Simplistic campaigns to hunt down public enemies (like Kony 2012) are all the rage these days. When will you all be launching Selig 2012?
It is no secret that the authors of these pages hold no love for the staunch bureaucratic policies and seemingly never-ending reign of King Bud the Nosepicker. Indeed, we’ve ripped the man’s decisions in every which way and have even gone as far as to say that George W. Bush would make a perfect Commissioner in comparison (no joke here, we really do think Dubya would be perfect for the job). But to compare Bud Selig to the heartless, maniacal, baby-raping mass murderer Joseph Kony? Um… that’s a bit much.
But just a bit.
The good news is, people are getting educated on Kony’s crimes. And they’re doing something about it (unless *this* derails it). However, when it comes to the tyranny of King Bud, we already know about the bevy of shenanigans. There’s just nothing we can do about it.
If I may break from the usual ‘ol crotchety me for a moment, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the overall state of our national pastime is as good now as it’s ever been. Seriously. If you turn your head from the silliness that is King Bud’s All-Star Game, and if make yourself forget about that whole Ryan Braun cheating thing, and pretend like the overall muscle bulge of the 90s and early aughts was caused by “supplements” that can easily be purchased at your local GNC, then you might conclude that, indeed, baseball’s vibe is very good right now.
The networks are fighting to get in on the expanded playoffs. Parity is slowly squeezing its way into all divisions. And the Pirates still suck!
More than that, people are still paying money to watch Adam Dunn play. Erin Andrews is still showing up in dugouts. And Tampa Bay seems to be in the playoff picture every year now, despite the fact that no one in Tampa Bay seems to care.
But most importantly of all, the St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs!
So for now, I can take a couple more years of bassackwards politickin’ from the usurping Milwaukee millionaire.
But I swear, Brad, if he reigns for more than two more years, you, me, Mr. Krause and the entire baseball universe are taking to the streets with Louisville Sluggers and Molotov cocktails (not to be confused with pet names for Kevin Millar).
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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All-around baseball good guy Joe Torre is stepping down from his MLB front office position to pursue his interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers. While this is bad news (I think) for those of us who hoped he might take over for King Bud once the reign of terror is over at the end of the year, I have to think that a group headed by Torre is probably a great way to save this storied franchise.
Of course, there are alternatives. And yep, you guessed it. The RSBS interns are ready to report:
1. Go back in time, don’t trade Kevin Brown and instead have him break Frank McCourt’s hand so it won’t wander onto a woman who isn’t his wife.
2. Stop making it mandatory that Alyssa Milano wear clothes to the ballpark. (Holy Jackie Robinson, I’ve been in love with Alyssa for 20 years now; she just gets better looking!!!)
4. Get a mascot! I know just the one!
How about signing Prince Fielder? Seriously. Make him some crazy offer like $30 million a year for 6 years or something. Wouldn’t that make the Dodgers a nice, EXPENSIVE and attractive purchase? And besides, it’s L.A. Just use somebody else’s money.
Hate me. FINE. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
For those of us caught up in the modern technocratic lifestyle, establishing a clear line between friend and foe makes life a bit simpler (albeit unpleasant at times). When prompted for an opinion, we often don’t have time to think; we must know, must be ready to jump on a topic and run. And this is where established distinctions are helpful (even if detrimental to peace — sorry!).
It’s 2011 and enemies abound. In the NBA, LeBron is the antithesis of good. In politics, we have Sarah Palin. In humanity, it’s Charlie Sheen.
But what do we do when our “enemies” aren’t that bad at all?
Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that not only caused a bit of embarrassment for me and my fellow bird fanatics, but also knocked the Cardinals out of first place all together. Am I angry? Do I want to hold my breath and take a hammer to my digits? Am I going to hurt someone?
No, of course not. It’s June and the NL Central race has barely begun. But I must say, even if it does come down to St. Louis and Milwaukee in October, I will have a hard time hating on the Brewers like I do the sCrUBBIES.
On Saturday, I went to Miller Park for the very first time and I have to say: it’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people genuinely enjoying our beautiful sport. Have you ever seen a sea of tailgaters for a baseball game?!? I mean, everyone was so… nice! And the park experience was so… pleasant… and the atmosphere was so… positive!
Prior to this excursion, my understanding of the Brewers organization could be summed up in three sentences: Beat you in ’82. Bud Selig was a better owner than a commish. And Prince Fielder is HONGRY.
But really, after taking in the Miller Park experience I have to update my mental Rolodex. It’s not every day you visit a rival ballpark and are welcomed with a smile and a handshake. And as often as I’ve donned my ’06 WS patched Yadier Molina jersey into enemy territory, only at Miller Park was I stopped and commended on my team’s run of that year. And did I mention the cheese curds!?
Oh what heaven!!!
Don’t worry, dear readers, I ain’t gettin’ soft. I’ll box a Brewer if I gotta; but in a world where negativity rules the infoway, I find it refreshing to give credit to those who are pretty cool folks.
That being said, I hope the Brewers lose every one of their games from here until the end of the season.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
It’s interleague weekend, y’all. According to King Bud, this is when I’m supposed to get excited about made-up rivalries with catchy names like the I-70 Series, the Ohio Cup and the Battle of the Beltway.
