The Pohlad's and the Cry for Them to Spend More Money
Lots of Twins fans pine away for the Pohlad's to spend more money on payroll. Did you ever stop and think about the transactions that must take place before they can do that? In other words, where does the money come from?
The Minnesota Twins LLC is a limited liability corporation. Jim Pohlad is the CEO, Dave St. Peter is the President. The board of directors include Jim Pohlad, Bob Pohlad, Bill Pohlad, Dave St. Peter, and Jerry Bell. It is likely that these five individuals own stock in the LLC and that the Pohlad's own a controlling interest. There are probably other shareholders as well. So if the Twins want to increase payroll they have to find the money somewhere. It's either in a bank (or other financial) account under the corporation's name or they have to get a loan from a bank or from individuals. I'm guessing that if the Twins need money they don't take out a bank loan, rather they get it from the Pohlad personal fortune.
So how does the Pohlad's money get into the Minnesota Twins' bank account(s)? I'm guessing that the Pohlad's make a personal loan out to the Minnesota Twins LLC, with the expectation of getting paid back at some point. I doubt that they issue more shares of stock, but they could. In other words when fans clamor for the Pohlad's to quit being so cheap and spend more money in essence they are asking them to loan their personal money to a corporation. The Pohlad's don't write out personal checks to Joe Mauer every two weeks to cover his contract. The money comes out of the LLC. So the calculation that the Pohlad's and the Twins board of directors must make is: 1. How much money should I loan to the company? and 2. When and how will I get paid back?
The construction of Target Field helped the owners capture more revenues than they were getting at the Metrodome. That's why payroll went from $65M in 2009 to $98M in 2010. The Twins owners knew they could recoup their money. It also helps to explain why the Twins had such lousy payrolls in the mid to late 90's. With the MetroDome lease they couldn't see a way to get their money back.
Some owners might have a higher tolerance for the time frame needed to recover their money, or they have more revenue streams than the Twins, or both. For example, it is easy for the Steinbrenners to sink their money into the Yankees because they own the YES TV network, the new Yankees stadium, etc. etc. and they can be (mostly) assured that they will recoup their money. When fans yell for owners to spend more money on the team what they are really asking them to do is make riskier loans to the corporation. Their personal wealth is not the deciding factor. No baseball owner is going to throw money away on their team without the expectation of getting it back.
My point is that there is the wall of separation between an owner's personal money and the money that the corporation controls.