Tag Archive | "Bud Selig"

The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

Posted on 19 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

IT WAS HOT AS HADES in that lower Manhattan federal courtroom. Jam-packed with bidders, curiosity seekers and baseball fans, the Baltimore Orioles franchise was up for grabs on August 2, 1993, and the bidding was as steamy as the air in the room once the price began to rapidly accelerate into the stratosphere.

The fact that there was any bidding at all was somewhat surprising to Peter G. Angelos, a Baltimore attorney who had begun a power play five months earlier to purchase the Major League Baseball franchise that was being sold off via an auction nearly 200 miles away from its home on the Chesapeake Bay. In the hours leading up to the auction, Angelos managed to turn his sole competitor from a previous suspended bid for the team during June into a partner. William DeWitt Jr., a Cincinnati native whose father once owned the St. Louis Browns in the 1940s and a minority investor in the Texas Rangers, joined Angelos’ celebrity-led local group from Maryland just hours before the bidding was to begin in the sweltering Custom House. DeWitt was promised a role in the operations and management of the club.

It was an amazing coup for Angelos to pull DeWitt from being a worthy, legitimate competitor into a teammate that morning, after convincing him that he’d be involved and an influential part of the eventual winning group. It was shocking that DeWitt had pulled out because several times over the previous eight months, he was convinced that he was already the winning bidder and new owner of the Orioles.

In February 1993, after six months of lengthy, arduous negotiations on a fair price, DeWitt had entered into a deal with Orioles majority owner Eli Jacobs to buy the team for $141.3 million. Jacobs, who was in his final days of semi-liquidity and quietly on the verge of bankruptcy, didn’t have the legal authority to close the deal with DeWitt once the banks seized his assets in March. Instead, the Orioles wound up at auction five months later and suddenly Angelos – with DeWitt now shockingly a member of his ownership team – believed he would emerge victorious without breaking a sweat in the summer heat of The Big Apple.

But that afternoon, after entering the courtroom in what he believed would be a rubber-stamped win, instead he found himself embroiled in a bidding war with a stranger he never strongly considered to being a worthy foil in the fray.

Jeffrey Loria, a New York art dealer and Triple-A baseball team owner, wanted badly to be a Major League Baseball owner. Baltimore native and former NFL player Jean Fugett represented a group led by TLC Beatrice, which featured a rare minority bid for an MLB franchise on that day in New York. One bidder, Doug Jemal of Nobody Beats The Wiz electronics stores, had early interest but bowed out before the steamy auction.

That August day, the bidding began at $151.25 million, which included a “stalking fee” of $1.7 million which was originally awarded to DeWitt’s team because of his vast due diligence and legal work done months earlier when he thought he had won a deal to secure the Orioles in the spring.

George Stamas, who represented Angelos’ group during the bidding process, opened the bidding at $153 million, which was seen as a good faith gesture from the combined bid with DeWitt, which could’ve been perceived as artificially deflating the sale price by judge Cornelius Blackshear. Loria, who was a stranger to the Angelos group, immediately raised it by $100,000. Stamas barked out, “One million more – $154.1!”

And for the next 30 minutes, the bids drew north from the $150 millions into the $160s. With every bid, Loria would raise by $100,000. Stamas, on behalf of Angelos, raised it by $1 million at a time. After 13 rounds of back and forth money, Angelos had the leading bid $170 million. Fugett, who had been completely silent during the auction, asked the judge for a recess.

The request was granted and the judge headed to his chambers.

And, suddenly, it got even hotter in a blazing courtroom on a sweltering day in The Big

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A-Rod’s grandstanding act: Great theater, but a PED user is a PED user

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A-Rod’s grandstanding act: Great theater, but a PED user is a PED user

Posted on 21 November 2013 by Drew Forrester

As we’ve seen with our very own President of the United States, once you outright lie — and get caught — the confidence level of those who are in place to judge you and your future endeavors is almost unfairly going to be low.

In the case of Alex Rodriguez, there are about fourteen people in the country who stare into his movie-star eyes and think to themselves, “Wow, they sure have railroaded that guy…”

The rest of America — the smart ones — knows the truth.

We don’t know “the story”, per-se, but we know the truth.  The truth is, whatever A-Rod is saying about his involvement in PED’s over the last three years and his attachment to Anthony Bosch in South Florida is, almost without question, a fib.

Yesterday, in a surprise interview on New York’s WFAN, Rodriguez said, “I’m guilty of nothing.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  Nothing.”

