re: Presentation

November 27, 2011

Ten Bonus Points to Dorrell Wright

The Birdman is served his thanksgiving turkey.

Apparently Dorrell Wright is a Christian.  A real, practicing Christian.  At least practicing in the sense that he mentions God when explaining his motivation for saving a Thanksgiving celebration for his community’s elderly and less fortunate.  Also practicing in the sense that he’s got to get ready for the season awwwwwwwwyyyyyeaaahhh!  Wright’s contract paid him 3.8 million last season, but it was his first year of a new, relatively lucrative contract.  While locked-out, fiscally imprudent players scrambled to cover their expenses without their expected paychecks, Wright not only stepped up, but showed up, stayed, and said all of the right things.  He diplomatically implied regrets from those on the other side of the lockout, suggesting that others wanted to step up.  But they didn’t.

'They question my birth certificate too, buddy.'

Perhaps Dorrell Wright should represent Albert Pujols.  Apparently, being a good Christian is part of the fraud that has made the career of Dan Lozano, Pujols current agent, whom he left top agent Scott Boras for.  In the deal made by Lozano when big Albert jumped to him, Pujols become the 30th highest paid player in the game, despite being an all-star in all 4 of his seasons and having been the 2nd runner-up for the NL MVP.  During the contract’s duration he would be MVP 3 times; as the 30th, 34th and 26th highest paid player for each of those years. Boras would have gotten more, and would probably get more this time around too. Dorrell Wright may not; but at least Albert would have a Christian in his corner.


Newsflash: Hank Williams Jr. sucks.

October 4, 2011

‘If the South woulda won, we woulda had it made’ is a Hank Williams Jr. penned line from one of his dreadful songs.  This line sparked a little-publicized call for his terrible Monday Night Football theme song to be pulled, on grounds that it implied regret at the loss of the institution of slavery.  This happened, or at least I heard of it through NPR, a year or two ago, but I can’t find it now, so it may have fallen into the memory hole.  Now a new race-related controversy has caused ESPN to yank the song, after Williams compared Obama to Hitler on some kind of news talk show, only involving Hank Williams Jr.

The subsequent howls of free speech violation from the fringe will not sway ESPN in exercising its own free speech by dumping the song, just as the earlier call did not sway them in exercising it to continue to write royalty checks to someone they perceived as helping their brand.  The howls are also not quite convincing me one hundred percent for sure that something happened.  Like the Avery-Goddard gay marriage non-story, Hank Williams Jr saying something ignorant is far less unbelievable to me than the huge number of people who have not realized that Hank Williams Jr’s MNF theme song is bad.  ‘There’s no accounting for taste’ is of course only partially true, and it is sportsvssports’ official position that Hank Williams Jr fans mostly eat things called stuff like ‘Ho-Hos,’ and cheeze instead of cheese, and don’t read this blog.

Comment on something happening, specifically the Red Sox not retaining ‘Tito’ Francona, will come later this week.

A Tissue for Joe Girardi

August 10, 2011

I am the man dressed in white stealing signs.


In light of recent allegations published and recycled recently, I have decided to come clean and admit that I, your faithful sportsvssports author, am the person who has been stealing signs and relaying them to Blue Jays batters.  When it started, it was just Jose.  I couldn’t help Vernon, because he owed me a ten spot and kept ducking me.  Eventually, I hooked it up with Adam Lind, helping him raise his average above .220.  This year, I’ve been helping Eric Thames, and Yunel, and recently Edwin, but still not Hill.  The Verlander game I was just busy.  I’m not gonna tell everyone what I was doing, I just wasn’t there.  That’s all you need to know.  And I don’t use a Bluetooth.  I just have really good eyesight.  But, since everyone’s so exited, I’ll stop now.  Sheesh.