Battle of the Beltway?!?!? STOP IT! JUST STOP IT!
Don’t you know that every time you hark on some fantasy-driven nostaliga concerning the Washington Nationals, my Expos-missin’ heart suffers more unquantifiable pain?!?
That damn Molière was right: “You only die once, and it’s for such a long time.”
But let us not forget, dear readers. Instead, let us continue to pour out our liquor, to writhe in sweet Youppi memories, to saver Denny Martinez pitching a perfect game in baby blue pajamas.
Selig and the owners finally had enough of McCourt and took action, but
what about the franchises that are still technically solvent but just
suck? Why hasn’t the commish done something about the Pirates?
why shouldn’t they? In all of professional sports, one would have quite a
difficult time finding a more moribund team than the lowly Buccos.
While all of the big four US American sports thrive by having a healthy,
parity-laden cycle of teams going from the top of the ranks to the
bottom and everywhere in between, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been stuck
at bad. For 18, long, terrible, horrible, awful, green-pea-spew inducing years.
In a row.
So, indeed, Mr. Dan, you bring up an excellent question: How is it that MLB sees no issue intervening with financially strapped clubs like the current Dodgers or the late Expos de Montréal (pouring out some liquor for my boy, Youppi yo!) but meanwhile sits back and says nothing as the Pirates organization embarrasses itself year after year after year, alienating the five or so fans left in western Pennsylvania in doing so?
That’s easy, Dan. One word:
The Pirates may have more issues than Lindsay Lohan on $5 Jaegerbomb night, but, when all is done, the Pirates still MAKE MONEY.
Haven’t you noticed? To the suits picking each other’s noses up in the luxury boxes, it’s not about winning. It’s not about getting better. It’s not about keeping score or the waft of freshly roasted peanuts or the soothing effects of finely cut green grass on the old eyeballs.
It’s about making bank.
And as long as they line their pockets with plenty of paper, MLB ain’t gonna say jack.
Like my loquacious and oft contorted colleague, Mr. Krause recently pointed out, sometimes MLB gets it right. King Bud could not sit back and let one of the league’s most storied franchises fail because of atrocious financial mismanagement. And other times, MLB gets it way wrong… like they did in intervening with the Florida Marlins (a very successful organization in regards to winning) and the way they chose to spend profit sharing funds trickling down from the top*.
But one thing is certain: MLB is a business. MLB is about being a profitable business. As much as romanticized baseball super-nerd-dorks like Mr. Krause and I would like to believe that a certain utopian joy for the game and its purity is at the core of Major League Baseball’s business philosophy, the truth is: it ain’t.
If it were, the Expos would still be alive. The Dodgers would have never left Brooklyn. And someone would have intervened in the gargantuan atrocity also known as the Pirates’ front office.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*For an excellent read on just how wrong MLB was in their handling of the Marlins, check out this article from the Prince of New York.
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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff and Johanna kick the season off by trying to name every Jewish baseballer ever known to man before PodMaster Keith let’s The 8:08 (from harried Undercast fame) into the studio… from there on out the wheels come off in one great big ball of awesomeness that includes Dodger takeovers, Hawkisms galore, goofy games that may or may not include a sexual innuendo (or fifty) and much, much more… all to make you excite!
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Recorded Wednesday, April 27, 2011
While writing the filibuster the other day, I got to thinking. What’s so bad about MLB taking over the Dodgers? It’s not something they want to do and ideally they’d like to get rid of the franchise as quickly as possible. Both MLB and the Dodgers hope to emerge from this more healthy. The weird thing is that as I considered all the aspects of this move, it began to feel a little like deja vu. I had the distinct feeling that I had read this story before. Then it hit me. This same story happened just recently with a little company called General Motors, and the US Government played the role in which MLB now finds itself.
Just like today’s Dodgers, GM found itself in trouble because of profligate spending, terrible management and an inability to provide the consumer what they demanded. As it became clear that GM could no longer support its obligations and refused to make the changes needed to resolve its issues, the government stepped in.
Just like with MLB’s decision to take over the Dodgers, the government’s decision with GM had its share of detractors. Although I don’t think anyone outside of San Francisco truly wants to see the Dodgers fail as a franchise, a fair amount of the fringe right and left wing in the US were more than happy to watch GM collapse. While refusing to see what impact GM’s dissolution would have on an already fragile economy, these people decided that the moral obligation was to let GM collapse as an example to other firms. Obviously this was not an option for the government, just like McCourt’s continued ineptitude with one of baseball’s storied franchises was not an option for MLB and the commissioner.
The real moral of this story comes in the aftermath. GM quickly emerged from its bankruptcy and government receivership. More importantly, not only did it emerge more streamlined and healthy after government managers got rid of deadweight makes and models, it also set a record with its IPO. MLB is hoping for a similar outcome and looks to be using an important tool that the government also utilized with GM: get rid of the management who got you into this problem in the first place.
Since GM rose phoenix-like from its own ashes, those who criticized the initial move have become much more subdued in their comments. Although the level of criticism hasn’t been quite as great with MLB and the Dodgers, I have a feeling that even those who have decried Selig’s actions will end up eating their words once the Dodgers are resold. Takeovers are always painful but they aren’t always bad.