Tuesday, April 06, 2004

"We can't remain competitive in terms of being able to sign players. I said it before. I'll say it now. We need a new park."--Steve Schott owner of the Oakland A’s

Oh for the love of Pete. Shut up. This is as bad as Bud Selig whining that the Marlins can’t stay competitive in Joe Robbie stadium despite winning two World Series in seven years. Now Schott--he of the four straight playoff appearances is moaning that the A’s can’t remain competitive in Network Associates Coliseum.

Competitive like whom? Detroit? Texas? Baltimore? Pittsburgh? Milwaukee? Cincinnati? If we’ve learned nothing else from the last stadium boom it’s that extra money doesn’t translate into a contending ball club. Tom Hicks blew a-wad on A-Rod, Chan Ho Park, and any other Boras’ client that Scotty whispered into Hicks’ ear after he removed his tongue; Colorado took dolleros from their moneymaker and threw it at Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton. Teams like the Brewers, Tigers, Reds, and Bucs celebrated their new found “competitiveness" by cutting payroll and sucking more than anything on this side of an F5 tornado.

Both the Marlins and the A’s are doing it in stadiums--to hear them tell it--that are where you end up if you make a wrong turn in hell. A new stadium doesn’t mean jack if the owner is an idiot, the GM reflexively asks “would you like fries with that?" during trade negotiations and your manager thinks that single, stolen base, sac bunt, groundout constitutes the ideal rally and he treats his pitchers like it’s his solemn duty to put Frank Jobe’s kids through college.

So why are they pleading for Oakland/South Florida to hand over $400 million in corporate welfare? Since it's obviously not about competitiveness, it must be about profits.

It's not these region's job to ensure that little Jeffy Loria and Steve Schott-for-brains have profitable enterprises--it's Loria‘s and Schott‘s. If they want a new stadium, let them build it. Shoot their welfare from MLB would cover the mortgage payments (or come pretty darned close).

I can't see Selig telling Schott-Loria to pony up the money themselves. A new stadium to be competitive? Works wonders for the Brewers’ attendance. A good team will draw. The only acceptable solution for the A’s/Marlins “competitive issues" (read: a .500 team, a 20% drop in attendance, and all the luxury boxes/club seats leased out) according to ol' suds-for-brains is for South Florida/Oakland to ante up $400 million (or whatever) so they can compete with Detroit in trying to sign Fernando Vina.

If Bud "I need a laxative to clear mental blocks" Selig feels so badly for Schott-Loria--why not broker a deal with the club and region to go splits of a new stadium? Because the only splits Bud's interested in is telling the taxpayers to split their legs and brace themselves because MLB biggest dick is coming through.


You need a sherpa to climb Mt. Davis in Oakland, there's thin air in Colorado, it's frickin' hot in Texas/St. Louis/KC, it's lonely in Milwaukee, night games were nasty at The Stick and it rains in Florida.

Yet somehow baseball survives.

If Bud Selig were made surgeon general he'd tell us that building him a new office would cure cancer.

Have you noticed that Selig’s stumping for new stadiums is a lot like how a car dealership sells cars? Have you ever heard a car dealership says it’s a bad time to buy a car? It’s always “the perfect time to buy" Before Christmas (it’s the perfect time to buy, it makes a great gift), after Christmas (it’s the perfect time to buy for our Boxing Day Clearout), New Years (it’s the perfect time to buy, start the New Year off right), Halloween (it’s the perfect time to buy, come in for scary savings), Easter (it’s the perfect time to buy, hop on over for our great deal), Valentines Day (it’s the perfect time to buy, you’ll fall in love with our prices), your mother’s death (it’s the perfect time to buy, imagine how proud she’d be driving this beauty behind the hearse), worried about your son’s nose picking habit? (it’s the perfect time to buy, let him blow around in this baby...beep beep), suffering from chronic depression? (it’s the perfect time to buy it’ll cheer you up, take a test drive in our Prozac LS), had your son circumcised? (it’s the perfect time to buy--it’s a cut above) etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum

Selig’s like that about stadiums. Any reason is good reason to build a new stadium. It’s never a bad time to build a new stadium. Does your team reek? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....if you’re gonna inflict a bad team on your fans at least make them comfy). Is your owner(s) cheap and your GM an imbecile? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....studies show that new stadiums raise the IQ of your average GM 0.0009 %). Did the last stadium built install state-of-the-art gumball machines that your 10 year old stadium lacks? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....before the bubble bursts). Have you totally alienated your fan base and wish to tick off the taxpayers? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....show ‘em that you’ve got a new place they can screw you in). Did the Yankees sign away your third baseman? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....it’ll generate the revenues so you can sign away the Yankees utility infielder. Revenge is sweet MUUUUUHAHAHAHAHAHA). Bad weather? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....suckers tend to melt when exposed to fluids). Cholera outbreak? (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....that way your team won’t look so sick). Did the 59-103 team in your division just get new digs (It’s the perfect time to build a new stadium....gotta make sure you can compete with them).


My guess is that Bud Selig thinks “Jesus" is “HOK" in Hebrew because new stadiums can give the blind sight, make the deaf hear, make the lame walk, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and make the dead rise.

Of course it makes Selig and cronies wealthier.

Will it turn your pumpkin into Cinderella?

Hey, it’s a stadium, not a miracle worker.

Look, here’s a message to the taxpayers in Florida and California: here’s what you’ll get if you believe their lies and pony up the corporate welfare--although they‘d never call it that, Bud lied to Congress and do you think he‘ll tell you the truth? This is the guy telling you that the defending World Series champs/toppler of the mighty Yankees and their 200 gazillion dollar payroll....and a team that is 392-255 [with four straight post season appearances] has “competitive issues"--they’re asking for: higher ticket prices, a stadium which caters to the elite, higher taxes, seats further away from the action, $8 beers, and a forthcoming announcement that despite the new revenues, the system is still totally out of whack, so they’ll be cutting payroll and playing the kids. Oh yeah, your best player will be traded to the New York Yankees in an effort to improve themselves over the long haul. Just remember, more money and the same brains with a major league club only translates into $60 million paperweights like Chan Ho Park.

I suppose you want a link now. Do you think the Veterans Committee is a few outs short of an inning? Do you think the Hall-of-Fame has left out some deserving players and inducted some trivia buffs stump questions? Well, there is an alternative: it doesn’t have fancy plaques, or fascinating exhibits, but it’s free and you can let your chair continue it’s rewarding relationship with your butt--best of all, it’s fascinating reading and full of surprises (like personal favourite Robert Lee “Indian Bob" Johnson). So click your way to Baseball Immortals and let the debates begin.

Best Regards