Dem Bums (2 of 2)

July 31, 2011

It’s around this time, when the Dodgers’ ownership is a matter to be decided by divorce court, that a noted investigative journalism brand publicizes rumours that Frank and Jamie have been siphoning money from the Dodgers.  Now desperate for money, Frank McCourt takes the legal firm that drew up the aforementioned marriage property agreement to court, and then uses the theoretical capital that will produce as collateral in securing an emergency loan from a hedge fund.  He also enters into a loan agreement with Fox which involves his personal finances, and signs a television rights extension with the same company which includes 385 million in upfront cash.  This and the loans (we imagine Mr. McCourt telling himself) will be enough to get the Dodgers by until Rafael Furcal miraculously heals and leads them to the World Series, and accompanying riches.

It is at this point that Bud Selig felt compelled to move in, claiming in essence that someone who might not own something (pending legal decision) cannot make major decisions about its future, and also that financing, even in an emergency, must be done and not done in certain ways.  Frank McCourt had reached a divorce settlement with a portion of the 385 million going to Jamie McCourt, and allowing Selig the easy claim that “Critically, the transaction is structured to facilitate the further diversion of Dodgers assets for the personal needs of Mr. McCourt.”  This decision effectively foreclosed the possibility of the Dodgers making their June payroll, so Frank put the team into chapter 11 bankruptcy as of June 27.  At the same time, they told the overseer appointed by MLB that he was not needed, or indeed welcome, at Dodger stadium, and the next day MLB was in the bankruptcy court with McCourt, where it was determined that the hedge fund loan could be used temporarily, at least until a July 20 hearing at which the league would attempt to take over financing the team.

At that hearing, it was ruled that the hedge fund money could no longer be used, but that McCourt must finance the team through MLB.  This hearing also leaked out the nugget that Frank may have issues with the IRS, who will have to get in line with Fox, who intends to sue everyone in town if the rights deal they negotiated with McCourt earlier doesn’t go through.  The court will attempt to decide the TV rights issue in August, which in turn will determine whether McCourt has the cash to pay back his loan, settle with his ex, and start regaining control of the Dodgers.  Even if he does manage to do these things, Frank McCourt still has to defeat Jamie in court for full ownership to avoid selling, which is what MLB wants to happen at this point anyway.

So the reason that this storied franchise has gone bankrupt is because their owner didn’t have adequate reserves to operate in the event of a cash flow crunch, even before what has become a protracted and messy divorce.  The cash flow crunch itself seems to be caused by a reduction in income from gate, combined with a staggering accumulation of payments to players who no longer contribute to the team.  In other words, those really paying attention saw the writing on the wall around the time Andruw Jones’ and Manny Ramirez’ contracts turned sour.

Use the handy scorecard below to follow along with the case as it winds its way through the (Mc)court system:

PARTY                        CONTRIBUTION                        LIKELY REWARD

Frank McCourt             Parking lot                                   Bud Selig

Jamie McCourt           Divorce papers                  Manny Ramirez money

Andruw Jones                Stinking                                  11.1 million

Manny Ramirez         Cheating, stinking                       20.9 million

Bud Selig                   Overseer, unwanted loan         Frank McCourt

Fox                        Broadcasting, original seller         Parking lot.

Probably everything else.

Matt Kemp                 .312, 24HR, 75RBI                         Rihanna

Dem Bums (1 of 2)

July 26, 2011

The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to L.A. in 1954, and from there to the moon in 2010.  If you don’t believe me, read this, and then shake your head and have a little chuckle.  The team of Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Orel Hershiser has truly fallen on hard times.  As of right now the Dodgers are currently in chapter 11 bankruptcy, being protected from their creditors, like Andruw Jones, and who owns the team, whether they’re for sale, and who is allowed to loan them how much emergency capital is all in legal dispute.  How could this happen?

A history lesson:

Frank McCourt purchased the Dodgers in 2004 from Fox.  You might think he did so with the proceeds from Angela’s Ashes , but apparently he somehow managed to do it with a parking lot, which gives a nice tragic-comical air of inevitability to the whole thing.  From 2004 until now, the Dodgers have done some smart and/ or lucky things, like bring in Joe Torre, sign Hiroki Kuroda, and develop current major star and celebrity Matt Kemp.  They also did silly things, including inking deals promising too much for too long to players who would do too little.  They had better and worse years, but made the playoffs a couple of times, and they have never been a lost cause on the field.  So, again, how did it happen?

