Possibilities for A's stadium remain endless

595072.jpg

Possibilities for A's stadium remain endless

Matier and Ross, those two notorious troublemakers, reported today that the chimerical Blue Ribbon Committee alit from their home in Atlantis and met Wednesday with Oakland officials and stadium boosters to discuss a waterfront ballpark plan.

And the word waterfront means one that isnt in San Jose.

But the day before, the committee of cherubim and seraphim met with San Jose officials to see how their plans for the As were progressing.

In short, the committee, whose work product to date could have been equaled by a small clowder of kittens, has finally decided to show some public interest in the only thing it has been asked to do.

Now the question becomes whether their findings in these two meetings have anything to do with anything. After all, Bud Selig has said more than once that the problem of San Jose is one to be settled between the Giants and As ownership groups, because baseball just didnt have the time (read: interest) in getting involved itself.

It has been our position for some time now that the committee does not actually exist, and without actually knowing the sources of Matier and Ross story we cannot say with complete surety that it actually does. We know they are usually quite reliable when they type, but we also consider the possibility that the committee just met for the first time after 40 months of . . . well, not.

Either way, this is what should have happened three years ago. And all that actually has happened is that they asked a few questions of interested parties, which is a lot less than an actual COMMITTEE REPORT WITH WORDS AND PUNCTUATION AND CONCLUSIONS AND SOLUTIONS AND STUFF LIKE THAT!

Maybe Selig has finally given up getting the As and Giants to do anything but hate each other in silence. Maybe someone finally jabbed him one too many times about the collective of work-product zombies that is the committee.

Maybe theyve just been too busy. For 1,200 days.

But this is the first sign that there is interest in an outside solution to the stasis that is the Athletics.

And San Jose? Well, its still trying to figure out if the state is going to take a bunch of redevelopment money that it earmarked for the As stadium, and according to M&R might have to sell off the stadium property if wrongdoing can be proven.

The San Jose folks, like everyone else involved, say everything is going their way, and that everything is progressing apace. Then again, since nothing has happened, they can all say they are right.

And lets be honest even if the committee was finally shaken from its years of required torpor to actually talk to people, it doesnt mean it is any closer to producing the report it was allegedly charged to write, or that baseball would do anything more than it has done to date, which is also nothing.

And the possibilities remain seemingly endless. The As move to San Jose and tell baseball to stop them. The As get permission to move to San Jose, and the Giants pitch a nutty. They As dont get permission, and John Fisher sells. The As dont get permission and John Fisher keeps cashing revenue sharing checks. The As build in Oakland. The As stay in the Coliseum and complain about it until we are all long and safely dead.

In the meantime, the new is the old, and the old is the new. Fact-finding after 40 months people get masters degrees in less time, and they have to produce lots of work that people can see.

The real issue that lingers now that OJ Simpson is a free man

The real issue that lingers now that OJ Simpson is a free man

O.J. Simpson is free. The system as it is defined by those who run it in the case of the Nevada Parole Board, worked.

But the issue that lingers is whether we can free ourselves of him. That system is far more amorphous, arbitrarty and essentially unfair. And in its own revolting way, it works too.

The O.J. market has always been bullish. The old cliché that people can’t get enough no matter how much you shovel at them is more true for him than for any other sports figure of the last 50 years. More than Tiger Woods. More than LeBron James. More than Michael Jordan. More than all of them.

And now his parole hearing, televised and streamed by every outlet except Home & Garden Television, proved it again. He will never not be O.J.

But he is also 70. He is also planning to go to Florida and be with his family, based on what he told the parole board Thursday. He has assiduously avoided the media in his nine years in Lovelock, and if his family is providing the support it pledges, it will do its utmost to keep him from our prying eyes as he enters his dotage.

There is nothing we have that can do him any good. We have eaten all the forms of O.J. there are, culminating in the Emmy-award winning documentary on him, and finally, his release from prison. If he is wise as well as smart, here’s nothing left of his life but re-airs.

