Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A changeup - on Major League Baseball

Mother Jones asks, Is Your Team's Owner a Major League Asshole?

Tim Murphy, Ian Gordon, Tasneem Raja, and Sarah Zhang provide information to help us judge. Here are a few examples:
  • Houston Astros: Jim Crane's company was forced to pay the federal government millions to settle charges of war profiteering related to contracts in Iraq, millions more after an investigation found rampant racial and gender discrimination at the company. Crane had told subordinates, "Once you hire blacks, you can never fire them."
  • Kansas City Royals: When he was still president and CEO of Walmart, David Glass was confronted by NBC's Dateline with evidence of child labor at a T-shirt factory in Bangladesh. His response: "You and I might, perhaps, define children differently."
  • Seattle Mariners: Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president and chairman of Nintendo, has been the owner of the Mariners for the last two decades, but has never once been to a game.
  • Atlanta Braves: Liberty Media chairman, John Malone, currently owns more land than any other American—2.1 million acres. Malone, according to a 1994 Wired profile, was "widely considered the Darth Vader of the infobahn" because of his insatiable push to conquer the industry. His Wall Street nickname is marginally more favorable: "swamp alligator."
  • Chicago Cubs: Remember the plan hatched last year by Cubs family patriarch Joe Ricketts to defeat the "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln" (a.k.a. Barack Obama)?
  • Colorado Rockies: From the family that brought you factory farms and coked-up cattle! Charlie and Dick Monfort helped run the eponymous Big Ag empire until 1987 when the family sold out to ConAgra, and the Monfort boys became ConAgra execs. Father Kenneth made his fortune by busting the union that served his workforce and replacing union workers with immigrant laborers—many of them undocumented. (At one point, the company's annual employee turnover rate hit 400 percent.) Also represented in the Rockies' ownership group is former GOP senate candidate Pete Coors, purveyor of super cold beer and brother to Joe Coors Jr., who once predicted that Armageddon would arrive in 2000. On video (HERE) Pete explained how poor people caused the financial crisis.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: Lead owner Mark Walter's financial house, Guggenheim Partners, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over his ties to former junk bond trader Michael Milken.
  • Miami Marlins: Jeffrey Loria, the millionaire art dealer and Charlie Brown-as-philosophy author, is widely considered the worst baseball owner of his generation. The Marlins' boom-and-bust cycles were already diminishing the team's shaky South Florida fanbase when along came the Miró-inspired The Marlins Park, built last year with public financing, will end up costing Miami-Dade County $1.1 billion, has made Loria the second least popular person in South Florida (behind Fidel Castro).





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1 comment:

  1. Off topic, Norm but I just caught your radio broadcast with Ian Jessop, thanx to RossK's plug.

    Most of the info was not new to me as I follow your blog regularly, but congratulations on using a new vehicle to provide your insight (no pun intended) to a broader base of citizens.

    Today I paid $2.25 for a Province newspaper that contained ten cents worth of news.

    Now that traditional news sources are providing fluff pieces or ignoring important news, we need your efforts more than ever. Thanks, Norm.

    ReplyDelete

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