Results tagged ‘ New York Times ’

Why I am Leaving MLB

The recent New York Times editorial/open letter from a former Goldman Sachs employee appears to have opened the floodgates to those seeking to leave behind a no longer fulfilling employment.  However, RSBS was still shocked when the following letter arrived in our inbox the other day signed simply, Bud S.

-A
________________

TODAY is my last day at MLB. After more than 40 years at the organization — first as a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves, then in bringing the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee and renaming them the Brewers, and now as commissioner — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the owners continue to be sidelined in the way the organization operates and thinks about making money. MLB is one of the world’s largest and most important sports leagues and it is too integral to global baseball to continue to act this way. The organization has veered so far from the place I created that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

But this was not always the case. For instance, over more than a decade I made sure that steroids not only entered the game but also redefined it.  By looking the other way while Sammy, Mark and Barry launched bomb after artificially powered bomb, I ensured that baseball once again excited the ordinary American that had been lured away by the corn syrup sweetness of NASCAR and the NFL.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look players in the eye and tell them they could continue to juice.

How did we get here? The organization changed the way it thought about owners. Ownership used to be about overcharging fans, merchandising everything from jock straps to girly colored hats and looking the other way while players shot ‘roids in the locker room. Today, if you treat the team as your personal piggy bank (and use its assets to pay off the divorce settlement with your crazy ex-wife) you will lose the team and the money from its lucrative TV rights.

There used to be three quick ways to become a leader among owners: a) Execute on the organization’s “axes,” which is MLB-speak for persuading your fans to buy tickets or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your fans — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to buy whatever will bring the biggest profit to MLB. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. I prefer to sell them at least three. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any washed-up, aging slugger for much more than he’s worth.  Adam Dunn, anyone?

Today, though, many owners display an MLB culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend postseason merchandising and ticket sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help owners or hose fans. It’s purely about how we can make this a “September to Remember.” If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that an owners’ success or pocketbook was not part of the thought process at all.

When I was a minority owner I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out how to charge more for cheaper hotdogs, understanding the process of selling the same volume of beer at three different (and increasingly more expensive) prices, getting to know our players and what motivated them while making sure they had a safe place and a helping hand when injecting steroids in their asses.

My proudest moments in life — owning a Brewers team that posted one of the worst winning percentages over a ten-year period in the history of baseball, joining other owners in colluding and then helping pay the $280 million settlement, overseeing the worst All-Star game in the history of baseball — have all come through focusing on profits and passing the prices on to the fans. MLB today has become too much “the fan experience” and not enough about soaking the suckers. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the owners. Make your fellow owners the focal point of your business again. Without fans you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. But fans are simple-minded sheep who will do whatever you want so don’t worry about them. Get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons: steroids and making money for the owners. People who care only about making fans happy will not sustain this organization — or the trust of the owners — for very much longer.

Bud S.

Eureka at the Edge of Consciousness

archimedes_eureka.jpgDo you ever have a revelation right as you’re falling asleep?  Where something just kind of hits you and then a second later you’re out?  For instance, the other night I was drifting off when it struck me that I really don’t want to be killed by a crocodile.  The whole ripping and tearing and drowning, I’m just not interested.

These little eureka moments on the threshold of sleep, somnolent epiphanies perhaps, usually disappear, replaced the next morning by a feeling of loss, like something was in your grasp and then faded away.  But not always.  Just like my Archimedes moment with the crocodiles the other evening, this morning I woke up with a similar sensation. Let me explain.

Last night I went to bed a little confused after reading Jeff’s post.  I mean, he knows I like girls and I wondered why he would make insinuations about my sexuality.  It just didn’t make sense to me.  I know it had nothing to do with what I posted the other day because it’s obvious that I’m just trying to help him with a very real problem.  But as I sank into sleep with these thoughts orbiting around my head, awareness suddenly exploded like a supernova.

Let me take you back a little.  Those of you who read this blog regularly or know Jeff well undoubtedly also know that he is infatuated with Asia.  The art, the languages, the religions, the peoples.  There is no aspect he does not love.

But, if you follow pop culture, you realize that within this arena there are barely understood subcultures, fringes on which things happen that are often hard to fathom.  And if you watch 30 Rock or read the New York Times you have become acquainted with possibly the most incomprehensible subculture. 

Having watched this episode of 30 Rock just the other day, it’s no surprise that both the show and the article were on my mind as I went to bed.  And when that mixed together in my head with a comment that a reader made the other day about substituting a blow-up doll in place of a girlfriend for Jeff, well, I had my eureka moment.

Yes, that’s right.  I could barely believe it myself but all signs point to Jeff being in a long-term relationship with some sort of body pillow.  The lack of a girlfriend.  The callously strewn about accusations.  The down feathers that always seem to be stuck in his hair.  All are signs pointing toward the inescapable truth.

Now, I am unable to comment on the veracity of reports that this body pillow sports an Albert Pujols jersey.  And I almost certainly do not believe the recent rumor that this pillow may actually be Jeff’s common-law wife.  That being said, it would explain a lot.

Really, though, I’m here to be a friend and that’s why I just want to say, “Jeff.  It’s all right.  You can come clean.  You’re among friends and we support you.”  So, how about it Mr. Lung?  Wouldn’t you feel better being able to live your life out here in the open with the rest of us?

-A

Why Must the Cardinals Make My Life Miserable?

I can’t eat.

I can’t sleep.

I can’t find a date.

Thank you, St. Louis Cardinals.

kyle_lohse.jpgI went to bed last night thinking: So we blew it.  So what.  Tomorrow will be fine.  Lohse is on the mound.  We’ll be fine.  Really.  It’s all good.  The man is Lazarus.

And he was — just fine, raised from the dead and all — until he was left in a little too long and he started to show weakness: a crumbling arm.  And Tony, with little else to fall back on, because Mozeliak won’t make a deal for some relief, left him in.

And all hell broke loose.

I, as a St. Louis Cardinal fan and devoted US American, refuse to accept this surface steaming idealogical concept that we can survive on our own, without making a deal.  We’re up against the free-spending Cubs and Brewers!  Get your act together, Mr. Mozeliak!  You’re looking a lot like sit-on-my-^ss-while-I-read-a-story-book-GW Bush during the greatest tragedy of our time!

a-rod smirk.jpgI wrote an editorial on my dissatisfaction with the Cardinals’ front office and submitted it to the New York Times; however, they rejected it on the basis that it wasn’t controversial enough — not enough T&A — and it had nothing to do with the Yankees, the Mets, A-Rod nor Madonna.

So much for being the world leader in print news, New York Times.  For that I offer you a great big RSBS “EAT IT!”

And no, you may not hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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