Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Short Goodbye...

I have both good news and sad news.  After talking with Josh and Corrye, I have made the decision to shut down BBIMH effective immediately.  As rewarding as it has been to write this blog for the past 4-1/2 months, I've decided to focus my attention on the new writing opportunities this space has afforded me.  As many of you know, I have been making regular contributions to the Red Sox blog Fire Brand of the American League for the past month or so.  I will continue to not only post articles every Wednesday and Friday over there, but also post my Weekend Round-Up of links every Sunday. 

Recently, I've been given another new writing opportunity.  I've been asked to join the writing staff at It's About the Money Stupid, the Yankee blog affiliate to the ESPN Sweet Spot network.  I will start writing for them, as well as continuing to write for Fire Brand, effective immediately with my first article being a reprint of my Fire Brand article "Will Jeter Rebound?"   While I'm not sure when that will post, I believe it will probably within the next couple of days.  This opportunity will allow me to express my thoughts on the Red Sox and Yankees in the appropriate spaces.  I am really looking forward to taking on both of these opportunities.  As far as I know, I'm in the unique position of being the only person to be a regular contributor at two Sweet Spot blogs, which is actually pretty cool.

In closing, I want to give a special thanks to Josh and Corrye for joining me in the endeavor.  While I will definitely miss writing with both you, I know that you will both influence my future writing just through our baseball discussions.  I also want to thank all of our regular readers, especially those who commented.  With each of you continuing to read every day, I felt compelled to continue you on with my writing.  Thank you for that. Lastly, thank you to everyone else who, while they may not have read this blog regularly, continued to support me in my decision to do so regardless. 

Despite what the title says, this isn't really a good bye.  I will still be around--just at a different location.  I hope each of you will follow me to both Fire Brand and IIATMS.  Both are top notch sites that put out a lot of great material.  Also, feel free to comment or email! 

Goodbye for now!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

John Henry Couldn't Outrace Selig and Neither Should Hank and Randy

One of my favorite classes in high school was American History, mostly because of my teacher Mr. Meier but also because of the content. I was particularly fascinated by the Bill Of Rights, one of our country's most lauded and important documents. Like many of my fellow classmates I'd already heard about the right to free speech but I'd never heard its most important caveat: free speech is only protected if there is not a clear and present danger resulting from said speech. (Yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater is the example most often cited.)
Free speech and "clear and present danger" applies to many aspects of life--even baseball. Whether you agree or disagree with Randy Levine and Hank Steinbrenner's recent comments about revenue sharing is besides the point. Do people like Steinbrenner, Levine, and even Red Sox owner John Henry have a right to voice their opinion? Absolutely. After all it is their constitutional right.
But there are always consequences.
John Henry made comments in 2009 to the Boston Globe regarding revenue sharing. He stated that "seven chronically uncompetitive teams, five of whom have had baseball's highest operating profits" received close to 1 billion dollars. For exercising his constitutional right, Henry was promptly fined $500,000 by Commissioner Bud Selig.
Excessive? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely.
Listen, even though Henry's words to the Boston Globe were honest and accurate, they still presented a clear and present danger, not in the governmental sense but definitely in the United States of Major League Baseball. My opinion from an industry standpoint is that if a company continues to fail time and time again financially, they should go out of business. But this is baseball not corporate America. The league and the fans can't afford to have five markets suddenly contracted just because they didn't turn a profit. That's why revenue sharing is so important. A free market capitalistic MLB is a pipe dream. (Some might say the same is true of the current USA with all the bailouts that have been occurring, but hey that's a post for another time and another blog.) Is it "welfare" like Steinbrenner and Levine said? That's a little harsh. From an economic standpoint it is slightly socialist but I think very necessary.
As Craig Calcattera pointed out today "Bud Selig's job is to keep the labor peace and keep the PR machine running smoothly." Even though I can't stand Selig as a commissioner, I totally agree with Calcattera's sentiments. Selig cannot allow inflammatory comments like Henry's, Steinbrenner's, and Levine's go without consequences. The bottom line is that this is the deal that the owners agreed upon. If they don't like it, change it the next time the issue needs to be addressed. Making comments bashing the system only undermines the system that is already in place and sows unnecessary dissension among the rank and file.
So fair warning Hank and Randy: you're about to get fined. And I'm pretty sure Selig won't take payment in government cheese.