Results tagged ‘ Bud Selig ’

The Filibuster

Will you be watching the MLB draft? LOL.

Mark
Chicago, IL

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The MLB draft is to professional sports drafts like the Tony awards are to major awards shows.  It happens and I’m sure there are people who care but those people are the exception, not the rule.  Here’s the problem.

The MLB draft doesn’t matter because the players drafted, with very few exceptions, are not going to make any sort of short-term impact.  Most of them are barely known at this point because that’s not how baseball works.  Sure, there may be some stud who comes out of college already boasting an MLB level pedigree but in reality, most of these guys, if they even ever make it to the big leagues, are going to be playing a few years in the minors to get ready.  Baseball requires a level of apprenticeship that just isn’t necessary in other sports.

The NBA and NFL drafts play well on TV because not only have these guys already played on the national stage and in the national spotlight, fans and teams also make the assumption that they will have an immediate impact.  Guys like Reggie Bush and LeBron James can start every game of their rookie campaign and instantly make a team relevant.  In baseball, that just isn’t the case.

That being said, I can appreciate what Selig would like to do.  Sure, MLB’s revenue may be growing but a little statistical analysis will show you that this growth is dwarfed by that of the NBA and the NFL.  To keep up and remain relevant, MLB must constantly search for new ways to entertain, new ways to create revenue and new ways to attract new recruits.

Unfortunately, pimping the MLB draft isn’t the way to do it.  I’ll explain by going back to the Tony awards for a second.  The problem with the Tonys is that theatre is no longer relevant in the US.  Film and TV have both surpassed it in terms of entertainment and cultural and societal critique.  That’s why people have Oscar parties and chat about the Emmies but couldn’t care less about the Tonys.  Similarly, MLB doesn’t hold the same cultural relevance at this point in time as either professional football or basketball.  Sure, the fans still care but people not only watch the NBA and NFL games more regularly, they’re also willing to watch the two leagues’ drafts.

So you make a good point, Mark.  And to answer your assuredly rhetorical question, no, I will not be watching the MLB draft just like I won’t be watching the Tony awards.  MLB needs to make itself relevant again before there’s any chance that I will.

-A

Une Complainte Familiers

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.

Um… no?

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.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t like change, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

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?

Dan
Ferndale, MI
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friendly pirates.jpgAhhhh yes… once again, the revolving doors of ineptitude bring us back to…

The Pirates.

And
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:

MONEY!!!

The Pirates may have more issues than Lindsay Lohan on $5 Jaegerbomb night, but, when all is done, the Pirates still MAKE MONEY

obama money.gif
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.

Peace,

Jeff
 
*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.

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just peeling back the layers of Mr. Krause’s feminine wardrobe

Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
.

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 22: Ryan Braun’s Rumspringa… and Other Stuff

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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!

Holla!

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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you take some time to check out Keith and his crew’s wicked smaaht podcast.  The man’s a filmmaker!  You can find out more at Undercard Films

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Recorded Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GM and the Dodgers: A case study

government_motors.jpgWhile 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.

-A 

The Filibuster

Now that the Dodgers are controlled by MLB, is the situation there going to be as ugly as their throwbacks?

Jenny
Hammond, IN

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frank_mccourt.jpgBefore I address the Dodgers’ situation, I want to take care of the second part of your question.  I’m not completely sure why you find the new throwbacks (an oxymoron if there ever was one) so horrific.  Maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s because it says Brooklyn even though the Dodgers have had nothing to do with that borough for decades.  I don’t know as though sky blue would be my first choice but if you really want to talk ugly, let’s talk Astros, Pirates or Nuggets.  Those, my friend, are some truly ugly uniforms.

MLB taking over the Dodgers?  That’s not ugly.  That’s just business.  McCourt’s running of the Dodgers is to ownership what those old Pirates’ hats were to MLB headware.  A disgrace, plain and simple.  Let’s take it step by step.

First, when McCourt bought the Dodgers, he leveraged the buyout.  In layman’s terms, it’s kind of like he took a mortgage on the franchise in order to buy the franchise.  That’s not a problem in and of itself but when he bought the Dodgers, they weren’t a brand-new, top-of-the-line model.  They were a fixer-upper.  Instead of making the repairs, though, he took any money he made to pad his own lifestyle.

Second, when McCourt’s life started to fall pieces, he used the franchise as his personal piggy bank.  Need to pay the lawyers?  Add a couple bucks to each beer.  Mrs. McCourt won’t settle for less than financial ruin?  Bleed it out of the season ticket holders. 

Third, despite everything, McCourt still doesn’t see any error in what he’s done.  His statement in response to Selig’s action obviates further discussion: “Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30
teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines.”  He simply doesn’t get it.

Here’s the deal.  Like it or not, for MLB to work, the teams in the big markets have to be healthy.  This specifically means New York, Chicago and LA.  On top of that, the Dodgers are one of MLB’s standard bearers.  Jackie Robinson was a Dodger.  Kirk Gibson fist-pumped his way around the bases as a Dodger.  But when the owner of the Dodgers has to take a massive loan just to cover the monthly payroll, something has gone horribly wrong.

I don’t like Selig.  I think he’s done a pretty awful job at managing MLB and some of his decisions will continue to haunt the game for a long time.  However, he made the right call this time.  The courts will most likely take the same view which is heartening to baseball fans and definitely good news for Dodgers fans.  Sure, Selig’s last adventure in takeover didn’t go all that well but that was a different era and Montreal is not LA.

