."
Later, he admits "I was probably not pushing enough in the good years. We became self-satisfied."
Because of Jim's father, the late Carl Pohlad, and his reputation for spendthrift ways, Twins fans have been skeptical of the family's desire to spend money for a winner, but back in September, Pohlad admitted that it was "embarrassing" to walk the concourses of Target Field.
As for this season and going after free agents, apparently GM Ryan has a green light.
"We have to go into the marketplace," Pohlad tells Twin Cities Business. "Terry knows that. I’m not encouraging him to wait."