So the question becomes not so much whether he can leave fame alone, or whether fame can leave him alone. Our national appetite is poor on the topic of leaving people be, let alone deciding enough is enough. The fame we make for people gorges, purges and gorges again, in a hideous cycle that demeans all involved.

In sum, O.J. Simpson can, if he is paying attention to the value of normalcy, end his addiction to fame. I have far more serious doubts about fame and its addiction to him.

Quietest time in sports yields a pair of idiotic fascinations

mayweather-mcgregor-ball-weird.jpg

Quietest time in sports yields a pair of idiotic fascinations

Some time not that very long ago, someone in sports management who will almost certainly spend all of eternity bobbing for razor-studded apples in a pool of lava saw an opportunity in the phrase, “The quietest time in sports.” And decided to fill it with filth.
 
It is believed to begin right after the end of the NBA Finals, although that artificial start date has been extended through free agency now that the NBA’s principal entertainment vehicle is the burning of money. It used to be right after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, though now it has been extended backward. And it ends roughly at the beginning of NFL and/or college training camps, depending on where you live and which of those two beasts you profess your God to be.
 
But let’s get back to the management succubus who has set us on the path that has led inexcusably to the current point. The idea that baseball no longer holds the interest or attention spans of the young, cool and inadequately trained in the value of money is now accepted as fact, and as any marketing nitwit will tell you, nature abhors a vacuum.
 
So here’s what we’ve got. Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in what is very simply a lazy-stereotype-laden comedy tour that isn’t funny let alone even mildly convincing. They have both been on the stage too long, with a month still to go before the final shame-off August 26, where they simply enter the arena, stand with their backs to each other at the ring rope and spend 45 minutes trying to target-spit into the eyes of the high-rollers. Why the promoters didn’t just muzzle Mayweather and McGregor and use actual professionals like Key and Peele and Aisling Bea and Ed Byrne to work the crowds for a million per is simply a lack of imagination at work.
 
Here’s what else we have. Our idiotic fascination for Lonzo Ball’s two best Summer League games being achieved wearing shoes other than those promoted by his father/huckster as though his skills and intelligence are all in his feet.
 
What this actually is, of course, is people using Lonzo’s momentary and mostly microscopic achievement to call LaVar a tedious swine without ever using his name or his product catalog because he, like McGregor and Mayweather, beats down crowds and calls it entertainment, and people have signed on in a weird backdoor way – by finding reasons to like the son as a weapon against the father.
 
Thus, Lonzo Ball gets to learn how to be a professional athlete of note while carrying the load of his father’s impression upon the nation as well as the loads of those who believe that sins of the father must revert to the son. Popularity’s dominant property is its corrosion, and Ball will have to have very fast feet and well-constructed shoes indeed to dance away from the rising tide of a bored fan base with an ax to grind.
 
It isn’t as instantly gratifying a train wreck as Mayweather-McGregor, but it is a triumph of the new marketing strategy of wholesale idiocy that diminishes the watcher as well as the watched.
 
Neither of these events are in and of themselves interesting. Mayweather-McGregor is simply a kangaroo boxing a bear because circus entertainment no longer has circuses as venues, and Ball’s summer bears almost no relationship to the true test of his career – how to be the best player on a terrible team and then make the adjustment to being the third best player on a rebuilding team.
 
Ball has a longer shelf life because of that single useful component, but it is made less rather than more interesting by the presence of his father, who is now indelibly part of the tale at a time when most parents leave their children to find their fortunes by the virtues of their skills and wits.
 
McGregor-Mayweather has the sole benefit of being cringeworthy both before, during and after the event, a month-long smear of degradation that reduces all involved, including those who buy the fight, into penitents, into rolling apologies. It is an event in which nobody gets out with any shred of dignity, with the single revolting example of the grisly accountant-beasts who will take the Internal Revenue’s cut immediately after the fight.
 
And if that isn’t Satan winning, then you don’t know how to score a game in which Satan plays on all the teams at once and sees to it that the game is scheduled in the middle of July because some client of his told him it was the best time of year for personal and professional disgrace with a scoreboard on the end of it.