Which World Series Team Has the Less Obnoxious Owner, Giants or Royals?

The San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals before the start of Game 1Keith Myers/ZUMA

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Game 6 of baseball’s World Series is tonight in Kansas City, and the stakes are high: The San Francisco Giants could clinch their third championship in five years with a win, while the hometown Royals need a win to stay alive. Don’t have a rooting interest, or looking for another reason to tune in? Check out Mother Jones‘ report from last year on the political and business dealings of Major League Baseball’s owners. If you like Karl Rove, you may want to pull for the Giants—but if rationalizing child labor is more your taste, go Royals!

Here’s the dish on the Giants’ Charles B. Johnson:

Johnson, a mutual-funds baron and the 211th-richest person in the world according to Forbes, spent some $200,000 to try to defeat California’s Proposition 30, the sales and income tax increase that included elements of the state’s millionaire’s tax initiative. (Prop. 30 passed in November.) Other political expenditures: $50,000 for Prop. 32, which would have kept unions and corporations from using automatic payroll deductions to bankroll political activity, and $200,000 for Karl Rove’s American Crossroads.

And the Royals’ David Glass:

In 1992, when he was still president and CEO of Walmart, Glass was confronted by NBC’s Dateline with evidence of child labor at a T-shirt factory in Bangladesh. His response: “You and I might, perhaps, define children differently.” As Glass explained, looks can be deceiving—Asians are short. Then he ended the interview. Meanwhile, as the Royals’ owner he’s pocketed profits without making any discernible investment in the on-field product. He also once revoked press credentials of reporters who asked critical questions.

 

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It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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