Tag Archives: Baseball

Boondoggle in the Bronx

Neil DeMause nicely sums up why the new Yankee Stadium is nothing to celebrate:

“The Yankees deal actually manages to be both the largest team expense on a stadium in history, and the largest public expense on a stadium in history, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion. The city gets no part of the new revenues the Yankees will reap from the stadium; the jobs created are virtually all part-time, and largely cannibalized from other stores and restaurants in the surrounding area; Bronx residents lost their only large neighborhood park [until the old Yankee stadium is demolished and replaced by a park], for at least five years; and fans got more expensive seats with a lousier view of the field. All this, so that the Yankees wouldn’t move out of New York – something that was never going to happen anyway, since the entire value of the Yankees franchise is wrapped up in where they play. I’d call that a pretty lousy deal.”

He’s absolutely right. Normally, I’m indifferent toward the Yankees, but the way they’ve comported themselves during the approval and construction process has turned me into a bit of a hater. I certainly shed no tears over the fact that they’re having trouble putting butts in some of the more grossly overpriced seats in the new ballpark (HT: Shysterball).

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The Humiliation of Taiwan

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When you see Taiwan competing in international events like the Olympics or the World Baseball Classic, you’ll notice it goes by the moniker “Chinese Taipei” and its athletes stand for the Chinese national anthem. This isn’t by choice, as “Uncle Popov” reminds us in an excellent piece at the Bleacher Report.

Depending on whom you ask, Taiwan is either a free country, part of an archipelago called the Republic of China (distinct from the People’s Republic of China), the rightful rulers of mainland China (a fairly wacky stance), a client state of China, or the rightful inheritance of the People’s Republic. Obviously, China believes–illegitimately–that it has claim to Taiwan, and because China is more powerful and wields more influence, that’s the global consensus today.

Indeed, most of the world doesn’t recognize Taiwanese sovereignty, and international sports governing bodies–never known for their testicular fortitude when it comes to standing up to the People’s Republic–almost always follow suit. That’s led to some controversy and resistance.

For example, leading up to the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, then U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) blasted MLB for bowing to Chinese pressure and forcing the Taiwanese to compete under the “Chinese Taipei” name, which they’re known by in IOC and even World Trade Organization circles. Tancredo’s efforts, of course, came to grief.

As petty as it sounds, any change in WBC or Olympic policy would be seen by the Chinese as an international incident. Over here? Hell, the governor of Texas can daydream about high treason, and we don’t sweat it too much.

Anyhow, things aren’t likely to change. It would be nice, though, if at the very least journalists and commentators covering these events would make a point of saying/writing “Taiwan” loudly and proudly at every chance.

Baby steps, as they say.

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Just Curious …

Now that TARP-funds recipient CitiGroup has finally turned a quarterly profit, can we stop wringing hands over the company’s sponsorship of the Mets’ new ballpark–a legitimate advertising expense?

No?

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The Yankee Stadium GBA Controversy

A fan is suing the Yankees and the City of New York for, as he claims, being ejected from Yankee Stadium for leaving his seat during the playing of “God Bless America.”

There’s a discussion of the legal elements in play over at BBTF, and, frankly, the lawyers in residence over there know far more about the merits and demerits of the case than I do. I’ll just say that I’m in favor of anything that hastens the demise of GBA (save for during patriotic holidays) and restores “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to the seventh inning stretches of this fair land.

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Off-Topic: MLB Predictions

Opening Day, finally and thankfully, is upon us. So please permit me to wander off-topic just a bit and make some predictions for the upcoming MLB season …

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What Does Stevens Decision Mean for Bonds?

The feds have asked that the corruption case against former Alaska senator Ted Stcvens be thrown out. They’re doing so because of some prosecutorial misconduct (not an uncommon thing these days, it would seem). This leads Shysterball’s Craig Calcaterra, who’s a real-life lawyer and everything, to wonder whether this bodes well for Barry Bonds:

The Bonds’ prosecutors has (sic) bought some time by appealing the judge’s evidence ruling. In light of the U-turn on the Stevens case, however, one wonders if, in addition to researching and writing an appellate brief, they also aren’t reflecting on whether the whole enterprise is worth the trouble in the first place.

Worth the trouble? I’m certainly saying it’s not.

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The Obamas in Britain

While some in the blogosphere are getting the vapors over President Obama’s decision to give an IPod to the Queen, it’s worth noting that the First Lady came up big with her gift to the five-year-old son of PM Gordon Brown:

For yesterday’s return visit, the First Lady gave five-year-old John Brown a little piece of US history: a black full-size Louisville Slugger baseball bat a marked with the presidential seal and signed by her husband.

Let the baseball assimilation of English cricket fans begin.

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