If we have to put up with shady ethics, manipulative business practices, and gross abuse of the law, is it too much to ask our government to balance the budget in the process? I’m a man of compromise after all. I’d settle for Bud Selig as president if it means we get back to in the black, at least for a season or two.
Case in point, the blog Hit & Run ran a post about the scam that is the publicly funded Washington Nationals ballpark. That subject, and the subject of taxpayer funded stadium boondoggles, is not what I wish to discuss. Andrew Zimbalist and The Sports Economist have that topic covered. I just happen to have posted a comment on the Hit & Run blog’s story and since it took me almost 10 minutes to write, thought it was worth sharing. Particularly because it points out how ineffective our federal government really is; they can’t even aspire to be this type of shady. And also because it took me 10 minutes to write.
Interesting that some of you bring up the Marlins and their owner, Jeffrey Loria. His connection to the DC franchise is greater than you might realize.
Loria was the owner of the Expos when he cut a deal with Bud Selig to sell the team back to MLB (a move that ultimately brought about RICO charges against Loria – though he later won in mediation – partly due to the fact that he claimed the team had no value, yet sold them for a $30mil+ profit to the other owners).
That sale, along with a loan, allowed him to buy the Marlins (Marlins owner was allowed to buy the Red Sox when they were put up to bid by the Yawkey Trust (side note: the trust was required to sell to the highest bidder, who reportedly wasn’t Loria, but that’s a scam for another post)).
Ultimately, Baseball tried to contract the Expos (and Twins), but thanks to the Twins lease, they couldn’t, legally (or even illegally it would seem, which is unusual for them). Selig gets DC to agree to a new park, MLB sells the Expos for yet another profit (gotta wonder if they wanted the contraction to fail all along), Expos fans gets screwed and Washington gets their under-drawing, under-performing, publicly-financed team and stadium.
Obama take note: that’s how you exploit taxpayers! Here endeth the lesson.