They say that attendance is down by 8,500 per game.  The first article linked to above claims this is because McCourt has been revealed as a charlatan, but if so the revelation comes not only from the team’s poor win-loss record, but also from the affairs of McCourt himself.  The real core of financial disarray is nothing to do with baseball, but rather the divorce of Frank McCourt from Jamie McCourt, and that is where the actual problem is demonstrated.  As of today, Frank McCourt owns the Dodgers as ‘debtor in possession,’ comically yet seriously referred to as ‘DIP.’  This status, however, is in dispute, because Jamie McCourt claims that the Dodgers are joint property from their marriage, and therefore half hers.  Frank McCourt was savvy enough to have a property agreement worked out with her, but not a legal one, in the opinion of the court.

To reiterate; Jamie McCourt says ‘I’m divorcing you and putting my half of the controlling interest in the team up for sale.’

Frankie says ‘Relax; you don’t have a half of the controlling interest, check out this document you signed!’

Jamie says ‘My copy doesn’t say that.’

Judge says ‘You have two substantially different copies of what you claim to be the same document.  Is this some kind of weird joke?’

*To be continued*

Yellow rubber bracelet? No thank you.

May 28, 2011
Cheat to Win

The devil you don't.

I always thought that those yellow bracelets everyone was wearing for a while were lame, to be honest.  You know the ones: remember?  Then the trend somehow became even more unlikely, with people wearing all different shades of rubber on their wrists.  Yeah, all lame, I thought.  Also, I don’t know if Joakim Noah is homophobic, or otherwise bigoted.  Related things.  In fact, the latter explains the former.  How?

Well, Lance Armstrong is a cheaterMaybe.  I don’t know.  Neither do you.  You may know that Lance Armstrong is a cancer survivor.  I personally am less sure that he’s one then that several people who I do know, personally, are.  You probably know a cancer survivor.  I bet they never asked you to wear a yellow bracelet.

So why did people do so when Lance asked them to?  Because they enjoy bicycle racing?  Of course not; the one thing that practically all North Americans agree on is that bicycle racing is not a spectator sport.  Whatever the reason, I hope it is not because they assumed that Mr. Armstrong had made his spectacular return to competitive athletics without benefit of biochemical technology.  This would be naïve.  Competitive cycling is one of the several sports in which steroids and other performance enhancing drugs became normal, before our society’s collective feigning of shock.

Noah called somebody ‘fag’ or ‘faggot.’  He yelled it at a heckler.  It may have just been my imagination, but in the next moment I thought I caught a glimpse of young Joakim catching a glimpse of himself in the cosmic reflector (in this case personified by a television camera directly across from him), and wishing he could hide under his chair, before he realized that the past could never be undone and he was just going to have to hope no-one was paying attention.  Well unfortunately, lots of people were paying attention.  And that’s what’s really sad.  Not the slur.  Not the cheating.  Those are just people doin’ stuff.  People not doin’ stuff, while claiming they’re doin’ stuff, is actually worse.

It is not sporting to associate someone with their worst moment, particularly if it seems isolated, has unusual context, or some other mitigating factor.  Furthermore, obsessing over an individual’s transgression is not the same as doing something about it.  Just like wearing rubber bands and, all too often, ‘raising awareness,’ are not the same as doing something about a problem.

Cancer and homophobia are problems worth our time and effort.  Cheating in sports, obviously less so.  Ought we to endorse or disavow misters Armstrong or Noah for their actions?  Of course not.  We don’t know them.  What possible relevance could our endorsement or disavowal have?  It is relevant only to ourselves, as a method of avoiding the issues.

Some Jocks’ Opinions on the Definition of Marriage

May 15, 2011

So; I was going to go and ask a couple of people I don’t know, who are not well educated, have no track record of insightful comment, and maybe even aren’t married what their opinions are on gay marriage.  Luckily, Damian Goddard and Sean Avery have saved me the time and effort.

Thanks to them, and thanks to Rogers for their blatantly reactionary censorship!