What happens when a former Republican gets mail from Mitt Romney? Find out after the jump.
Posts Tagged ‘blatant money grabs’
I took the Packers to task not long ago for saying with a straight face that they needed to raise ticket prices by $10 or $11 to remain competitive. I said I’d have more respect for them if they’d just come out and say “We know you’ll pay it, so we’d be stupid not to1.”
Now the new Cubs’ ownership has just admitted that, yeah, the semi-free ride of games on WGN is slowing down for financial reasons.
“Certainly the superstation — the fact that we were in 70 million homes outside of Chicago — was in large part responsible for the national love affair between this great franchise and its fans,” president Crane Kenney told fans at the Cubs Convention. “So we’re very respectful of that. But the fact is, we as a club make twice as much with the games being played on cable as opposed to over-the-air television.”
Having previously called for a team to just fess up, I can’t very well call Crane Kenney an idiot for fessing up. That said, he is an idiot on general principle2, this episode notwithstanding.
As for me, I’m kinda proud that that crap organization has gotten none of my money since July of 2008, and that will continue.
1 – Due, in large part, to meatheads like this guy.
2 – If you saw his speech at the unveiling of the Ernie Banks statue, you’ll agree.
As if giving away a Ford Taurus on their NFL pregame show and the constant shots of Gatorade jugs during the Sugar Bowl weren’t enough, FOX has now just completely dropped all pretense of being anything but a corporate shill.
When ESPN getting the BCS is going to be a step up, you know you’ve got problems. (Screengrab courtesy deadspin.com.)
Falling between World Cup qualifiers, episode #10 of Four At The Back features discussion of the US Nats’ loss in Costa Rica and a look ahead to the game with Honduras. Also, the best subbuteo player in the country, Zach Walker, is our guest (visit the American Subbuteo Association to find out more about this fun game). We’ll also talk about Toronto FC’s upcoming friendly with Real Madrid and Dan gets his David Beckham hate on.
Also, many thanks to Brian Lewis of the New York Post for giving us some love in his soccer blog about last week’s interview with Shep Messing.
I stumbled across this and it’s hilarious. Also, sad. This story about the Oakland A’s and their stadium quest contained this note:
A little linguistic poker here: A veteran observer of this phenomenon says he has charted it and that, every time Bud Selig uses the words “quite frankly,” whatever he says afterward is later proven to be untrue. Something to keep in mind.
Bart Giamatti would have been in office 20 years and one month as of today. Sometimes I think about what Major League Baseball would be like today had he not passed away so soon and so suddenly. Would we have interleague play? Six divisions? The wild card? Would the steroid era have been as long or run as deeply?
Would MLB be the blatant money grab that it is today, where nothing (and I mean nothing) matters as much as bleeding fans for as much money as humanly possible?
I honestly don’t know. I like to think that Giamatti truly had the best interests of the game – and not just the owners or himself – in mind. We’ll never know for sure.
Baseball is a great game that’s gotten massively screwed up under the auspices of the man at the top.
Catching up after a weekend where I was largely out of touch*:
- Goodbye, Americans. It’s sad about Paul Harvey, but the man had a hell of a life. I loved listening to him. Even at 90, the guy could bring it. Everybody who’s ever spoken into a microphone for a living owes him a debt of gratitude.
- She wasn’t asking for it then, but she’s asking for it now. Really? Rhianna? You’re going to spend the weekend with the guy who beat you up? Are you insane? Seriously, no matter how much you love someone, no matter how much you think you need them in your life, no matter how sorry they say they are, your life is just easier if you cut ties with people who beat you up. At the very least, get some time and distance between you. Not three weeks. Probably not three months. Just don’t do it.
- I wish they’d have just asked me. Sigfried and Roy performed at a benefit over the weekend with the tiger that mauled Roy some six years ago and ended their careers. “After a two-year review, federal investigators never determined what set off the tiger,” the story says. Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the fact that a tiger is a wild animal?
- Carnivale Act: I missed this on Friday (hey, you don’t announce good news on a Friday – people miss it, like I did), but the Chicago Red Stars signed Brazilian star Cristiane. This is a big signing for them and the league. My man Peter Wilt has put together a hell of an organization and what looks like it’ll be a good team.
