Scathing Article on Mike Ilitch, the Tigers and Casinos in The New York Times

You’ve gotta love Google News.

Once in a while I’ll search for Tigers news on Google just to see if there’s a random article of interest out there.

Man, did I find one this afternoon. In the Dec. 26 edition, The New York Times‘ baseball deity Murray Chass takes aim at Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, and to a lesser degree Marian Ilitch, about the blob of a grey area surrounding Ilitch Holdings, the Tigers and Motor City Casino.

In the piece, Chass writes that the issue of whether or not the Tigers and the casino are part of the same organization has been raised because of some similar circumstances back East:

The subject of baseball and casinos has arisen because Steve Swindal, a managing general partner of the Yankees, is a partner in a group that may operate three racetracks in New York State and have slot machines at one of them. Bob Nutting, chairman and plurality owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, had also wanted to install slot machines at a Pennsylvania ski resort he owns.

Nutting abandoned his plan because he did not think he would be able to find a way around baseball’s rules.

Swindal’s and Nutting’s efforts prompted another look at the Ilitch operation. Technically and legally it may be free of any casino smell, but signs remain that a link exists, including the listing of Marian Ilitch as second in command of Ilitch Holdings.

The follow up question, of course, is:

If she is vice chairwoman of the company, and the Tigers are part of the company, how is she not part of the Tigers ownership or at least their executive group?

It’s a dandy of an article if you can get past Chass’s angry tone.

At the end of the article, Chass rips on Bud Selig for giving the Tigers free passes on the Phil Garner and Jim Leyland interview processes.

Read it for yourself and let me know what you think.

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2 thoughts on “Scathing Article on Mike Ilitch, the Tigers and Casinos in The New York Times

  1. Murray Chass has been after this bird for some time. He’s the only one willing to take this on. Selig and the owners will go after players for setting foot inside a casino but it’s ok for immediate family members to own casinos or race tracks (that’s the case wtih Steinbrenner). Would it have been ok for Pete Rose if a wife or an adult chid were doing the betting for the family?

    The Ilitches are a rather sloppy lot … After reading his story today I found an offering announcement distributed last year when Marian Ilitch was raising the capital she needed to finance the buyout of Mandalay Resort Group.

    I’m assuming the announcement was put out by her team which included Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch — they were leading the effort to raise $625 million in credit for Ilitch.

    The announcement indicates Marian Ilitch, the principal shareholder (I thought she was the only shareholder) behind CCM Merger Inc., (the Ilitch Holdings subsidiary they formed to acquire MotorCity Casino and finance the acquisition) was also co-owner of the Red Wings, the TIGERS and Little Caesar’s Pizza.

    Drop into The Verifiable Truth


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