May 22, 2013
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Friday, December 12, 2008
. . . Darren Rovell reports that the Wilpons had money tied up with the spectacularly-disgraced Bernard Madoff:
It’s believed Madoff and the Mets owners have been connected for at least 20 years . . . The question now is how much money was invested? If we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars, which is not out of the question, you’d have to think it could affect the Mets ability to further itself this off-season beyond the pitching moves they’ve already made.
Memo to K-Rod: ask to be paid in cash.
(Thanks -- again -- to Pete Toms for the link)
Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal polled a handful of Winter Meetings attendees about the viability of major league baseball in Sin City:
But even though Major League Baseball isn't coming to the valley anytime soon, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be here. Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo, who was in town this week covering baseball's winter meetings at the Bellagio, is all for a franchise in Southern Nevada.
My long-held position on this is that the big leagues in Vegas is a dicey proposition even in the best of times for the city and the nation as a whole. Unlike football and boxing, baseball is not driven by big events. There are 10 times as many home games. Getting people to show up in numbers to 81 games is going to require attracting the locals who will come on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, not the folks who drive up from L.A. on the weekend. And remember, a healthy portion of the locals work nights in the gaming, restaurant, and entertainment industry. Who's going to a midweek Vegas-Oakland game in April?
Even if you get past that, I think you have a problem with the casinos. No, not because baseball is historically wary of gambling. The presence of the Winter Meetings there -- not to mention the common sight of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods ads in east coast stadiums -- puts lie to that old concern. No, the bigger problem with the casinos is that they have no incentive whatsoever to play ball with baseball. Think about it: why would Mandalay Bay want to encourage its patrons to leave the gaming floor and go to a ballpark between, say, 6:30PM and 10:30PM each night? Hell, the reason they have cocktail waitresses and comped drinks is that they don't even want you to get up to walk to a bar during those times.
Bringing major league professional sports to Las Vegas would, by definition, bring in competition for existing entertainment dollars, and I can't see how roadblock after roadblock wouldn't be thrown up by the gaming and hotel interests.
(special thanks to Keith Law for helping me figure out that "muera" is the opposite of "viva." Keep your eye on that guy. I think he may just make it in this business)
It's been a few years since I've watched the Simpsons regularly. Like a lot of people have noted, it lost its fastball years ago. But it's still crafty and knows how to get people out. Like the one from last Sunday, in which the idea of publicly funded stadiums was caught looking. Quoteable moment at the 18:22 mark, as Mr. Burns opens his new basketball arena:
Welcome to the American Dream: A billionaire using public funds to construct a private playground for the rich and powerful!
And there's some bonus Mark Cuban, too!
(dual hat tips: to Atlantic Yards Report for writing about and linking to the whole episode, and to Pete Toms, for letting me know that Atlantic Yards was writing about and linking to the whole episode)
So there's this thing just about every first year law student reads called “The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule.” It's a law review note from the 70s that draws an analogy between the infield fly rule and the Anglo-American common law, each of which were refined with incremental changes over time and each of which can be maddeningly confusing to the average observer. It's quite a famous bit of legal writing, as these things go, and it's dryly funny too. Given its subject, it was one of the few things I read in law school that I actually enjoyed and actually remember. Legal beagles who haven't read it can find it at 123 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1474 (1975).
Sadly, the fellow who wrote it has died:
William S. Stevens, whose slyly humorous law-review note on the relationship between baseball’s infield fly rule and Anglo-American common law became one of the most celebrated and imitated analyses in American legal history, died Monday in Anchorage, where he was working. He was 60 and lived in Narberth, Pa. The cause was a heart attack, said T. Dennis Sullivan, his brother-in-law . . .
He shouldn't have worried much about his ego. Most of us in this profession make no real mark and bring no real joy to anyone. Stevens did both, and for that I'll always have a good thought in my head and a good feeling in my heart for the guy.
(thanks to Jason for the heads up)
I'm not smart enough know whether bailing out the auto industry is the right move for America, but I do know one thing: if I had just participated in scuttling it, I wouldn't be making a beeline for a public appearance in Michigan. I guess that's just one of the many points upon which Jim Bunning and I differ:
He may be losing his marbles, but U.S. senator and ex-Tiger pitching great Jim Bunning still has big brass cojones.
It's been nice knowin' ya, Jim.
(thanks to Neate Sager for the link)
Raymond Chandler once wrote that "The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.”
The way I see it, if it's all just luck and the operation of machinery, I can afford to spend a lot of my day away from my cases talking about baseball.
Boswell explores the mind of and options facing Mark Teixeira:
Three things matter to Teixeira, who has a clean-cut, almost corporate, image: family, business and winning. His dilemma: He can't get all three in the same place. Boston is 400 miles from Severna Park. But the Nats and Orioles are 400 miles from the World Series. Which team can negate the distance and how? The Red Sox can't move Boston south. But the Nats and Orioles can claim that their position in the standings will move north.
Interesting article, but I think Boswell oversells the appeal of the Nats and Orioles and dismisses the Angels far too quickly. If I were a betting man, I'd say Teixeira stays in Anaheim. There he has the same shot of winning he has in Boston, with little of the pressure and none of the historical baggage the Red Sox represent for him. If the Angels' money is close, I think he stays put.
The economic downturn hits the bush leagues:
At the minor league job fair and trade show, the topic on many minds was the floundering economy, which was expected to have a far more pronounced effect on baseball’s lower levels than on the major leagues. Many minor league teams are searching for creative ways to save money but keep fans heading out to ballparks, and job seekers are finding few openings. Some of the cost-saving measures will affect fans, and others will reach the field . . .
I suppose things are tough all over, but it's hard for me to get worked up about fewer rented inflatable things and repeats on the cap shuffle.