- Caught Stealing. I went to the Padres/Cubs spring training game in Peoria yesterday. It reaffirmed that big-league baseball has become something that I don’t want to be a part of anymore. It’s a blatant money-grab with crap customer service that’s so far from the romanticized vision many of us have of the game that it’s just ridiculous. We need a new commissioner, stat. I should write more about this later, but it’s a rant, so maybe not.
- I would think it would be money well-spent. But it’s not surprising that some states, facing budget crises, would look to eliminate the death penalty on financial grounds. I’ve gone on about this before – I don’t care about the costs or deterrence or any of that. It’s about justice, and some people are just evil and deserve to die. But I’m not going to put up a big fight about it. States gotta do what states gotta do.
*Insert your own joke here. I can only imagine.
So I get a letter today from Sirius, telling me that unless I lock in a longer-term subscription, I won’t be able to listen to Sirius online for free when my subscription is up.
I’ve been a subscriber since September 2007 (I got it to make the drive from Chicago to Phoenix a bit easier and like the fact that there are no commercials on the music channels and that they have soccer on), but here are the facts, boys and girls:
- Even after the merger with XM, Sirius is in trouble. Selling 40% of its stock to Liberty Media is only prolonging the inevitable because:
- The company vastly overestimated demand, which caused them to make a bad deal with Howard Stern (luckily, it has less than two years to run, so they’ll be out from under it before too long). As a result:
- They’ve got more than $3 billion in debt.
- As for programming, yeah, it’s nice, but after you’ve had it for a while, you realize that there’s only so many times you can listen to Pat Benatar‘s “Shadows of the Night,” which plays way too often on the 80s channel (it seems like the other channels have similar overplay problems).
- It’s nice to be able to listen to an NFL game if I’m out driving around on a Sunday, but I bought NFL Sunday Ticket so I could sit on my couch and watch the NFL on Sundays.
- I don’t listen online anyway because:
- You can’t listen to live sports programming online. They just recently relented and made Stern available online because his listenership was stagnating, because:
- It’s basically the same show he’s been doing for 25 years, only without the euphemisms. I’m sure he feels better about not having to censor himself, but is this really worth $12 a month? And the hard sell now for paid online listening (they say “the online listening platform will be upgraded to a higher quality digital audio” once it’s no longer free, which you and I both know is bollocks)?
I haven’t listened to terrestrial radio in a year and a half since I got Sirius, but I’m not sure the value is there anymore. I am sure the “enhanced online listening platform” is bull**** and this is just them trying to squeeze more revenue out in hopes of keeping Mel Karmazin in caviar for a while longer.
The Chicago Fire and Los Angeles Galaxy will play a friendly here in the Valley of the Sun in March (reports the Republic – oddly enough, no word in the Trib’s blog or from either team yet).
That’s the good news.
The bad news? Tickets are $36 in advance, $40 at the gate.
Are you insane?
For a friendly? Which may or may not include David Beckham (he’s supposed to be back from Milan by then, but stay tuned, anything can happen)? It may not include Landon Donovan, either, but then, Donovan doesn’t move the needle anyway the way Becks and Blanco do.
Now, I’ve seen firsthand how Blanco is received by soccer fans from Mexico – he’s a total icon/rockstar/demigod, still. But at this stage of his career, is he still worth paying that much money for? You tell me.
As y’all know, I love soccer. Love, love, love it. But that’s just out of line. You could get $38 seats for the US/Mexico game two years ago at University of Phoenix Stadium. Last summer, New York and Chivas de Guadalajara played at the U of P and tickets were $25, $35, $45 and $55 and that game only drew 10,000. (Granted, Guadalajara is here a lot, Blanco is not.)
Someone I trust told me about this match three weeks ago and said it’s all contingent on Beckham returning from his loan to AC Milan. I would think Blanco would still be a draw among the populace here, but I think those who are hoping there’ll be 30,000 people there and that it will lead to someone ponying up to put an MLS team in Phoenix may be disappointed.