Howard Eskin reported tonight that, according to sources, David Montgomery’s leave absence for cancer was a misnomer and that he was actually “pushed out,” using his cancer as a “convenient story.” Howard, always with the inflammatory tone.
Eskin also said that – and you can probably guess what’s coming here – limited partner John Middleton, who has been the subject of quite a few reports this week, now has a 48% ownership stake in the team and is aggressively pursuing a majority ownership. As a limited partner, he can’t gain majority control without a unanimous vote, according to Eskin, who cited the recent owner deaths and Montgomery being “out” as a reason why Middleton is having an easier time buying up a larger chunk of the team.
I’m not sure what to make of this. Middleton’s name was in the news earlier this week, but his son – JOHN POWERS – denied most of those reports. I can’t tell if Eskin actually knows something, or if he’s just trumpeting what he’s read. His report basically comes down to: Middleton wants more control, which, ostensibly, isn’t news. Eskin, whose report could’ve doubled as an unnecessary hit piece on nice guy Montgomery, said that Middleton plans to run things, but leave baseball men like Pat Gillick in charge of the on-field decisions, which, according to Eskin, include eating Ryan Howard’s remaining salary in a trade, moving Chase Utley to first, and looking for suitors for Cole Hamels.
Eskin teased the shit out of this thing on Twitter, but there’s very little substance to his report other than that 48% number (we don’t know what it was before).
UPDATE: Audio of Eskin talking about it on WIP:
Video after the jump.
H/T to Matt Rappa