Yeah, OK, and “if you like your plan, you can keep you plan…”

Give A-Rod and his team of story-weavers high marks for grandstanding their way out of the courtroom on Wednesday and trying to get folks to shower them with sympathy.

That was Academy Award script stuff.

Director — “OK, now, in this scene, you’re going to get sooooooo mad at the landslide of evidence placed in front of you that you’re going to just storm out of the courtroom.”

Actor — “Should I bang my fist on the table as I get up and gather my briefcase, cell phone and syringe?”

Director — “Yes!  Great idea.  Why don’t you call the guy the prosecution brought along to present the evidence a “Slimy Bastard!” as you walk out.”

Actor — “Yeah, yeah, that’s good.  Should I leave my phone number with his wife as I get to the back of the court?”

Director — “No, that’s probably not necessary.  It won’t fit with the whole scene where you’re so irate and disgusted with everyone and everything that you can’t stay in the courtroom one more second.”

That’s what unfolded on Wednesday in New York, where A-Rod basically gave up the fight to have his 211 game suspension reduced and decided to play his final card.  The one that reads: “The Commissioner hates me and it’s personal now.”

A-Rod is probably right.

I’m sure Bud Selig probably does strongly dislike him.

And why wouldn’t he?

Rodriguez is already an admitted steroid user who once pledged to anyone who would listen that his naughty days were over and that he “loves the game too much to disrespect it by lying to the fans”.

Baseball believed him.  Right up until the Anthony Bosch story broke last spring and there was #13′s name, along with mountains of evidence that connected him to performance enhancing drugs.

Selig and the rest of the folks running the game then said: “OK, that’s it.  This creep is done.”

Does anyone with a brain really think baseball would embarrass and denigrate their own product and business with a national court case/lawsuit of this magnitude if they didn’t have evidence beyond evidence that one of their game’s biggest stars was an ongoing fraud?

What’s in it for baseball to do this to themselves?

Why would they put their product on a national pedestal like this and subject their sport, teams and players to ridicule and, potentially, loss of big business from corporate America — unless they were prepared to battle like hell to get this germ out of their system once and for all?

Bud Selig’s not the coolest guy on the planet.

He’s made his fair share of mistakes as baseball’s Commissioner.

But, he’s not a dummy, either.

Major League Baseball wouldn’t have handed down this historic suspension and put themselves in front of an arbiter unless they knew they were likely going to win.

A-Rod knows he’s going to lose, too.

That’s why he walked out yesterday.

 

 

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Selig vs A-Rod and the Yankees Bailout

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Selig vs A-Rod and the Yankees Bailout

Posted on 05 August 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

If Bud Selig is indeed on his way out, and there are still plenty of reasons to doubt that, he’s doing it with guns blazing. On Monday, at long last the speculation regarding Biogenesis will end and the punishments will be doled out…maybe.

It seems that over the weekend MLB, and Selig’s office specifically, have let go of their willingness to negotiate with Alex Rodriguez, and at the same time may be backing off of their plans to try and ban Rodriguez for life while hitting him with 3 strikes at once under MLB’s PED policy.

In the process of attempting to to drop the hammer on A-Rod, Selig may be creating an empathetic figure out of a guy whose actions would and should have left him beyond redemption already, Selig has shown himself for the petty bully that he has been throughout his tenure as commissioner, and gave birth to a wave of new conspiracy theories regarding baseball’s favoritism of the Yankees.

First, it’s seems all but clear that there’s no coincidence that at the heart of baseball’s desire to punish everyone involved in the Biogenesis fiasco, is an underlying mission on the part of the commissioner to exact revenge on the 2 guys who have made Selig look dumb in baseball’s “post-steroid era”. There’s Ryan Braun, who long before he tested positive for PEDs and had that violation overturned was routinely lauded by the commissioner, along with Troy Tulowitzki, as proof of baseball’s ability to continue to churn out stars in an era where testing has again “leveled the playing field”. And there’s Alex Rodriguez for whom baseball implemented instant replay to insure that their “fair haired boy” wouldn’t be cost a single opportunity to chase down Barry Bonds and rescue the record book. Neither guy asked to be Selig’s poster boy for post-steroid baseball, but both made the commissioner look silly when placed in that spot and were ultimately found out to be cheating.

