Stadium building through extortion all the rage

Stadium building through extortion all the rage
May 1, 2013, 11:00 pm
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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is threatening to leave Wrigley Field if he doesn't get his way. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Now that Bayern Munich has reached the Champions League final by eradicating almost all memory of Barcelona, it is good to mention that manager Jupp Heynckes is being shoved out at year’s end for former Barca coach Pep Guardiola. Why? because the people who run Bayern thought in January that Heynckes was too old, or losing it, or not Peptastic enough

It is good to know this because if Bayern beats Borussia Dortmund in the final May 25 and become famous and fabulous rich, you’ll want to know why that elderly gentlemen on the bench is baring his buttocks at the Bayern owners’ box.

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In fact, Dortmund and Munich play each other Saturday in a meaningless Bundesliga match Saturday (Munich long ago clinched the league title, Dortmund is 20 points away with three matches left). We mention this because if you think Stephen Curry is getting a working over now, wait until you see what awaits any regulars for either team who dare touch the field.

Oh, but Heynckes is much less likely to drop trou for that one. I mean, if that’s how you want your international sports to roll.

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Champions Tour golfer David Eger is apparently the fellow who ratted out Tiger Woods on his flexible interpretation of the rules on the 15th hole at Augusta National. Sure, it’s a little hall-monitor-y, but at least it will irritate Woods a bit more knowing that when everyone is watching him, EVERYONE is watching him.

On the other hand, his non-disqualification was upheld by whoever upholds such things, by invoking the little-used but well-understood Oh Shut The Hell Up Clause. So that way, nobody’s happy, and that’s the way we like it.

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Tom Ricketts, the latest man in charge of running the Chicago Cubs back into the earth’s core, has just threatened to leave Wrigley Field if he can’t get all his planned upgrades approved, include a video board that would block the view from the surrounding rooftops. And given how much degradation disguised as civic pride the cities of Sacramento and Seattle went through to fight over the equally inert Kings, we can only assume that he’ll get what he wants, eventually.

Or maybe he can move the team to Joliet on his own dime, taking great care to keep his yap closed along the way. We are going through a new burst of stadium-building-through-extortion, which all available economics shows is a bad deal for cities, but since you can’t tell people hell-bent on burning their money how to build the fire, we are no longer interesting in caring. You go, Tom. Hold your breath until the rest of us turn blue.

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Death To The Great Satan Of Ampersands! The NCAA has banned hashtags on its clients’ playing fields, because this of course was a problem in no places whatsoever. It has not banned people who carry money in their wallets, including agents, from having sideline passes, though, and as much access to players as they can get away with while pretending to be slick about it. In other words, no hashtags, but the usual number of $$$$$. These people are so far from seeing even the barest outline of shame that it makes mob movies flinch in admiration.

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And finally, there is nothing better in all of life on this planet than Vin Scully being annoyed by a baseball game’s pace, as he clearly was Wednesday night with Rockies-Dodgers. He doesn’t even say it. He lets you see it, and then gives a disgusted “Wow, wow indeed,” as he did after a Josh Beckett-Dexter Fowler staredown. John Beckett and Dexter Fowler? Really? Gives a fella a new respect for Zack Greinke-Carlos Quentin.