Time To Capitalize On The Wal-Mart Model

I hate Wal-Mart just as much as the next guy. They put mom-and-pop shops out of business. They underpay their workers. They force companies to relocate their home offices to The Middle Of Nowhere, Arkansas. And all those fluorescent lights… they can’t be good for you.

But guess where I bought my groceries last week? And the time before that, and the time before that? And guess where I’ll buy groceries on Monday in order to cook Valentine’s Day dinner?

I’ll tell you this much: it wasn’t a mom-and-pop shop.

It was big bad Wal-Mart.

And David Glass, the CEO of Wal-Mart and the owner of the Kansas City Royals, has been accused of running the baseball team like the chain store.

David GlassI can see why the criticism is legitimate. But think about it this way: Why is Wal-Mart successful? Because they have all the crap you want, all the junk you need under one roof for prices no other store can match. Quite simply, it’s the best, most convenient place to shop.

Would you shop at Wal-Mart if all the stuff they sold was old, broken and expensive?

I say David Glass hasn’t been running the Royals like Wal-Mart at all. In fact, he should run the team like the hugely successful company.

And I’m hopeful the Glass family is about to turn that corner. David Glass has hired a general manager who has also dealt with his share of criticism, but Dayton Moore has also built the best minor league system in baseball.

You know what that means? The Royals have some of the best, cheapest talent in all of baseball.

Does that sound familiar? It’s the Wal-Mart model.

Now, the team must find a way to funnel those players to the major leagues. And it seems like David Glass is on board with that story. According to a recent Royals.com story, Glass is ready for this team to win sooner rather than later.

That’s good news for Royals fans (who, in the Wal-Mart model, would be the shoppers) and bad news for the rest of the American League (those teams are the mom-and-pop shops).

Here’s hoping the Wal-Mart Royals can crush the Yankees (Target), the Red Sox (K-Mart), the Rangers (Sears) and any other chain stores standing in their way.

Matt Kelsey is a Royals writer and the associate editor of I-70 Baseball. He can be reached at mattkelsey14@yahoo.com.

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