Both deserve to be punished, but for cheating, not for leaving egg on the face of baseball and those who run it. And both will be (or are being) punished. But Selig’s attempt to punish Braun amounts to little more than an inconvenience to a player and a team that were already cashing in their chips for 2013. And if reports of what he’s trying to do to A-Rod are true, it seems like little more than a transparent attempt to help the Yankees achieve their stated goal of getting below the luxury tax threshold for 2014 and resetting them from a payroll, and tax standpoint.

It’s hard to believe that the rest of baseball’s owners would be on board with this, considering that they’re the ones who divide and share the payroll taxes that the Yankees have to pay. But if everyone stands to earn more when the Yankees are successful, it may be an indication of where everyone’s priorities lie.

How else can baseball explain the creation of a 214 game penalty? It’s just convenient enough to excuse the Yankees from accounting for A-Rod’s preclusive salary next year without MLB actually accepting the burden of trying to prove 3 seperate violations of the PED policy for a guy who didn’t even test positive for PEDs.

Baseball said Rodriguez lied to investigators, everyone lies to investigators. In Braun’s case that got him an extra 15 games. Baseball says that Rodriguez attempted to destroy evidence. Melky Cabrera created his own evidence and presented it to MLB, for that he got no additional penalty. And baseball accuses Rodriguez of recruiting for Biogenesis, as opposed to everyone just finding their way to Kirk Radomski or Dr. Gallea once upon a time. Maybe the evidence they have will trump these other instances by comparison and maybe we’ll get to see it. I won’t be holding my breath.

MLB ought to take what they can get when they go after Rodriguez or what they’re likely to get is embarrassed…again. That would be a fitting legacy for Bud Selig to leave behind.

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Goodell staying optimistic over Ravens-Orioles compromise

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Luke Jones

As WNST.net’s Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester have offered their insight into the scheduling conflict jeopardizing the site of the Ravens’ season-opening game on Sept. 5, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell remained optimistic on Thursday that they would be able to work out a compromise with the Orioles.

Goodell said on the final day of the league meetings in Arizona that he hasn’t spoken to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig this week, but the sides continue to work toward a solution. The commissioner went out of his way to take a soft approach in discussing the Orioles’ position after many have accused the league of bullying Baltimore’s baseball team.

“People are working toward trying to find a solution that will work for everybody,” Goodell said. “We recognize that this wasn’t something that baseball or the Orioles asked for. They’ve been very cooperative in trying
to work out a solution.”

The commissioner once again mentioned the idea of the Orioles playing an afternoon game — shifting their scheduled start time of 7:05 p.m. — that would leave enough time for the Ravens to kick off at M&T Bank Stadium later that evening, but many have suggested the only realistic possibility would be a day-night doubleheader later that weekend since it’s highly unlikely MLB, the players association, and the Chicago White Sox would all approve moving the Thursday game to earlier in the day. Both the Orioles and White Sox finish series in other cities the night before and will likely be arriving in Baltimore well after midnight on the morning of Sept. 5.

The league meetings wrapped up on Wednesday, but it’s clear the NFL wants a resolution sooner rather than later so it can announce the teams involved and the location of its season-opening game televised on NBC. It’s all but certain that the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens will be playing in the game, but whether the contest is played in Baltimore remains up in the air.

“We’re both trying to compromise to say, ‘How can we do this so the fans of Baltimore can have a really special day with an Orioles game in the afternoon and a Ravens celebration at night for their Super Bowl championship?’” Goodell said. “I’m hopeful that that will happen.”

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NFL season-opening game in Baltimore in jeopardy?

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NFL season-opening game in Baltimore in jeopardy?

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Luke Jones

With the NFL congregating in Arizona this week for its annual league meetings, troubling news surfaced Monday morning about the season-opening game presumed to be hosted in Baltimore this September.

As Super Bowl XLVII champions, the Ravens would be in line to host the first game of the 2013 season as has become the tradition in recent NFL seasons, but a scheduling conflict with the Orioles on Sept. 5 is putting that in jeopardy. With the Orioles scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox that night in the opener of a four-game series at Camden Yards, the Ravens have been unable to come to an agreement to move the time of that game and could be faced with the prospects of opening the season on the road.

Via their official Twitter account, the Ravens said a league source labeled Baltimore opening on the road as the “least desirable” possibility, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Monday press conference that he’s spoken twice to MLB commissioner Bud Selig in attempts to resolve the issue. The league does not want to move the season-opening game to Wednesday, Sept. 4 due to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Goodell and the league is proposing that the Orioles play earlier in the day on Thursday and would move the start time for the Ravens to as late as 9 p.m. that evening in hopes of having a successful doubleheader for the city. The commissioner did not present any other day as being an option for the NFL’s season opener, confirming what many Ravens fans fear if a compromise cannot be reached.

