How taxpayers invested over $200 million in giant tarp holder

Ratto: A's ownership is baiting the customers

How taxpayers invested over $200 million in giant tarp holder
September 17, 2013, 10:45 pm
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 By taking off tarps, the Coliseum will have a capacity of 48,146 fans for potential ALDS games played in Oakland. (AP)

The America’s Cup race on Tuesday was called because of excessive wind. I know this happens often, I know that yacht racing becomes increasingly dangerous under such conditions, and I know that yachting enthusiasts get annoyed if you make fun of “yacht race called due to wind.”

But let’s be honest – it’s good to see the looks of disgust at the rich-people’s-problems on people’s faces when you say, “yacht race called due to wind.”


The A’s getting rid of the covers in the bowl section of the Coliseum for the postseason, but leaving the ones up in the outfield, means that after all this time, taxpayers invested more than $200 million in a giant tarp holder.

Good investment. Very solid. Yay Al. Yay voters. But be sure to complain that new stadiums aren’t being built for your favorite team the next chance you get, because those just leap into being by magic, and never cost a dime of civic treasure at all.


The lead attorney in the lawsuit against the NFL said that the case was flawed because he didn’t think he could prove to the judge that some of the concussions incurred by the plaintiffs weren’t suffered in college or even high school.

Fine, then. The end game doesn’t come with money anyway, but when parents and insurance companies can no longer be sure that children aren’t being concussed and worse, and walk away from the game entirely. And that’s still a few decades away.


Bernard Hopkins rarely says or does stupid things, but when he said he wants to drop 30 pounds so he can fight Floyd Mayweather at age 48 . . . well, I rest my case even before I’ve made it.


PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem is starting to rethink the army of informants who watch golf matches to find the rules violations. “I hate to say it’s part of the tradition of the game because you can’t really argue that because it’s changed with the degree of television we have. I think we need to do some more thinking about it.”

In other words, this has happened to Tiger Woods twice this year, therefore it’s a problem.


Bo Pelini may have cursed his way out of his job at Nebraska, though he has 10 games to save himself. But this is a good time to review the First, Second and Third Laws of Fan Interaction:

1.      If you don’t care about how you are perceived, all you have to do is win every game forever.
2.      If you can’t win forever, all you have to do is chase away all the old fans and draw all new ones.
3.      If you can’t forever, and you can’t rebuild your fan base from scratch, you’d better be the owner of the company. You know, like Jeff Loria.


Galatasaray, the Turkish sports club, knows how to put on a show by its fans, as this massive tifo before the Champions League match against Real Madrid (courtesy The Big Lead). It does yet know how to put on a show for its fans, though, as the tifo was the high point in a 6-1 loss to the Cristiano Ronaldos.

Oh, well. Art for art’s sake.


Barcelona just signed a nine-year-old Swedish prodigy named Zico Marecaldi to go to its training academy. This beats most college coaches who sign kids to letters of intent for publicity, in that letters of intent are routinely ignored when it comes time to cash them in.

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