As long as McCourt doesn’t drag this out too long, the situation should be resolved relatively quickly.  MLB wants a healthy Dodgers organization and will work quickly to get the club out of its own hands and into those of an owner who actually cares about the team. In addition, if Selig is smart he’s already looking ahead and realizing he’s going to have bigger fish to fry with the impending implosion of the Mets.  As for Dodgers fans, they can go back to wondering about the throwback jersey.

-A

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**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just finding out if Mr. Lung’s affection for Albert Pujols is more cute or creepy

Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
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RSBS Presents: Being Right

gop_elephant.jpgI’ll be the first to admit that we point a lot of fingers over here without always recognizing people who are doing a good job.  For instance, Bud Selig, although old, ugly and responsible for some of the worst excesses in the game of baseball’s long history, has also helped several teams secure the funding they needed to build new stadiums and has so far managed to avoid contraction.

The same thing goes for the government.  It’s easy to focus on the guys who show up on MSNBC and Fox News to spout whatever partisan talking points have been approved for the day but we tend to hear a lot less about the guys who stand up and give it to us straight or who quietly support something they believe in personally even if it doesn’t necessarily follow the party line.  So here’s a few guys with whom I generally disagree but who deserve some respect anyway.

William Gates
This one is pretty easy because Gates has actually been a very effective and post-partisan Secretary of Defense.  However, he recently brought it to another level as he took Congress to task for wasteful defense spending and then spoke his mind in front of the graduating class at West Point.  Gates is on his way out so it’s a little easier for him to call it like he sees it but it’s still something worth mentioning.

Samuel Alito
Alito is a conservative’s conservative.  Even when he does something I agree with, it’s usually for a completely different reason than why I would have done it.  However, when he voiced the sole dissent with the Court’s opinion in the Westboro Baptist Church case, you had to feel a little twinge of pride.  Sure, I don’t agree with his legal reasoning and the court made the right decision in light of the First Amendment.  However, Alito expressed what pretty much all the rest of us were thinking when he wrote “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and
vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of
innocent victims like petitioner. I therefore respectfully dissent.”  I respectfully concur.

Dick Cheney
Yep, he made the list, too.  And honestly, generally Dick is a dick.  But like any parent, when you mess with his kids, you wake up a giant.  You don’t want to do that, especially when it’s a giant who shot his own friend in the face with a shotgun.  So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise to find out that Dick does not toe the party line when it comes to gay marriage, especially since one of his daughters is gay.  Cheney even famously parted ways from his Commander in Chief when it came to the issue of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  Hey, maybe he’s not such a dick after all.

Lindsey Graham
Being a Senator means that sometimes you get to be above the fray.  In general, it’s a contemplative body that acts as a check on the hot-headedness of the House.  So in an era when disentangling the US from any sort of foreign involvement has become the mantra of the Right, it’s nice to see a Senator from the Right stand up and say that what we need is a more robust and intelligent foreign involvement.  You tell ‘em, Lindsey.

Sure, Graham and Gates tend toward the more moderate positions so maybe this isn’t all that bold of a list.  But I still think it’s important to give credit where it’s due.  More than that, it’s nice to see some politicians show some balls.  Too bad the Democrats can’t do it from time to time.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 20: Utley’s Multiple Meniscuses… and Other Stuff

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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The proverbial (and literal) gloves come off in this verbal masquerade of utter ridiculousness and yes, injuries do occur (though mostly to Johanna and, since they are mental in nature, hardly noticed).  Among the topics of conversation one will find: Jeff’s wandering Forever 21 eyes, Zack Greinke’s ribs, the difference between a half and a full nelson, Cameroonian baseball, Bud Selig-bashing take 47 and much, much more… all to make you smile, laugh and play!

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is all over the interwebz killin’ it.  You should definitely check out his crew and their subsequently hilarious podcast at Undercard Films.  And keep your eye out for what’s next.  Dude’s makin’ a movie!

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Recorded Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shutting it Down

shutdown.jpgImagine you’re the general manager of a baseball team.  Now imagine that your ownership team is split between two separate factions who can’t stand each other.  They so disagree on the direction the team should take that they won’t even tell you how much money you have to field your baseball team.  In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have to shut down in a couple weeks.  Only until things can be sorted out, of course, and then you have to get back to business as usual.

Yeah, exactly.  That would never fly.  The same thing is true if you were talking about a major corporation or even a small business.  But after going through a government shutdown 17 years ago, we’re heading that way again.

Here’s the thing, though, when a baseball team shuts down, the players can either rely on their millions in endorsements or help from the union fund.  No such luck when you work for the government.  In fact, if you’re working for some agencies, you might not only be staring a work stoppage in the face, you might also be looking at getting your pay cut

Now, I’m a realist.  I understand that both parties are content to just let this play out until someone flinches.  And with next year being an election year, neither side wants to come out looking like the bad guy or looking soft.  In the end we’ll probably get some sort of mishmash of a bill that doesn’t solve any of the long-term problems we face yet both sides will claim victory while simultaneously talking about how the other guys screwed the American public.  It’s just sad that we can’t get some good leadership there in Washington.  You know, like Bud Selig.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 19: Mr. Cokey’s McBrainface… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 13.jpg

 

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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna (well, mostly Johanna) push the boundaries of political correctness, in that, well, they don’t see any boundaries.  At all.  Hot dog!  They also get into pretty much anything and everything, including but not limited to Miggy Cabrera’s drinky-time, Albert Pujols’ year long stranglehold on Cardinals fans, a beyond the grave interview with Ron Santo and much, much more… all to make you have happy ending!

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith does it all, yo! If you haven’t already, please check out Keith’s crew and subsequent podcast at  Undercard Films. They’ll make you laugh. They’ll make you cry. They’ll make your face hurt! In a good way! 

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Recorded Saturday, February 19, 2011

 

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