“Unfortunately the only option is to take the Ravens on the road,” Goodell said. “We think that’s wrong for Ravens fans.”

Shifting the Orioles’ scheduled Thursday evening game with the White Sox to that afternoon would still create problems due to parking and the possibility of extra innings or a rain delay. The Orioles would also likely object to playing a day game on Thursday after traveling back to Baltimore from a game in Cleveland the previous night.

With the Orioles and White Sox scheduled for a four-game set that weekend, a day-night doubleheader on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday would also be a solution to open that Thursday night for the Ravens.

However, moving the time of the game by more than 30 minutes — let alone scheduling a doubleheader — is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, the players’ union, and the White Sox, according to The Sun.

Regardless of the circumstances or who’s ultimately to blame — there are compelling arguments for all parties involved — this situation needs to be worked out. The city of Baltimore deserves to be showcased in the NFL’s season-opening game, which has become a major event in recent years as a way to celebrate the previous season’s Super Bowl championship team.

Unfortunatley, this isn’t the first time in which the Ravens have found themselves in this kind of a position as the league elected not to schedule the Super Bowl XXXV champions with a Monday night game — the hoopla of the Thursday night opener hadn’t been created yet — to open the 2001 season even though the previous five Super Bowl winners had received the privilege.

In that case, there was no conflict with the Orioles, who were off on the night of Sept. 10, 2001, as the league chose to open the season in a matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants.

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CitoSucks

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Bud Selig feels your pain

Posted on 11 July 2012 by Adam McCallister

Have you had your feelings hurts?  Have you hit a tough stretch and need to turn your frown upside down?  Your best buddy Bud Selig is ready to give you a great big bear hug and change a rule if he needs to.

While the All-Star game provided insomnia sufferers the best night of sleep since the Yanni music fest it also provided more proof why Bud Selig doesn’t have a clue.

During Monday night’s home run derby the Yankees Robinson Cano was booed continuously by the Kansas City faithful.  Unhappy with Cano’s decision in not choosing Royals all star designated hitter Billy Butler they booed every time the Yankees name was announced and cheered every time Cano recorded an out.  No big deal the home team fans are supposed to react that way.  Baltimore fans nearly 20 years later we still despise Cito Gaston for not putting Mike Mussina in the 1993 All-Star game.  The game was held in our city and in our stadium and this guy from Canada snubs our guy (at the time).  Hell hath no fury like Charm City fans scorn!  Subsequently Gaston was booed ferociously every time he came back to Baltimore.

Similar scenario happened last year when the All-Star game was held in Arizona.  Diamondbacks fans let Prince Fielder know their displeasure when he didn’t choose Justin Upton.  During an interview Tuesday Bud Selig said “We’ll talk about (changing the rules), I felt very badly last night. I felt badly last year for Prince. This was tough.”

The rule that Selig is alluding to is the home run derby rule that allows the captain to pick their own team.  His new rule change would mean that the host team would automatically have a participant in the derby if there is a representative of that team in the game.  Thereby eliminating the controversy caused by Cano’s decision or Fielder from the year before.  Giving the home fans their guy to root for during the hitting exhibition.

On the surface I have no problem with this idea.  He wants to alter a rule for a competition that means absolutely nothing.  Bud if you want to make sure the home team has a guy at the plate that’s cool with me.  If you want the bat boy to take a swing or the mascot to pitch blindfolded go for it.  At the end of the day it means zilch.  It doesn’t affect the standings or decide home field advantage.  Go for it Bud you’ve got my blessing.

What doesn’t make any sense is that while Bud is concerned about Robinson Cano or Prince Fielder getting their feelings hurt, it appears he is happy to offer the same close minded position on the use of video replay.  Selig’s response was that most people don’t want it.  Clearly Bud listens as well to his audience as Justin Bieber obeys speed limits.

Mr. Commissioner I offer to you a crazy idea.  Why not test video replay during an exhibition game?  How about a game where you have the odds in your favor, like the All-Star game?  After all you’ll have the best umpires in the game working the game.  Come to think of it wasn’t Jim Joyce calling first base Tuesday night?  On second thought maybe the odds aren’t stacked in your favor, Bud.  

Adam McCallister WNST audition

Follow me on Twitter: @McCallister_A

 

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