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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Standing in the check-out line at my local grocer, I scanned the magazine rack hoping to find out if Khloe Kardashian had eaten herself to death or how drunk Jennifer Aniston got in Cabo while still thinking about Brad. Instead, I was subjected to an image I thought I’d blocked out 25 years ago:
Eldra “El” DeBarge.
On the cover of Jet.
Who’s Johnny… she said…
*cue the daydream montage*
I see Bert Blyleven record his 3,000th strikeout…
I see Bob Horner hit four homeruns in one game…
I see Mike Scott no-hit the Giants… the Red Sox come back to win the ALCS after being down 3 games to 1… Ray Knight skip like a schoolgirl on Mookie Wilson’s Bill Buckner nutmeggin’ dribbler…
…and… and, I… I see…
*snaps out of it*
Oh, Youppi… oh, dear, dear Youppi… no!!! It’s not FAIR! It’s not fair that El DeBarge gets a comeback and you don’t… not fair that in 2010 you’re relegated to Montreal hockey duty while El DeBarge gets nominated for a Grammy.
A GRAMMY FOR JEEBUS’ SAKE!!!
And you wonder.
You wonder why I don’t believe in god.
No loving god would subject the altruistic baseball fan to such chronic despair!!!
So hate me ‘cuz I I think El DeBarge topped out in ’86, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.
Special thanks to Theo Roll.
Very special thanks to Youppi, the vaguely effeminate mascot of the late great Montreal Expos for giving hope to French Canadians worldwide… okay, maybe not worldwide, but you get the idea.
(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)