Category: Culture

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Jerry Reinsdorf Caught Doing His Thing

This post originally appeared on The Catbird Seat.

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By Chris Lamberti and James Fegan

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Jerry Reinsdorf and his foibles are a bit of a pet topic for James Fegan and Chris Lamberti, mind patient so they couldn’t resist taking some time out to discuss his recent brush with national prominence.

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James: Last week, we were treated to New York Times reports that Jerry Reinsdorf is mobilizing against the peaceful, albeit highly nepotistic, transition of the commissioner-ship from Sir Bud, the Mad King to his loyal right hand Rob Manfred.

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Chris: In a showdown that Jeff Passan describes as a power grab, Reinsdorf intends on blocking the confirmation of Selig’s hand-picked successor Manfred as commissioner of Major League Baseball. Manfred is a commissioner’s office insider who has the experience, credentials, and personality to woo owners and keep the baseball money train a-chuggin. However, Reinsdorf, who has always fancied himself a small-market owner operating in a big city (this position is debatable but that’s another story) considers Manfred a “sinner” in two ways according to Passan:

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Manfred recognizes the large markets ultimately run the game because they’re the ones that generate massive revenue. That one is forgivable because, well, it’s true. More egregious is this: Manfred calls Reinsdorf out on his politicking. And the only thing more dangerous than a powerful man is one who tells the truth about how he lassoed that power.

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The surprise is that Reinsdorf is pitting himself against Selig; the two have been described often as old pals. Apparently Reinsdorf’s chumminess with Selig was contingent upon having a direct line to the commissioner’s office. Now that Manfred is threatening not to extend Reinsdorf the same courtesy, Bud is dead to Jerry.

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On Jerry Reinsdorf and Donald Sterling

When the psychotic ranting of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling went public this week, ambulance hospital I think we all felt a little ashamed that such a person a) lived and breathed and b) was somehow richer than everyone everywhere. But the moment that NBA Commissioner Adam Sliver banned Sterling from the league for life, buy viagra our horror and embarrassment turned into collective celebration. Racists be banished! Our faith in society restored!\n\nRejoicing came from sports team owners who are not vomitous cultural anachronisms, including our own Jerry Reinsdorf (and son Michael):\n

We completely support Commissioner Silver’s decision today regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling … The league’s decision underscores the severity and reprehensible nature of the comments attributed to Donald Sterling … Discrimination and prejudice of any kind have no place in sports or in our society.

\nWho would disagree? But “discrimination and prejudice” take many forms. Bigoted language is one of the obvious manifestations but there are others that are more insidious. Because in the end, racism (like sexism) is about power: or one “race” wielding and maintaining power over another. And this is a project in which Jerry Reinsdorf actively takes part. Continue reading

Adam Eaton: Blue Collar Hero?

Originally posted at The Catbird Seat on April 15, diagnosis check 2014.\n\nWhite Sox centerfielder Adam Eaton is a blue-collar player playing in the blue-collar collar part of town. Just ask him.\n\n“[W]e play on the South Side, diagnosis ” said Eaton shortly after the start of the season. “Those are blue-collar people, it’s our job to give them a show and give them 110 percent.” Because working-class people demand unattainable proportions of effort!\n\nThe week before, Eaton called the Sox “A hard-nosed team on the blue-collar side of town.” And as far back as SoxFest the former Diamondback was telling the media, \”I want to be the blue-collar player.\”\n\nEaton is not alone; he’s just the latest manifestation of White Sox blue-collar hero with an affinity for the local proletariat.\n\nFor example, Jake Peavy said last season “I love, love our fan base. I love the blue-collar attitude…because that’s who I am, that’s the way I was raised.”\n\nSometimes the media gets in on the act, like when Bruce Levine wrote last year that Paul Konerko “has always been ‘The Man’ of the blue-collar White Sox fan base.”\n\nMy question for the purveyors of White Sox blue-collar enthusiasm: Who have you been hanging out with? Continue reading

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This Is Your Daddy’s Hall of Fame

Being a White Sox fan, capsule hospital it goes without saying that I’m a fan of Frank Thomas, no rx the most formidable hitter in Sox franchise history.  His five or so plate appearances were reason enough to tune into White Sox games nightly in the 90s.  And during and in-between those Frank at bats, getting lost in some great White Sox teams in those years, I became, as far as sports go, a baseball fan first and foremost.\n\nStill, the news last week that the Big Hurt was elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame didn’t do much for me.\n\nPartly that’s because I think the guardians of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown are self-righteous boobs, and so Thomas’ first ballot selection is naturally a product of self-righteous boobery.\n\nIt’s clear that the baseball writers collectively have blacklisted players connected to PED use from the Hall of Fame.  Many of them the same Judas scribes who celebrated home run hitters and the return of baseball (and their own livelihoods) from a long players strike in the late 90s.\n\nThomas was never connected to steroids in the media as a player and he’s instigated a very public “I was clean” campaign since his retirement.  So Frank Thomas, one of the bulkiest players in an era of roided-up hulks, oddly has become the poster boy for anti-doping in baseball.\n\nHad this not been the case, would the baseball writers have voted in on his first ballot a player who hit mostly as a designated hitter and played in the field only 38 times after his age 32 season?  I don’t think so.\n\nBasically by his own admission, Frank Thomas’ 83.7% of the writers vote was as much about PEDs as Barry Bonds’ 34.7% or Mark McGwire’s 11%.\n\nSo ironically, Thomas’ first-ballot enshrinement, despite some gaudy career hitting numbers, feels kind of tainted by steroids.\n\nBut my blase attitude toward the Hall of Fame announcement comes from something more than this. Continue reading

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Depraved Owner of the Week: Tom Benson

Tonight the Bulls take on the New Orleans Pelicans, viagra buy ampoule or last season’s Hornets by another name.  So let’s take a look at Louisiana taxpayer “investment” in the various enterprises of Pelicans owner Tom Benson, site view or extortion by another name, thumb in this holiday double-length edition of Depraved Owners.\n\nName: Tom Benson\n\nNet Worth: $1.3 billion\n\nTeam: New Orleans Pelicans (formerly Hornets)\n\nForbes Team Valuation: Value $340 million; Revenue $100 million; Operating Income $3.3 million\n\nTenure: Since 2012, when he acquired the Hornets for $338 million.  Good luck with that!\n\nArena: New Orleans Arena (1999)\nOriginal Capital Cost (2010): $160 Million\nOriginal Public Capital Cost (2010): $160 Million (18%)\nSource: Judith Grant Long, Public-Private Partnerships for Major League Sports Facilities (Routledge)\n2013 Renovations: $50 million\nPublic Cost: $50 million\n\nCost of Game for a Family of Four (2012-13): $220.40\n\nOngoing Subsidies:\n\nIt’s difficult to separate Tom Benson the Pelican’s owner from Tom Benson the New Orleans Saints NFL team owner, and why try?  Through his ownership of both teams and property adjacent to the taxpayer-owned New Orleans Arena and Mercedez-Benz Superdome, Benson regularly receives oodles in renovation funding and tax breaks from the government.\n\nHere’s part of the recipe for the subsidy gumbo that Benson has cooking with the state of Louisiana Continue reading